Posted by: zyxo | June 6, 2008

Complexity, sex and the city

The Movie. Chris Noth (John 'Mr. Big', left) and Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie Bradshaw, right).Image via WikipediaIs there more sex in the city than in a small village ?
When there is only one person, he cannot talk to anyone, this is pretty obvious.
When there are two persons they only have one another to talk to : there is only one connection between them.
With three persons, there are three connections. Each person has two others to talk to. With four persons, there are six connetions, with five persons there are ten connections and so on. I becomes more and more complicated. If we assume that the number of “sex occurences” is positively related to the number of encounters (“connections”) between people it is tempting to conclude that in a big city with so much people there must be plenty opportunity to have a sexual rendez-vous.
Paradoxically this is not the case!
Long ago I learnt from a scientific paper that the larger the population of the city you live in, the fewer people you know with whom you could have a more intimate relationship. In fact it is much more easy to find a suitable partner in a small village than in a big town.

So there must be some communication-preventing mechanisms that become stronger when the number of people encountered grows. Why ? Because in big cities it is impossible to know all of them and so they become more of at threat, so consequently you behave more defensively ?

I know when I was a kid, I knew about each and every person in my village. Nobody was a threat to me, because I knew them and there was a huge social control. Consequently when I grew older I knew a lot of girls …

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