Awkward New Study Has Even More Awkward New Finding

grandma II
Telegraph UK is reporting that women in this generation have three times more sexual partners on average than their grandmothers did. From the article:

“Almost one in 10 of those asked said that they had had slept with more than 10 lovers by the age of 24. The average was 5.65 people.

By contrast, women of their mother’s generation, who were in their early twenties in the 1980s, had had an average of 3.72 sexual partners by the same age.

And…women of their grandmother’s generation, aged 24 in the 1960s, averaged…1.67 partners.”

Now I’m not one to dwell on the numbers — I don’t think number of sexual partners is necessarily a factor that gets at the quality or any other significant aspects of one’s sex life — but I do think this study is interesting to the extent that it is able to quantify attitudes about sex that have shifted over time and throughout generations.

So while the wording of the article isn’t perfect (what’s the scientific definition of promiscuous? Don’t have one? Ok, then you probbbly shouldn’t use it in a scientific study), I’m posting the findings to see what yall think.

As for me, aside from being relatively unsurprised (“times have changed”, or so they say), I can’t help but wonder if this is a trend that will continue over future generations, or shift with time. Will our generation go on record as having the highest number of average sexual partners? Or are we just the latest to take part in an ongoing trend? Does information like this matter in feminism, or is it largely irrelevant? Do you feel particularly close to your grandmother right now? Weigh in in comments :-)

photo via kalidoskopika

h/t to SexNSiddity

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman started blogging with Feministing in 2008, and now runs partnerships and strategy as a co-Executive Director. She is also the Director of Youth Engagement at Women Deliver, where she promotes meaningful youth engagement in international development efforts, including through running the award-winning Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. Lori was formerly the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and has also worked at the United Nations Foundation on the Secretary-General's flagship Every Woman Every Child initiative, and at the International Women’s Health Coalition and Human Rights Watch. As a leading voice on women’s rights issues, Lori frequently consults, speaks and publishes on feminism, activism and movement-building. A graduate of Harvard University, Lori has been named to The Root 100 list of the most influential African Americans in the United States, and to Forbes Magazine‘s list of the “30 Under 30” successful mediamakers. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

Read more about Lori

Join the Conversation