The newest data on persons having many partners – obtained in 2019-21 via the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) – reveals that in urban India women are not that far behind males, with an average of 1.5 sexual partners compared to 1.7 for men.
Women averaged more sexual partners than males in various states and UTs. Rajasthan, Haryana, J&K, and MP are in the north and central India; Assam, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala are in the south. Rural women had more lifetime sexual partners (1.8) than urban women, while males had the same number.
Men (3.6%) were more likely than women (0.5%) to have had sexual relations with a non-spouse or non-roommate in the year before the poll.
The data was gathered to measure the prevalence of higher-risk sex and condom use during such sex since poor condom use might increase HIV/AIDS risk.
1,100,000 women and 1,000,000 males responded. The fact that so many respondents, particularly women, were ready to talk about sexual partners, including sex outside marriage, is noteworthy. While women may underreport, males may wishfully exaggerate.
The study also asked how many women had two or more relationships in the last year. A somewhat bigger number of rural women than urban women and presently married women indicated they had sex with two or more partners in the year before the study.
Men reported using condoms during high-risk intercourse somewhat more than women did.
Hindu males had the most sexual partners during a lifetime (2.2), followed by Christians and Sikhs (1.7). (1.1). Buddhists/neo-Buddhists and Sikhs had the largest percentage of males with multiple partners in the last year, while Jains and Muslims had the lowest.
Women and men who never married were more likely to report having intercourse with someone who was neither their spouse nor lived with them.
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