Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The statistics of sex in your 70s

A Swedish study of attitudes to sex among the older generation provoked some interesting correspondence in the Independent over the last couple of weeks. The survey showed that 68% of men and 54% of women were continuing to have sex into their old age. Some readers jumped to the conclusion that 14% of men must either be lying or being unfaithful to their partners. But of course that superficial conclusion is wrong. Since women live longer than men, there were many more women than men in the age group, so it turns out that it's the women who are lying or being unfaithful (or having younger partners).

A neat illustration of how easy it is to misinterpret statistics?