A survey conducted by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2019–2021 found that women have more sexual partners than men in many states and Union Territories. The survey was conducted in 707 districts among 1.1 million women and one million men.
In nearly 11 states and UTs, women have more sexual partners than men. These states are Rajasthan, Haryana, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, and Tamil Nadu. Rajasthan had the highest number of women with an average of 3.1 sexual partners compared to 1.8 for men. A marginally more significant proportion of rural women than urban women and those currently married than those who have never married, divorced, or widowed reported having sex with two or more partners in the 12 months before the survey.
However, according to NFHS data, a larger population of men (3.6%) than women (0.5%) had intercourse with those who were neither their spouses nor cohabitants just 12 months before the survey. The survey aimed primarily at measuring the prevalence of high-risk sex and the use of condoms during such sex, as low condom use, in general, could put people at greater risk of HIV/AIDS. The NFHS report also provides data on socio-economic and other background characteristics useful for policy formulation and effective program implementation.