[See also my post on black precociousness]
Rushton (1995) makes a number of claims regarding race and sexual behaviour. The races fall into a pattern of blacks on one end of the spectrum, asians on the other, and whites in between. Blacks supposedly have:
– an earler age of sexual debut
– greater numbers of sexual partners
– greater intercourse frequency
– greater degree of concurrent sexual relationships
Age of puberty and sexual debut
I discuss these issues in my post on black precocity. In sum, the data from the U.S. consistently shows earlier onset of puberty and sexual activity for blacks. However, the global data does not lend much support to such differences.
Number of sexual partners
In the United States, blacks seem to have more lifetime sexual partners than other ethnicities(1,2). In Britain, too, black men have more sexual partners, and significantly higher prevalence of concurrent relationships (1,3,4). This is especially interesting, because Britain has large numbers of both black Africans and Caribbeans, and black Africans are a highly successful group in Britain (being an elite sample) – in this study, African men being the most qualified ethnicity. The differences in social health show up clearly between the African and Caribbean sample in the different ages of sexual debut – for Caribbean males, it is 15, but for Africans it is 17 (the same age as white males). Despite that, when comparing whites, blacks from the Caribbean and Africa, Pakistanis, and Indians – black men from the two parts of the world looked more like each other in terms of numbers of sexual partners and concurrency, despite being far apart socioeconomically.
However, globally, the data is different. Though concurrency, as I discuss elsewhere, is a global phenomenon associated with blacks, there is no evidence that blacks in Africa have more lifetime sexual partners than other regions of the world, in fact, generally the evidence indicates less than western nations(5,6).
Rushton reported global and national data suggesting greater intercourse frequency among blacks. In a now familiar pattern, in the U.S. blacks do perhaps have intercourse at a greater frequency(1,7,8), though the differences are not very large, and sometimes not there at all(9). There is also some evidence for greater intercourse frequency among blacks in Britain(1).
However, what global data there is, does not argue for Sub-Saharan countries deviating from the normal range of global variation in comparison to western and eastern nations(10,11,12). In any case, intercourse frequency is highly dependent on other factors – for example, as is pointed out in Sexual Frequency, Women’s Decision-Making, and Contraceptive Use in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multi-Country Analysis (2010): “Based on qualitative and quantitative evidence from Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan, it has been found that the move from arranged marriages to romantic marriages affects coital frequency, particularly for younger people. This shift in marriage type, which has also increased coital frequency in some Asian nations, particularly in new marriages…”
Concurrent Sexual Relationships
I deal with this issue elsewhere. Suffice it to say, there is a global pattern of concurrent relationships being more common among blacks (men that is) – in Africa, Britain, the U.S. and the Caribbean.