Extramarital Sex Quiz: How many Tigers are there out there?

Back in the more puritanical ’50s, executives at CBS Television were faced with a situation they had never faced before. Lucille Ball, the star of the wildly popular “I Love Lucy” sitcom about the misadventures of a scatterbrained New York City housewife, had become pregnant.

Network standards were so strict at the time that she and co-star Desi Arnaz, her on-air and real-life husband,  had to be shown occupying separate beds. So strict that even the word pregnant was forbidden on air.

Instead of shutting down production for months, it was decided that the show would do something unheard of at the time: Lucille Ball and her on-air alter ego, Lucy Ricardo, would become the first obviously pregnant woman to appear in a TV show or movie.

It was still such a sensitive topic that “the p-word” remained forbidden, with CBS executives insisting that the word “expecting” be used instead. A priest, a minister and a rabbi were each made available to vet each episode before it went on the air to ensure that nothing controversial went out over the network.

The censorship was only relaxed in the early ’70s when CBS’s All in the Family and Maude became the first TV shows to talk about sex on prime-time television. It was in the same decade that Ball began talking openly in TV interviews about the bitterness and anger caused by now ex-husband Desi’s compulsive philandering.

Those old enough to remember how things were in the ’50s must marvel at how much things have changed. The medium that once forbade the word pregnant now features ads for Viagra, scripts that deal with newer trends like “starter marriages” and “friends with benefits”, and even shows with gay, lesbian and bisexual characters or hosts.

But a couple of things have not changed. Re-runs of I Love Lucy are still on the air, nearly 60 years after its first broadcast; and philandering still tends to lead to angry and even violent outbursts.

Witness the details we’ve learned this week about golfer Tiger Woods and his panic-stricken attempted escape from his Florida mansion, with wife Elin Nordegren in hot pursuit, undoubtedly screaming obscenities and swinging a golf club wildly.

His evasive explanations of the incident and the surfacing of information suggesting that Woods was having an extramarital affair caused much fascination with the story.

Is it fascinating because such incidents are rare, or because they’re common?

Take the following Extramarital Sex Quiz and get a better idea of just how many Tigers (and tigresses) there are out there.

1. The American Sexual Behavior Survey, conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, involved interviews with 10,000 Americans over two decades. It found that…

a.) 22 percent of married men and 15 percent of married women have cheated at least once

b.) 7 percent of married men and 1 percent of married women have cheated at least once

c.) 39 percent of married men and 32 percent of married women have cheated at least once

2. A 2007 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study concluded that…

a.) about 14 percent of U.S. men had “concurrent” sexual partnerships or partnerships that overlap in time during a one-year period

b.) about 16 percent of U.S. men had “concurrent” sexual partnerships or partnerships that overlap in time during a one-year period

c.) about 11 percent of U.S. men had “concurrent” sexual partnerships or partnerships that overlap in time during a one-year period

3. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health in 1998 found that…

a.) A total of 19 percent of American men reported having had only one sex partner during their lifetimes, as compared with 21 percent of Britons

b.) A total of 48 percent of American men reported having had only one sex partner during their lifetimes, as compared with 58 percent of Britons

c.) A total of 34 percent of American men reported having had only one sex partner during their lifetimes, as compared with 47 percent of Britons

4. The same study found that in their lifetimes…

a.) 48 percent of American women reported having only one sex partner, while 37 percent of British women reported having had only one sex partner

b.) 32 percent of American women reported having only one sex partner, while 40 percent of British women reported having had only one sex partner

c.) 24 percent of American women reported having only one sex partner, while 14 percent of British women reported having had only one sex partner

5. A study published in the Journal of Sex Research in 1998 found that extramarital sex was considered to be “always wrong” by a majority of the population in each of 24 current (or former) countries, with the exception of the Czech Republic and:

a.) Russia

b.) Canada

c.) The Netherlands

THE ANSWERS:

1. The American Sexual Behavior Survey, conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, involved interviews with 10,000 Americans over two decades. It found that… a.) 22 percent of married men and 15 percent of married women have cheated at least once

2. A 2007 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study concluded that… c.) about 11 percent of U.S. men had “concurrent” sexual partnerships or partnerships that overlap in time during a one-year period. (No data available for women.)

3. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health in 1998 found that… a.) A total of 19 percent of American men reported having had only one sex partner during their lifetimes, as compared with 21 percent of Britons

4. The same study found that in their lifetimes… b.) 32 percent of American women reported having only one sex partner, while 40 percent of British women reported having had only one sex partner

5. A study published in the Journal of Sex Research in 1998 found that extramarital sex was considered to be “always wrong” by a majority of the population in each of 24 current (or former) countries, with the exception of the Czech Republic (43%) and: a.) Russia, where only 36 percent said that extramarital sex was always wrong, compared to 63 percent in the Netherlands, 68 percent in Canada and 80 percent in the U.S.  (Responses to this and other questions showed the U.S. to be considerably more conservative in its  sexual attitudes than relatively liberal Canada.)

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About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

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