Promiscuity
Overview
In humans, promiscuity refers to less discriminating casual sex
Casual sex
Casual sex or hooking up refers to certain types of human sexual activity outside the context of a romantic relationship. The term is not always used consistently: some use it to refer to any extramarital sex, some use it to refer to sex in a casual relationship, whereas others reserve its use for...

 with many sexual partner
Sexual partner
Sexual partners are people who engage in sexual activity together. The sexual partners can be of any gender or sexual orientation. The sexual partners may be in a committed relationship, either on an exclusive basis or not, or engage in the sexual activity on a casual basis...

s. The term carries a moral or religious judgement and is viewed in the context of the mainstream social ideal for sexual activity to take place within exclusive committed relationships. Promiscuity is considered a less restrained sex drive
Sex Drive
Sex drive can refer to libido or sexual desire and may refer to:*"Sexdrive" , a song by Grace Jones*Sex Drive , a 2008 film*Sex Drive , a film by Jean-Daniel Cadinot, Stop Surprise in the original....

.

What sexual behavior
Human sexual behavior
Human sexual activities or human sexual practices or human sexual behavior refers to the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts from time to time, and for a wide variety of reasons...

 is considered "promiscuous" varies between cultures as does the prevalence of promiscuity, with different standards often being applied to different genders and civil status.
Encyclopedia
In humans, promiscuity refers to less discriminating casual sex
Casual sex
Casual sex or hooking up refers to certain types of human sexual activity outside the context of a romantic relationship. The term is not always used consistently: some use it to refer to any extramarital sex, some use it to refer to sex in a casual relationship, whereas others reserve its use for...

 with many sexual partner
Sexual partner
Sexual partners are people who engage in sexual activity together. The sexual partners can be of any gender or sexual orientation. The sexual partners may be in a committed relationship, either on an exclusive basis or not, or engage in the sexual activity on a casual basis...

s. The term carries a moral or religious judgement and is viewed in the context of the mainstream social ideal for sexual activity to take place within exclusive committed relationships. Promiscuity is considered a less restrained sex drive
Sex Drive
Sex drive can refer to libido or sexual desire and may refer to:*"Sexdrive" , a song by Grace Jones*Sex Drive , a 2008 film*Sex Drive , a film by Jean-Daniel Cadinot, Stop Surprise in the original....

.

What sexual behavior
Human sexual behavior
Human sexual activities or human sexual practices or human sexual behavior refers to the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts from time to time, and for a wide variety of reasons...

 is considered "promiscuous" varies between cultures as does the prevalence of promiscuity, with different standards often being applied to different genders and civil status. Feminism
Feminism
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights...

 has traditionally argued that there is a significant double standard between how men and women are judged for promiscuity. Historically, stereotypes of the promiscuous woman have tended to be negative, such as 'the slut
Slut
Slut or slattern is a pejorative term applied to an individual who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous...

', while male stereotypes have been more varied, some expressing approval, such as 'the stud', while others imply societal deviance, such as 'a womaniser
Womaniser
Womaniser or womanizer may refer to:*Womaniser, a promiscuous heterosexual man*"Womanizer" , a 2008 song by Britney Spears...

'. Scientific studies have found that both promiscuous men and women are judged equally harshly and both genders express strong preference for sexually conservative partners. Promiscuity is very often portrayed in literature, cinema and television, for example in the popular series Sex and the City
Sex and the City
Sex and the City is an American television comedy-drama series created by Darren Star and produced by HBO. Broadcast from 1998 until 2004, the original run of the show had a total of ninety-four episodes...

.

Promiscuity is common in many animal species. Some species have promiscuous mating systems, ranging from polyandry
Polyandry
Polyandry refers to a form of marriage in which a woman has two or more husbands at the same time. The form of polyandry in which a woman is married to two or more brothers is known as "fraternal polyandry", and it is believed by many anthropologists to be the most frequently encountered...

 and polygyny
Polygyny
Polygyny is a form of marriage in which a man has two or more wives at the same time. In countries where the practice is illegal, the man is referred to as a bigamist or a polygamist...

 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
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, incidents of promiscuity in species that form pair bonds are usually called extra-pair copulations.

