The term can carry a moral judgement if the social ideal for sexual activity is monogamous relationships.
A common example of behavior viewed as promiscuous by many cultures is the one-night stand, and its frequency is used by researchers as a marker for promiscuity.
A 2006 systematic review (analyzing data from 59 countries worldwide) found no association between regional sexual behavior tendencies, such as number of sexual partners, and sexual-health status.
Britain’s ranking was "ascribed to factors such as the decline of religious scruples about extramarital sex, the growth of equal pay and equal rights for women and a highly sexualised popular culture".
The top-10-ranking OECD nations with a population over 10 million on the study's promiscuity index, in descending order, were the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Australia, the United States, France, Turkey, Mexico, and Canada.
Ok Cupid discovered a similar pattern in the data collected from its vast number of users, published in 2010: the median number of self-reported lifetime sexual partners for both gay and straight men was six; however, a small minority of gay men (2%) were having a disproportionate share of all self-reported gay sex (23%).
The words 'womanizer', 'playboy', 'stud', 'player', 'ladies' man', 'lady killer', and 'rake' may be used in reference to a man who has romantic affairs or sexual relations, or both, with women, and who will not be monogamous.
No woman, by contrast, agreed to such propositions from men of average attractiveness.
While men were in general comfortable with the requests, regardless of their willingness ("Why do we have to wait until tonight?
Many species form stable pair bonds, but still mate with other individuals outside the pair.
In biology, incidents of promiscuity in species that form pair bonds are usually called extra-pair copulations.
What sexual behavior is considered promiscuous varies between cultures, as does the prevalence of promiscuity.
Different standards are often applied to different genders and civil statuses.
The men possibly exaggerated their reported number of partners, women reported a number lower than the actual number, or a minority of women had a sufficiently larger number than most other women to create a mean significantly higher than the median, or all of the above (see Pareto principle).