​​​The Unanticipated Correlates of Promiscuity Two related factors—education and intelligence—are highly predictive of having a large number of sex partners.

Some of us have a mental portrait of Promiscuous America that looks like the Jerry Springer Show, but this doesn’t seem to comport with reality.

The data show a linear increase in the percentage of women who fall into the high side of sexual adventurousness.

In 1990, about 3% of women had had over 15 sex partners. Additional analysis suggests that women’s increasing sexual adventurousness over the years of the time series represents a secular trend towards promiscuity.

The story is different for men, for whom promiscuity was most common in the previous decade.

Since then, a declining proportion of men have had 50 or more sex partners.

The Trends Overall, younger Americans are now having sex with fewer people than their Boomer or Gen X elders, but that’s not the case for the female promiscuous minority.

The figure below looks at what portion of the sample for each survey year falls into the top five percentile for the entire sample; in order words, what proportion of women for each survey year had 16 or more partners.

Regular attendance (defined as several times a month or more) translates into the lowest odds of sexual sybaritism.

Only 2% of survey respondents who attend religious service regularly fall into the top five percentile of promiscuity, whereas 7% of non-attenders do.

This includes 10% of unaffiliated women, and 7% of unaffiliated men.