A survey by a condom maker has found New Zealand women to be the most promiscuous in the world. Not the most flattering thing to be leading the world in. The survey found that New Zealand women had 20.3 sexual partners on average. Another long-running Otago multi-disciplinary study finds that half the female participants had 8 or fewer partners by age 32, but that a smaller group of highly active women push up the average. The New Zealand Herald reports:
Many young women are being sexually promiscuous because they feel a need to compete with men. That’s the view of sex therapist Mary Hodson who is seeing “heaps of hurt young women” who have had numerous partners – many of whom they don’t know very well…Mrs Hodson, co-owner and director of Sex Therapy NZ, said there was also a slightly older group of single women, in their late 20s and 30s, who were feeling like “they have to compete to get a man…they have got to be sexual to engage that person in a relationship”.
Gynaecologist Dr Albert Makary told a Forum on the Family in Auckland last week that Kiwi society normalised promiscuity and asked national leaders, schools and the media to start a national campaign against it. Emily McKenzie, 22, comments in the NZ Herald “What I’ve seen is young girls that are sleeping around to try and find love and boost their self esteem”. Mrs Salisbury, another director or Sex Therapy NZ comments:
Certainly when people talk to me about promiscuous pasts, it’s usually with regret. They are reflecting on a lack of confidence they had, or their belief that they would get love through sex or feel good about themselves…It’s really sad. These girls are under pressure to wear make-up and short skirts in order to feel pretty. It makes them seem older and then the males are treating them like they are. It’s confusing their self-identity and sets up unhealthy patterns for later in life.
I’m not sure what it is that makes New Zealand girls the most promiscuous – perhaps a stronger culture of sexual freedom- but certainly other world figures are also very high. Psychiatrists recognise the emotional trauma multiple sexual relationships cause, and surely even those who live with each other for a number of years in sexual relationships and then break up, end up with what amounts to the emotional experience of multiple divorces, despite the fact such relationships often begin casually, with many people moving in together after only a few months. Most worrying is the respect girls have for themselves and their own safety, both sexually and emotionally. The experience of sex becomes diminished for girls who sleep with multiple men for momentary intimacy, and perhaps they do not believe in themselves to realise that they can demand, and deserve, much more.