Intended for healthcare professionals

Education And Debate

Commentary: Promiscuity is acceptable only for men

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 07 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:460
  1. Dinesh Bhugra, senior lecturer in psychiatrya (
  1. a Institute of Psychiatry, London SE5 8AF

    Culture, society, and family are important factors in the way an individual functions. The role of virginity, fertility, and the influence of the family are the main contributors to trends in sexual and marital relationships across cultures.1 Although promiscuity may carry high prestige for men, promiscuous women are generally scorned. Men prefer chaste women in order to ensure their paternity.2

    Ford and Beach, in their survey of 190 societies worldwide, divided these into three types: restrictive ones, where sexuality outside …

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