London, Mar 7 : New research has debunked the myth that men are crazy about sex while women are more soft and romantic by finding that French women have become increasingly assertive in their sexual habits.
According to the study by the French Aids research agency, French women have more than twice as many partners now as they did in the 1970s while one in five younger men 'manifests no interest in sex'.
"Are women just like men?" asked the French Aids research agency, Le Nouvel Observateur, which has carried out the Study on Sexuality in France.
In fact, the researchers came to the conclusion after carrying out in-depth interviews with over 12,000 people of all ages during 2005-06
The proportion of French women who claim to have had only one partner has dropped from 68 per cent in 1970, to 43 per cent in 1992 and 34 per cent in 2006.
A woman's average number of partners has risen from under two in 1970 to over five today, while a man's has remained the same for four decades, almost 13.
French women's first experience of sex is now almost as early as that of the opposite sex: in 1950 there was a two-year difference, but the gap has narrowed to four months, to around 17 and a half. Meanwhile, more women remain sexually active for longer than previously: nine-out-of-10 women over 50 are sexually active today, compared to just 50 per cent of that age group in 1970.
"The good old dichotomy (male predators, females patiently awaiting the warrior's return in front of the cave entrance) is in big trouble", the Telegraph quoted Le Nouvel Observateur, as saying.
Despite the changes in female behaviour observed in the study, some things have not altered in 40 years.
Men found it easier than women to disassociate sex from love, but the research suggested this was due to nurture rather than nature.
The study said: "Young women are still educated to consider their entrance into sexuality as a sentimental-relationship experience."