Promiscuity is the practice of engaging in sexual activity frequently with different partners or being indiscriminate in the choice of sexual partners.[1] The term can carry a moral judgment. A common example of behavior viewed as promiscuous by many cultures is the one-night stand, and its frequency is used by researchers as a marker for promiscuity.[2]

What sexual behavior is considered promiscuous varies between cultures, as does the prevalence of promiscuity. Different standards are often applied to different genders and civil statutes. Feminists have traditionally argued a significant double standard exists between how men and women are judged for promiscuity. Historically, stereotypes of the promiscuous woman have tended to be pejorative, such as "the slut" or "the harlot", while male stereotypes have been more varied, some expressing approval, such as "the stud" or "the player", while others imply societal deviance, such as "the womanizer" or "the philanderer". A scientific study published in 2005 found that promiscuous men and women are both prone to derogatory judgment.[3] Kennair et al. (2023) found no signs on a sexual double standard in short-term or long-term mating contexts, nor in choosing a friend, except that women's self-stimulation was more acceptable than men's.[4]

Promiscuity is common in many animal species.[5] Some species have promiscuous mating systems, ranging from polyandry and polygyny to mating systems with no stable relationships where mating between two individuals is a one-time event. Many species form stable pair bonds, but still mate with other individuals outside the pair. In biology, incidents of promiscuity in species that form pair bonds are usually called extra-pair copulations.

  1. ^ "Promiscuous - definition of promiscuous by the Free Online Dictionary". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  2. ^ "UK's most promiscuous city in 'one night stand' poll revealed". Associated Newspapers Limited. 2014-01-08.
  3. ^ Marks, Michael; Fraley, R. (2005). "The Sexual Double Standard: Fact or Fiction?". Sex Roles. 52 (3–4): 175–186. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-1293-5. S2CID 13018834.
  4. ^ Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, Andrew G. Thomas, David M. Buss ja Mons Bendixen (27 March 2023). "Examining the Sexual Double Standards and Hypocrisy in Partner Suitability Appraisals Within a Norwegian Sample". Evolutionary Psychology. 21 (1). doi:10.1177/14747049231165687. PMID 36972495. S2CID 257772494.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference Barash Lipton 2001 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

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