Is there research that backs up...?

The idea behind this thread is to post those “everybody knows” sorts of statistics and see if anyone can find any research that actually backs them up. I’ll start.

Men think about sex every ___ seconds. I’ve heard this one with a variety of numbers. Any research that supports any particular number of seconds, and if so, how can you measure it?

Posters put their threads in the wrong forum 23.8% of the time.

What percentage of snark posts miss their targets? I asked a question that should have a factual answer. Is there research that supports the notion that men think about sex every so many seconds and what is the methodology of the research? Where would you suggest that a question seeking factual answers be posted?


is usually the sort of thing found in IMHO or MPSIMS. If you’d left that part out, you’d be absolutely right.

Ain’t my call, of course, but that’s how I sees it.

And to answer your question: No.

I can’t find any cite for Otto’s example but I’ll throw out one of my own. I’ve often read the unattributed fact that the average person swallows a number of spiders while sleeping (the actual number and the time period involved vary). Can anybody cite some real research on the rates of somnolent arachnid consumption?


You call that a cite? Maybe you missed the part where Doug wrote: “One amazing thing about urban legends is that they never appear the same way twice. This statistic variously appears as 10 per year, 57 per year, 19 per year, and all sorts of other numbers. No one can ever tell you where the statistic came from originally, either.” Doug openly said he had never seen any actual research; he just acknowledged that the story existed. My post did that but I didn’t cite it as the answer to my own question.

But that question is not what you mentioned as the “idea of the thread,” which is to solicit entirely different random questions. Given that, and the fact that your title doesn’t specific a question, I’m going to move this to MPSIMS.

If you prefer, I could lock it and you can open another thread in GQ asking your original question (with a clear title). E-mail me if you want to take that course.

General Questions Moderator

What about those polls of high school and college graduates purporting to show that large percentages can’t find Mexico on a map, don’t know who Abraham Lincoln was, or are missing some other piece of a basic education. Do they actually exist or not?

I hope you don’t get the thread locked, because I really need to know…

what about when people say they can tell the sex of an unborn baby by how the mother is carrying? It seems like it would be complete and utter bullcrap, yet so many people swear to OG that they can tell. What’s up with that?

If she’s holding it by the handle, it probably ain’t a girl.

You were saying?

(Also, a helpful bump)

I actually conducted a poll in Washington DC, and found that only 20 percent of the people entering the Smithsonian institute could locate their position on an ordinary globe.

I also found that only twenty percent of Chicago residents could identify the name of the river they were crossing. (It was the Chicago river.)

Sample size was limited in both cases.