Search icon


20th Sep 2018

Men have no clue about women’s sex lives, says science

Are we really surprised?
Men have no clue about women's sex lives, says science

In news that may or may not surprise you, men don’t know much about what women get up to sexually.

New research shows that men in the UK think women aged between 18 and 29 are having sex 22 times a month – but the actual figure is just five times per month.

It’s not just British men with a skewed perception of women’s sex lives.

The research, conducted across 40 countries over a five-year period, shows similar patterns in the US.

Broken down by age, younger men tend to have more of a distorted view – those aged 34 and under estimated that women have sex an eye-watering 33 times a month, while older men guessed 14 times a month.

Men have no clue about women's sex lives, says science

Worryingly, men also get it wrong about sexual harassment, tending to underestimate it.

On average British men said that just over four in ten women have been sexually harassed.

The actual figure of women who say they’ve experienced harassment is 58 per cent – closer to six in ten.

This issue seems to apply almost exclusively to sex, according to lead researcher Bobby Duffy, managing director of the Social Research Institute at Ipsos MORI.

Both men and women are as likely as each other to be wrong about the reality of gender issues like the pay gap and women in leadership.

Men have no clue about women's sex lives, says science

Both sexes believe that pay equality will be achieved in the UK by 2035, though official estimates say that won’t happen until 2117.

So what can we do to get men a little more clued in?

Yes, a lot of this is societal and based on the fact that often humans struggle to see beyond our own realities but on a individual level we can keep talking about sex and issues around sex, including harassment.

Don’t water down your conversations for the sake of the men around you – talk openly about sex, not just with your partner but also with your male friends.

Keep it frank and no-one has any excuse to be ignorant.