And the sluttiest Western nation is ...

Yeah, of course we're going to make you click.

Published December 5, 2008 11:21AM (EST)

Do you know your sociosexual orientation? Me? Hadn’t even heard the word before this morning. Evolutionary psychologists -- yeah, the same ones who can, on occasion, drive us batty when pop versions of their theories are used to describe why dating sucks so much -- use the term to measure how sexually liberal one is. In sex, of course, it’s all about the numbers, and thus researcher David Schmitt has compiled a helpful index to rank the sociosexuality of people -- most fall between four and 65 -- and countries.

Drum roll, please: The most promiscuous men and women in Western industrial nations can be found in Britain, well ahead of the United States (six) and those clichéd countries of European romance, France (seven) and Italy (11). (The highest overall ranking was Finland; the lowest, Taiwan, but neither is discussed in this particular piece).

Britain's liberal sociosexuality, according to researchers, has much to do with the ladies -- and the diminishing slut-stud double standard. “Historically we have repressed women’s short-term mating and there are all sorts of double standards out there where men’s short-term mating was sort of acceptable but women's wasn’t,” said Schmitt, who also cited a less stigmatized view of premarital sex, increased sexual equality at work, and a highly sexualized pop culture. You can almost see the posters: Feminism! It gets you laid!

But along with sexual freedom comes, well, freedom. The British are apparently more likely to have "poached" their partners: A third of men and 28 percent of British women are in relationships with people who were in a long-term relationship with someone else when they first got together. What a term! It almost makes me want to claim my boyfriend as stolen property, just so I can introduce him as my "poached lover." Sounds like a delicious dish!


By Amy Benfer

Amy Benfer is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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