Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Easy Virtue

David P. Schmitt of Bradley University compared the sociosexuality of no fewer than 48 countries in a scholarly paper entitled Sociosexuality from Argentina to Zimbabwe: A 48 nation study of sex, culture, and strategies of human mating. A sociosexual orientation is a tendency toward either unrestricted casual sex or toward stable committed relationships. Dave must have had a blast gathering data. (Was it a taxpayer-funded grant?) Keep in mind the results have little to do with pay-for-sex hot spots (Amsterdam, for instance), which often exist in places in which much more culturally conservative attitudes prevail generally. Nearly all of the differences among countries are in female attitudes; men don’t vary much place to place, and to the extent they do it is in the opposite direction to women.

There are some surprises. The supposedly reserved Brits score far higher than Americans who, amazingly, edge out the supposedly amorous French.

Schmitt’s method for deriving the actual numbers is complex. I suggest consulting the study if you are interested (it is dry and in PhD-ese, but informative), but the bottom-line results are below. High scores lean casual.

Finland 50.50
New Zealand 47.69
Slovenia 46.26
Lithuania 46.10
Austria 45.73
Latvia 43.93
Croatia 42.98
Israel 40.95
Bolivia 40.90
Argentina 40.74
UK 40.17
Estonia 39.95
Germany 39.68
Netherlands 39.34
Morocco 39.31
Switzerland 39.13
Serbia 38.72
Fiji 38.58
Brazil 37.93
Czech Rep. 37.52
Australia 37.29
USA 37.05
France 36.57
Turkey 36.06
Mexico 35.69
Slovakia 34.90
Peru 34.59
Canada 34.52
Italy 34.37
Poland 34.21
Spain 33.72
Belgium 32.82
Congo, DR 32.43
Greece 32.38
Ukraine 32.27
Romania 32.16
Philippines 32.10
Malta 31.27
Portugal 29.55
Lebanon 28.57
Botswana 27.02
Ethiopia 26.55
Japan 24.10
Hong Kong 22.90
Zimbabwe 22.66
South Korea 22.21
Bangladesh 19.67
Taiwan 19.22

Overall 35.31

The Finns, huh? Who knew?


  1. Well the last I heard the Finns also had the highest number of alcohol related deaths, so those may tie together somehow. ;)

  2. You may be onto something. Perhaps I should stock my shelves with Karpalet.