It has been claimed that the average Briton has four sexual partners in their lifetime.
However, detailed new research suggests that figure may be well below the mark.
Increasingly liberal attitudes mean that one in five women now admit to having multiple sexual partners in a year. In men the figure is even higher: almost one in three.
The findings came in a BMC Health study involving 30,000 sexually active men and women aged 16 to 44 over two decades.
Aiming to identify changes in sexual behavior between 1990 and 2010, the research found that the percentage of women with two or more lovers in the previous 12 months increased from 9.9 percent to 22.1 percent.
Increasingly liberal attitudes mean that one in five women now admit to having multiple sexual partners in a year. In men the figure is even higher: almost one in three. Stock Image
The results also revealed that the number of men who had multiple lovers increased by almost two-thirds, from 19.5 percent to 32.1 percent between 1990 and 2000.
But there was little change during the second decade, suggesting that lifestyle may have stagnated among the male population. In contrast, the proportion of women with two or more partners continued to increase between 2000 and 2010.
“Significant changes in sexual lifestyles have been observed in Britain, as well as other high-income countries, partly reflecting a trend towards liberalizing attitudes towards sex and sexuality,” said researchers from University College London. and other centers.
It was suggested that reduced concern about the threats of HIV and AIDS could also be a factor. Data released last year following a YouGov survey showed that the average Briton – or, more specifically, the average Briton who is willing to discuss the topic – has had four sexual partners.
The typical number over a lifetime is five for men and three for women.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the survey also revealed clear differences between ages.
People aged 60 and over reported having had an average of three lovers, while those aged between 40 and 59 reported having had six. Meanwhile, the thirty-something generation averaged five, and just over one in five (21 percent) of the 40 to 59 age group reported having slept with at least 15 people.
Additionally, one in six (17 percent) of respondents willing to reveal their number of sexual partners say they have slept with only one person in their lifetime. It was reported that 13 percent of men said they had had only one lover, compared to 21 percent of women.
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