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 Allen's Ambivalent Approximation (Posted on 2007-01-11)
Woody Allen once said "Being bisexual doubles your chance of a date on Saturday night."

But that's obviously/logically false! What should he have said?

 See The Solution Submitted by Old Original Oskar! Rating: 4.0000 (2 votes)

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 He's approximately correct - sort of | Comment 3 of 5 |

Consider Woody, determined to try to get a date, walking into a room with 50 men and 50 women.

Woody will ask every woman for a date, but if he were bisexual he would ask every person for a date.

Let's say the probability any given person would agree to a date is .001 and that these solicitations are independant.  Straight Woody fails to get a date with probability .999^50 and succeeds with p¡Ö.049 whereas Bisexual Woody gets 100 tries and succeeds with p¡Ö.095

So he's very nearly doubled his chances.

One problem with this is that no straight men (or gay women) would ever say yes, in keeping with the spirit of the joke.

Let's suppose 6% of people are homosexual and will not date someone of the opposite gender and that 6% are bisexual and will date either.  Now he will only have a chance with 44 of the women (straights and bisexuals) and 6 of the men (gays and bisexuals).

Straight Woody only succeeds with p=1-.999^44¡Ö.043
Bisexual Woody succeeds with p=1-.999^50¡Ö.049

So it's only about a 14% improvement.

 Posted by Jer on 2007-01-11 12:08:13

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