Human promiscuity

Accurately assessing people's sexual behavior is difficult, since there are strong social and personal motivations, depending on social sanctions
Social control
Social control refers generally to societal and political mechanisms or processes that regulate individual and group behavior, leading to conformity and compliance to the rules of a given society, state, or social group. Many mechanisms of social control are cross-cultural, if only in the control...

 and taboo
Taboo
A taboo is a strong social prohibition relating to any area of human activity or social custom that is sacred and or forbidden based on moral judgment, religious beliefs and or scientific consensus. Breaking the taboo is usually considered objectionable or abhorrent by society...

s, for either minimizing or exaggerating reported sexual activity. Extensive research has produced mathematical models of sexual behavior comparing the results generated with the observed prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs
Sexually transmitted disease
Sexually transmitted disease , also known as a sexually transmitted infection or venereal disease , is an illness that has a significant probability of transmission between humans by means of human sexual behavior, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex...

) to statistically estimate the probable sexual behavior of the studied population.

The number of sexual partners an individual has varies within a lifetime, and varies widely within a population. In the U.S., a 2007 national survey had the following results: the median number of female sexual partners reported by men was seven; the median number of male partners reported by women was four. It is possible that men exaggerated their reported number of partners, women reported a number lower than the actual number, and/or a minority of women had a sufficiently larger number than most other women to create a mean significantly higher than the median. Twenty-nine percent of men and nine percent of women reported to have had more than 15 sexual partners in their lifetimes. Studies of the spread of STIs consistently demonstrate that a small percentage of the studied population have more partners than the average man or woman, and a smaller number of people have fewer than the statistical average. An important question in the epidemiology
Epidemiology
Epidemiology is the study of health-event, health-characteristic, or health-determinant patterns in a population. It is the cornerstone method of public health research, and helps inform policy decisions and evidence-based medicine by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive...

 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
Assortative mixing
In the study of complex networks, assortative mixing, or assortativity, is a bias in favor of connections between network nodes with similar characteristics. In the specific case of social networks, assortative mixing is also known as homophily...

).

A 2006 comprehensive global study (analyzing data from 59 countries worldwide) found no firm link between promiscuity and STIs, with poverty and mobility being more important factors. This contradicts other studies.

Global studies

In 2008, a U.S. university study of international promiscuity found that Finnish people have had the largest number of sex partners in the industrialized world, British people
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 having the largest number among big western industrial nations. The study measured one-night stand
One-night stand
Originally, a one-night stand was a single theatre performance, usually by a guest performer on tour, as opposed to an ongoing engagement. Today, however, the term is more commonly defined as a single sexual encounter, in which neither participant has any intention or expectation of a relationship...

s, attitudes to casual sex
Casual sex
Casual sex or hooking up refers to certain types of human sexual activity outside the context of a romantic relationship. The term is not always used consistently: some use it to refer to any extramarital sex, some use it to refer to sex in a casual relationship, whereas others reserve its use for...

, and number of sexual partner
Sexual partner
Sexual partners are people who engage in sexual activity together. The sexual partners can be of any gender or sexual orientation. The sexual partners may be in a committed relationship, either on an exclusive basis or not, or engage in the sexual activity on a casual basis...

s.

Researchers said Britain's position on the international index "may be linked to increasing social acceptance of promiscuity among women as well as men". Britain’s ranking was "ascribed to factors such as the decline of religious scruples about extramarital sex, the growth of equal pay and equal rights for women and a highly sexualised popular culture".

The top-10 ranking OECD nations with a population over 10 million on the study's promiscuity index, in descending order, were the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.

A non-scientific survey conducted in 2007 by condom
Condom
A condom is a barrier device most commonly used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy and spreading sexually transmitted diseases . It is put on a man's erect penis and physically blocks ejaculated semen from entering the body of a sexual partner...

-maker Durex
Durex
Durex is the trademarked name for a range of condoms that used to be made by British company SSL International. This company was sold to Reckitt Benckiser in July 2010....

 measured promiscuity by a total number of sexual partners. The survey found that Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

n men had the highest number of sex partners of males globally with 29.3 sexual partners on average. New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 women had the highest number of sex partners for females in the world with an average of 20.4 sexual partners.

