Sunday, November 21, 2010

The most alpha occupations

The proceeding list shows the number of different women men in various occupations have been with in the course of their lives. To avoid skewing the numbers with youngsters just riding out into the morning sun, only those 35 and older at the time of participation in the GSS are considered. Each grouping (separated by semi-colons) has a minimum of 25 respondents, although most have numbers far higher than that and are grouped as they are for convenience or because that is how ISCO 88 categorizes them.

Occupations for which the median number of sexual partners in life is 10:

Authors, writers, and journalists; lawyers; sculptors, painters, and actors; waiters and bartenders.

Those with a partner count of 8:

Real estate agents and appraisers; sales reps.


Painters; plumbers; human resources people; store stockers.


Military personnel; truck drivers; policemen and firefighters; mail carriers and sorters; social workers; housekeepers; operations department managers.


Welders; construction workers and carpenters; government workers; college and university professors and lecturers; architects and engineers; technicians; machine operators; retail and wholesale managers; cooks; retail sales workers.


Computing professionals; accountants; doctors, veterinarians, dentists, and pharmacists.


Bookkeepers; building maintenance workers; teachers.


Pastors, priests, and other religious practitioners.

With the glaring exception of spiritual shepherds, who appear to largely adhere to the behavior proscribed by their religions and abstain from premarital sex or, in the case of Catholic priests, avoid it altogether, men who make their money by communicating with others are the most sexually prolific. Lust loves loquacity.

The idea that military life is one of leaving base each weekend to bang exotic girls is, at the least, oversold.

The core of respectable bourgeoisie careers--doctors, accountants, and network administrators--are on the lower end, in large part because these guys are among the most likely to be married.

One might think that being in an environment devoid of competition and flooded with women would be like shooting fish in a barrel, but male teachers (K-12) tend to have a modest number of notches in their belts. The desire to be responsible for herds of children (or even just the ability to tolerate so being) probably selects for a type of man who is not exactly bursting at the seams with testosterone.

GSS variables used: SEX(1), AGE(35-89), ISCO88, NUMWOMEN


Anonymous said...

"Authors, writers, and journalists; lawyers; sculptors, painters, and actors; waiters and bartenders."

Wait a minute--large number of homosexuals in this group. Did the GSS delineate from straights and gays in these occupations?

Count me homophobic if you wish for labels matter not to me, but I'd hardly call a gay man, no matter the number of partners, an alpha male.

Audacious Epigone said...


I just looked at the lifetime number of female partners (NUMWOMEN) for men in the occupations listed, so that's not an issue here.

Jack said...

I'd like to see the list for females. I suspect it's similar.

Audacious Epigone said...


Will do.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Haha plumbers lay lots of pipe.

Concerning teachers, I am not sure your low testosterone hypothesis holds. My experience with male teachers is that, like educational professionals in general, they tend to not be very smart on average, which isn't normally associated with low testosterone. Many of them coach sports - often ones they used to play and excel in.

A good buddy of mine teaches middle school and he did not have sex until he got married in his early 30's to the first girl he ever seriously dated. I always found this strange since he was athletic and a natural extrovert that could make friends with anyone. He actually did pretty well for himself, though, as the girl he married is both physically attractive and intelligent - advanced degree in a hard science (and he is not book smart as he'll readily admit).

I think maybe it's more of a combination male teachers not having the financial clout to attract women through that avenue and being too traditional to play the mind games that someone with their job status would otherwise require to play the field.

Jokah Macpherson said...

It's pretty weak evidence but nonetheless supportive of my argument: I checked the GSS - it turns out it has an ATHLETIC variable (albeit from 1988) and the mean was slightly lower (more athletic) for primary/secondary teachers than for "everyone else". I would think that if male teachers were nurturing effeminate softies there would be some sign of it here.

Jack said...

I don't think athletic and nurturing are mutually exclusive. Many male teachers probably combine some of both. I think the "traditional" explanation is more likely. Most teachers seem to be the type to get married early.

Dan said...

Interesting. Opportunity seems to be an element at play here, not just loquacity. Professions where people set their own schedule or don't have to work in an office tend to do better. Hence, plumbers and painters get laid because they're driving around to other people's houses all day (maybe the lonely housewife stereotype is true?). White collar professions like doctors, accountants and teachers are handcuffed to the 9-5 routine.

Rob Clack said...

Why does it stop at 10? What, if anything, does this say about individuals with many more lifetime partners?

Audacious Epigone said...


The only variable ATHLETIC I'm seeing is from 2004. Incidentally, it's not something I've played around with much, but is something I'm interested in. Thanks for the inadvertent heads-up!


Right. Proximity and opportunity are not sufficient, but they are definitely necessary.


That's the highest median number of partners for any occupation with at least 25 respondents over the age of 35. The median for all men 35+ is 5.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Heh, I have no idea where 1988 came from. I must have been really tired last night. You are correct that it's 2004. Glad I could help you out.

Anonymous said...

What difference does it make? Is someone who had 4 happier than someone who had 1.If you had 3, that could be once in college at a party and once at 24. Then, you met your wife. This is all meaningless.I knew a guy who had sex once at about 20 and then didn't have it for 8 years. That's 2 people. Someone could have gotten married at 22 and was then happy for the rest of his life having regular sex once or twice a week. Someone could have had 4 partners and had it once or a few times with each of them. Who was more satisfied or happier or had more sex, the person with 4 or one?

stopgradeinflation said...

Yeah, 1st Anon, one Sunday in 1980 a gay waiter in Reno boasted to me, "I did 7last night."

Audacious Epigone said...


For females, the medians are all really low (women underreport and/or men overreport the number of sexual partners they've had), the highest I came across being 5. It's pretty time consuming and I don't think we'll get much value out of it because most of the medians are 2 or 3 (in the range of 80% of the total).