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Explained: Why Indians Are The Least Promiscuous of Most People in the World

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By Aroonim Bhuyan

Published : Apr 10, 2024, 6:35 PM IST

Updated : Apr 12, 2024, 11:27 AM IST

A new ranking puts India at the bottom of a list of countries where people have multiple sexual partners across their lifetimes. In India, a person has, on an average, three sexual partners in his or her life. Turkey tops the list with people in that country, on an average, having 14.5 sexual partners across their lifetimes. So, what is it that makes India different from other countries? ETV Bharat speaks to experts.

The ranking for the Average Number of Sexual Partners by Country 2024 released by the World Population Review sees India finding its place right at the bottom.
A representative image showing a couple in a romantic intimate pose. (Canva-Free)

New Delhi: The ranking for the Average Number of Sexual Partners by Country 2024 released by the World Population Review sees India finding its place right at the bottom.

Of the 46 countries surveyed for the ranking, India is ranked 46th. According to the report, Indians on an average have three sexual partners across their lives. Turkey tops the ranking. Turkish people have an average of 14.5 sexual partners across their lives.

“There are also countries in which people tend to have far fewer sexual partners than the global average,” the report states. “This is typically due to societal or cultural preferences to abstain from premarital sex. In India, where many people follow strict marriage rules, the average person has three sexual partners during the course of his or her life. People who live in Hong Kong, Vietnam, and China tend to have fewer than four sexual partners during the course of their lives.”

The Exposure

According to Subhash Kumar, Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences, Department of Society and Development, Central University of Gujarat, the various kinds of exposure a person gets in life right from childhood leads to people having a single or more sexual partner.

“Generally, the ethos of Indian society do not allow a person to have more than one sexual partner in his or her life,” Kumar explained to ETV Bharat. “I consider this (India finding its place at the bottom of the ranking) as a very positive sign. Indian cultural and societal norms are of very high values. Indians have the most reliable life partners.”

The Urban-Rural Divide

At the same time, Kumar said that mental and physical problems can lead to a person having more than one sexual partner in his or her life. “Anxiety, depression, career challenges are the major disturbances in life,” he said. According to Kumar, people in smaller towns and cities of India do not go for premarital sexual exposure.

“People in small towns and rural areas generally have one sexual partner,” he said. “In metros, people are more exposed to Western culture.” However, at the end of it all, Kumar said that he was actually surprised that the number cited for India is as high as three. Dr Priyanka Srivastava, Clinical Psychologist at Jaypee Hospital in Noida, also attributed India’s coming at the bottom of the ranking to Indian values and culture.

Living The Wedding Vow - 'Till Death Parts Us'

“In India, a person has one life partner till death,” Dr Srivastava said. “The number of marriages breaking down is usually very low.” However, she said that now this is changing due to the influence of Western culture. “Women are getting empowered and are becoming financially independent,” Dr. Srivastava said. “This increases the rift between spouses. Today, the scenario has changed in India too.”

According to the World Population Review report, most individuals have multiple sexual partners over the course of their lifetimes, with surveys indicating a global average of nine sexual partners during a person’s life.

The Culture's Role

“The average number of sexual partners can vary significantly from country to country as cultural norms can have a significant impact on the number of people someone has sex with,” it stated. “Turkish citizens report having the highest average number of sexual partners during the course of their lives. The average person in Turkey has 14 sexual partners. Residents of Iceland, New Zealand, and Australia claim 13 or more sexual partners, on average.”

The Virginity Question

According to the report, people in the US, on an average, have between 10 and 11 sexual partners over the course of their lives. “However, the average number of sexual partners a person in the US has can vary widely from state to state, based upon local cultures and religious preferences in particular,” it stated. “For example, residents of Louisiana report an average of 15.7 sexual partners. By comparison, the people of Utah, 62 percent of whom belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, report an average of 2.6 sexual partners.”

The report further stated that the age at which someone loses his or her virginity can also impact the number of sexual partners he or she has. “In the United States, people tend to lose their virginity at 17 years of age, on average,” it stated.

Last Updated :Apr 12, 2024, 11:27 AM IST
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