There's apparently no difference between men and women when it comes to wanting multiple lovers, putting to bed popular claims that men are more likely to go out and cheat.
However, you might be able to tell a person's tendency to be promiscuous from the length of their index finger relative to their ring finger.
In a joint study, scientists from the University of Oxford and Northumbria University asked 575 North Americans and British people about their opinions on “non-committal” sex. The results, which are published in the journal Biology Letters, show that the desire for a fling is related to personality type, and has nothing to do with gender.
The researchers also studied the lengths of different fingers on the hands of 1,314 men and women in the UK. They found that the shorter the index finger compared to the ring finger, the more likely the person was to be sexually promiscuous.
The finger effect was irrespective of gender, and according to the researchers it is related to the amount of testosterone a person was exposed to during developing in the womb – a large amount of testosterone leads to a shorter index finger and a more promiscuous nature.
Two groups became apparent during the analysis – one in which people tended to have a longer index finger and wanted a long-term partner, and one in which people had a shorter index finger and usually were more prone to cheat.
Previous studies have given similar results, and this makes humans an odd species in the big scheme of things – in nature, most species are either completely committed or totally promiscuous, but rarely in between.
Dr Wlodarski said, one of the researchers involved in the study, said:
This research suggests that there may be two distinct types of individuals within each sex pursuing different mating strategies.We observed what appears to be a cluster of males and a cluster of females who are more inclined to 'stay', with a separate cluster of males and females being more inclined to 'stray', when it comes to sexual relationships.