Artists Have More Sexual Partners, U.K. Survey Hints

Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News
December 15, 2005

A survey of 425 British men and women found that creative people have more sexual partners.

Researchers at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Open University asked participants about their artistic skills and their history of sexual encounters since the age of 18.

Professional artists and poets reported sleeping with twice as many partners as other adults sampled.

Daniel Nettle, a psychology professor at the University of Newcastle's School of Biology, said two factors may explain the findings.

"Creative people are often considered to be very attractive and get lots of attention as a result," he said. "They tend to be charismatic and produce art and poetry that grabs people's interest."

Alternatively "it could also be that very creative types lead a bohemian lifestyle and tend to act on more sexual impulses and opportunities, often purely for experience's sake, than the average person would," he said.

"Moreover, it's common to find that this sexual behavior is tolerated in creative people. Partners, even long-term ones, are less likely to expect loyalty and fidelity from them."

According to the survey, professional artists and poets had between four to ten sexual partners, on average, compared to three partners for nonartists.

The study appeared last month in the U.K.-based science journal Proceedings of the Royal Society.

Do Artists Attract?

Citing the survey's methodology, some outside sexual-behavior experts questioned the study authors' conclusions.

Erick Janssen, of Indiana University's Kinsey Institute, said that while the study results were "intriguing," other factors may explain the findings.

Continued on Next Page >>


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