Promiscuous is defined as having or characterized by many transient sexual relationships. Promiscuity is the practice of engaging in sexual activity frequently and with different partners. A common example of promiscuous behavior is engaging in one-night stands.
What sexual behaviors are considered promiscuous varies between cultures, with different standards and morals projected to different genders, age groups, etc. Accessing how promiscuous people are can be difficult, as reporting can be heavily skewed due to minimizing or exaggerating sexual activity. This is because of strong social and personal motivations.
Promiscuity is known for having double standards for men and women. Men who have many sexual partners are stereotyped as a "player" or "stud," while women are often labeled as "loose" or "a harlot."
A 2008 U.S. university study studied the promiscuity among countries around the world based on one-night stands, attitudes towards casual sex, and the number of sexual partners.
The study found that Finns have the largest number of sexual partners in the industrialized world. Additionally, British people have the largest number of sexual partners among western industrial nations.
This study showed that the top ten OECD countries on the promiscuity index are:
- United Kingdom
- The Netherlands
- The Czech Republic
- The United States
Condom-maker Durex measured promiscuity among nations by the total number of sexual partners. This survey found that Austrian men had the highest number of sex partners of males around the world of 29.3 partners on average. New Zealand women had the highest number of sexual partners with an average of 20.4.
In general, people from developed Western countries have more sex partners than people in developing countries; however, those in developing countries have higher STI rates. Additionally, the "most promiscuous" countries do not have the highest feritlity rates; those are typically also seen in developing countries.
For Western countries high on the index, especially in the United Kingdom, their positions can be linked to increasing social acceptance of promiscuity among women and men.