Except New Zealand, men always reported more sexual partners than women.

One study found that people from developed Western countries had more sex partners than people from developing countries in general, while the rate of STIs was higher in developing countries.

According to the 2005 Global Sex Survey by Durex people have had on average 9 sexual partners, the most in Turkey(14.5) and Australia(13.3), and the least in India(3) and China(3.1).

Male promiscuity

A 1994 study in the United States, which looked at the number of sexual partners in a lifetime, found that 20% of heterosexual men had 1, 55% had 2–20, and 25% had 20 or more. Early studies found men with homosexual contact were more likely to have a very large number of sexual partners, but a 1989 study found a very high number of partners (over 100) to be present but rare in that demographic. The difference was attributed to sampling problems with earlier studies, and the influence of AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

.
The words womanizer, playboy, stud, player, "Nagy", ladies' man, lady killer, roué, and rake
Rake (character)
A rake, short for rakehell, is a historic term applied to a man who is habituated to immoral conduct, frequently a heartless womanizer. Often a rake was a man who wasted his fortune on gambling, wine, women and song, incurring lavish debts in the process...

may be used in reference to a man who has romantic affairs
Affair
Affair may refer to professional, personal, or public business matters or to a particular business or private activity of a temporary duration, as in family affair, a private affair, or a romantic affair.-Political affair:...

 and/or sexual relations with women and will not marry or commit to a relationship. The names of real and fictional seducers have become eponymous for such promiscuous men. The most famous are John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, the historical Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie , is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century...

 (1725–98), the fictional Don Juan
Don Juan
Don Juan is a legendary, fictional libertine whose story has been told many times by many authors. El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra by Tirso de Molina is a play set in the fourteenth century that was published in Spain around 1630...

, who first appeared in the 17th century, the fictional Vicomte de Valmont
Les Liaisons dangereuses
Les Liaisons dangereuses is a French epistolary novel by Choderlos de Laclos, first published in four volumes by Durand Neveu from March 23, 1782....

 from Choderlos de Laclos's 18th-century novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons)
Les Liaisons dangereuses
Les Liaisons dangereuses is a French epistolary novel by Choderlos de Laclos, first published in four volumes by Durand Neveu from March 23, 1782....

, and Lothario
Lothario
Lothario is a male first name which came to connote an unscrupulous seducer of women.In The Impertinent Curiosity, a story-within-the-story in Don Quixote , by Miguel de Cervantes, a man named Anselmo coerces Lothario, his faithful friend, to test the virtue of Anselmo's wife, Camila...

 from Nicholas Rowe
Nicholas Rowe (dramatist)
Nicholas Rowe , English dramatist, poet and miscellaneous writer, was appointed Poet Laureate in 1715.-Life:...

's 1703
1703 in literature
The year 1703 in literature involved some significant events.-New books:* Bernard de Mandeville - Some Fables After the Easie and Familiar Method of Monsieur de la Fontaine* Benjamin Whichcote - Moral and Religious Aphorisms-New drama:...

 play The Fair Penitent
The Fair Penitent
The Fair Penitent is Nicholas Rowe's stage adaptation of the tragedy The Fatal Dowry, the Philip Massinger and Nathan Field collaboration first published in 1632...

. James Bond
James Bond (character)
Royal Navy Commander James Bond, CMG, RNVR is a fictional character created by journalist and novelist Ian Fleming in 1953. He is the main protagonist of the James Bond series of novels, films, comics and video games...

, Mauricio Garcés
Mauricio Garcés
Mauricio Féres Yázbek was a Mexican actor.-Personal Life and Career:...

, James T. Kirk
James T. Kirk
James Tiberius "Jim" Kirk is a character in the Star Trek media franchise. Kirk was first played by William Shatner as the principal lead character in the original Star Trek series. Shatner voiced Kirk in the animated Star Trek series and appeared in the first seven Star Trek movies...

, Tony Stark
Iron Man
Iron Man is a fictional character, a superhero in the . The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee, developed by scripter Larry Lieber, and designed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby, first appearing in Tales of Suspense #39 .A billionaire playboy, industrialist and ingenious engineer,...

