Humans[ edit ] Accurately assessing people's sexual behavior is difficult, since strong social and personal motivations occur, depending on social sanctions and taboos , for either minimizing or exaggerating reported sexual activity. American experiments in and found the great majority of men were willing to have sex with women they did not know, of average attractiveness, who propositioned them.
No woman, by contrast, agreed to such propositions from men of average attractiveness. While men were in general comfortable with the requests, regardless of their willingness "Why do we have to wait until tonight? A nationwide survey in the United States found the median number of female sexual partners reported by men was seven and the median number of male partners reported by women was four.
The men possibly exaggerated their reported number of partners, women reported a number lower than the actual number, or a minority of women had a sufficiently larger number than most other women to create a mean significantly higher than the median, or all of the above see Pareto principle.
An important question in the epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections is whether or not these groups copulate mostly at random with sexual partners from throughout a population or within their social groups assortative mixing. A systematic review analyzing data from 59 countries worldwide found no association between regional sexual behavior tendencies, such as number of sexual partners, and sexual-health status.
Much more predictive of sexual-health status are socioeconomic factors like poverty and mobility. The study measured one-night stands, attitudes to casual sex , and number of sexual partners.
The survey found Austrian men had the highest number of sex partners of males globally with New Zealand women had the highest number of sex partners for females in the world with an average of In all of the countries surveyed, except New Zealand, men reported more sexual partners than women. The names of real and fictional seducers have become eponymous for such promiscuous men. The most famous include Lord Byron , John F. During the English Restoration period —88 , the term 'rake' was used glamorously: The Restoration rake is celebrated in the Restoration comedy of the s and the s.
Female promiscuity Empress Catherine II is remembered in popular culture for her sexual promiscuity. In , a study in the United States found almost all married heterosexual women reported having sexual contact only with their husbands, and unmarried women almost always reported having no more than one sexual partner in the past three months. Lesbians who had a long-term partner reported having fewer outside partners than heterosexual women. Thornhill and Gangestad found that women are much more likely to sexually fantasize about and be attracted to extra-pair men during the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle than the luteal phase see Ovulatory shift hypothesis , whereas attraction to the primary partner does not change depending on the menstrual cycle.