Americans, you're prudes!

British men and women are now the most promiscuous of any big Western industrial nation, followed by the Germans and the Dutch, researchers have found. Americans come in at No. 6 on the sexual promiscuity chart, according to a study from Bradley University in Illinois.

In an international index measuring one-night stands, total numbers of partners and attitudes to casual sex, Britain comes out ahead of the U.S., Australia, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany.

The researchers behind the study say high scores such as Britain’s may be linked to the way society is increasingly willing to accept sexual promiscuity among women as well as men. They also believe that, among certain age groups and at certain times, men and women are equally liberal.

The researchers say that cultural developments have meant women are now as able to engage in no-strings sex as men. “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 David Schmitt, a professor of psychology at Bradley University, Illinois, who oversaw the research.

The study was conducted by asking more than 14,000 people in 48 countries to fill in anonymous questionnaires. Respondents were asked about numbers of partners and one-night stands, and their attitudes were assessed by asking them how many people they expected to sleep with over the next five years and how comfortable they were with the idea of casual sex.

One of the most intriguing ideas emerging from Schmitt’s work is that when women are at their most fertile they become even more willing than men to consider one-night stands.

Click here for more on this story from the Times of London.

Country Rankings

1. United Kingdom

2. Germany

3. Netherlands

4. Czech Republic

5. Australia

6. America

7. France

8. Turkey

9. Mexico

10. Canada

11. Italy

12. Poland

13. Spain

14. Greece

15. Portugal

Source: David Schmitt, Bradley University