, Jack Harkness
Jack Harkness
Captain Jack Harkness is a fictional character played by John Barrowman in Doctor Who and its spin-off series, Torchwood. He first appeared in the 2005 Doctor Who episode "The Empty Child" and reappeared in the remaining episodes of the 2005 series as a companion of the ninth incarnation of the...

  and Barney Stinson
Barney Stinson
Barnabas "Barney" Stinson is a fictional character created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas for the CBS television series How I Met Your Mother, portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris. The character has been extremely well received by critics and has been credited for much of the show's success...

 are famous fictional characters that can be considered womanizers.

During the English Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 period (1660–88), the term rake was used glamorously: the Restoration rake is a carefree, witty, sexually irresistible aristocrat typified by Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

's courtiers, the Earl of Rochester
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester , styled Viscount Wilmot between 1652 and 1658, was an English Libertine poet, a friend of King Charles II, and the writer of much satirical and bawdy poetry. He was the toast of the Restoration court and a patron of the arts...

 and the Earl of Dorset
Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset
Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset and 1st Earl of Middlesex was an English poet and courtier.-Early Life:He was son of Richard Sackville, 5th Earl of Dorset...

, who combined riotous living with intellectual pursuits and patronage of the arts. The Restoration rake is celebrated in the Restoration comedy
Restoration comedy
Restoration comedy refers to English comedies written and performed in the Restoration period from 1660 to 1710. After public stage performances had been banned for 18 years by the Puritan regime, the re-opening of the theatres in 1660 signalled a renaissance of English drama...

 of the 1660s and the 1670s. After the reign of Charles II, and especially after the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 of 1688, the rake was perceived negatively and became the butt of moralistic tales in which his typical fate was debtor's prison
Debtor's prison
A debtors' prison is a prison for those who are unable to pay a debt.Prior to the mid 19th century debtors' prisons were a common way to deal with unpaid debt.-Debt bondage in ancient Greece and Rome:...

, permanent venereal disease, and, in the case of William Hogarth
William Hogarth
William Hogarth was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects"...

's A Rake's Progress
A Rake's Progress
A Rake's Progress is a series of eight paintings by 18th century English artist William Hogarth. The canvases were produced in 1732–33 then engraved and published in print form in 1735...

, syphilis-induced insanity
Neurosyphilis
Neurosyphilis is an infection of the brain or spinal cord caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It usually occurs in people who have had untreated syphilis for many years, usually about 10 - 20 years after first infection.-Symptoms and signs:...

 and internment in Bedlam
Bethlem Royal Hospital
The Bethlem Royal Hospital is a psychiatric hospital located in London, United Kingdom and part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Although no longer based at its original location, it is recognised as the world's first and oldest institution to specialise in mental illnesses....

.

Female promiscuity

In 1994, a study in the United States found that 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.
More recent research, however, contradicts the assertion that heterosexual women are largely monogamous. A 2002 study estimated that 45% to 55% of married heterosexual women engage in sexual relationships outside of their marriage. While the estimates for heterosexual males in the same study were greater (50%-60%), nevertheless the data indicate that a significant portion of married heterosexual women have or have had sexual partners other than their spouse.
Since at least 1450, the word slut
Slut
Slut or slattern is a pejorative term applied to an individual who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous...

has been used, usually pejoratively, to describe a sexually promiscuous woman. In and before the Elizabethan
Elizabethan era
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

 and Jacobean era
Jacobean era
The Jacobean era refers to the period in English and Scottish history that coincides with the reign of King James VI of Scotland, who also inherited the crown of England in 1603 as James I...

s, terms like "strumpet" and "whore" were used to describe women deemed promiscuous, as seen for example in John Webster
John Webster
John Webster was an English Jacobean dramatist best known for his tragedies The White Devil and The Duchess of Malfi, which are often regarded as masterpieces of the early 17th-century English stage. He was a contemporary of William Shakespeare.- Biography :Webster's life is obscure, and the dates...

's 1612 play The White Devil
The White Devil
The White Devil is a revenge tragedy from 1612 by English playwright John Webster . A notorious failure when it premiered, Webster complained the play was acted in the dead of winter before an unreceptive audience. The play's complexity, sophistication and satire made it a poor fit with the...

.

Promiscuity privilege of female nobility

In some tribes of Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

, "A woman who is a Paramount Chief
Paramount chief
A paramount chief is the highest-level traditional chief or political leader in a regional or local polity or country typically administered politically with a chief-based system. This definition is used occasionally in anthropological and archaeological theory to refer to the rulers of multiple...

 may have sexual intercourse with as many men as she pleases."

Evolution

Evolutionary psychologists
Evolutionary psychology
Evolutionary psychology is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations, that is, the functional...

 propose that a conditional human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 tendency for promiscuity is inherited from hunter-gatherer
Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer or forage society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were...

 ancestors. Promiscuity increases the likelihood of having children, and thus evolutionary fitness. Female promiscuity is advantageous in that it allows females to choose fathers for their children who have better genes than their mate, to ensure better care for their offspring, and as a form of fertility insurance. Male promiscuity, they say, was advantageous because it allowed males to father more children.

Primitive promiscuity

Primitive promiscuity or original promiscuity, is the 19th century hypothesis that humans originally lived in a state of promiscuity or "hetaerism
Hetaerism
Hetaerism or hetairism can mean:*A term employed by 19th century anthropologists to indicate a theoretical early state of human society characterized by the absence of the institution of marriage in any form. Women were the common property of their tribe, and the children never knew their fathers...

".

Extra-pair copulation in animals

In the animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

 world, some species of animals, including bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s such as swan
Swan
Swans, genus Cygnus, are birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form the tribe Cygnini. Sometimes, they are considered a distinct subfamily, Cygninae...

s, once believed monogamous, are now known to engage in extra-pair copulations. Although social monogamy occurs in about 90 percent of avian species and about 3 percent of mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

ian species, investigators estimate that 90 percent of socially monogamous species exhibit individual promiscuity in the form of extra-pair copulations.

Two examples of promiscuous animals are the primates chimpanzees and bonobo
Bonobo
The bonobo , Pan paniscus, previously called the pygmy chimpanzee and less often, the dwarf or gracile chimpanzee, is a great ape and one of the two species making up the genus Pan. The other species in genus Pan is Pan troglodytes, or the common chimpanzee...

s. These species live in social groups consisting of several males and several females. Each male copulates with many females, and vice-versa. In bonobos, the amount of promiscuity is particularly striking because bonobos use sex to alleviate social conflict as well as to reproduce.

See also

  • Cottaging
    Cottaging
    Cottaging is a British gay slang term referring to anonymous sex between men in a public lavatory , or cruising for sexual partners with the intention of having sex elsewhere...

  • Hetaera
    Hetaera
    In ancient Greece, hetaerae were courtesans, that is to say, highly educated, sophisticated companions...

  • Monogamy
    Monogamy
    Monogamy /Gr. μονός+γάμος - one+marriage/ a form of marriage in which an individual has only one spouse at any one time. In current usage monogamy often refers to having one sexual partner irrespective of marriage or reproduction...

  • Polygamy
    Polygamy
    Polygamy is a marriage which includes more than two partners...

  • Polyandry
    Polyandry
    Polyandry refers to a form of marriage in which a woman has two or more husbands at the same time. The form of polyandry in which a woman is married to two or more brothers is known as "fraternal polyandry", and it is believed by many anthropologists to be the most frequently encountered...

  • Polygynandry
    Polygynandry
    Polygynandry occurs when two or more males have an exclusive relationship with two or more females. The numbers of males and females need not be equal, and in vertebrate species studied so far, the number of males is usually lower.-In Bonobos:...

  • Polyamory
    Polyamory
    Polyamory is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved....

  • Sexual addiction
    Sexual addiction
    Sexual addiction is a popular model to explain hypersexuality—sexual urges, behaviors, or thoughts that appear extreme in frequency or feel out of one's control...

  • Mating system
    Mating system
    A mating system is a way in which a group is structured in relation to sexual behaviour. The precise meaning depends upon the context. With respect to higher animals, it specifies which males mate with which females, under which circumstances; recognised animal mating systems include monogamy,...

  • Swinging
    Swinging
    Swinging or partner swapping is a non-monogamous behavior, in which both partners in a committed relationship agree, as a couple, for both partners to engage in sexual activities with other couples as a recreational or social activity...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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