French women are becoming increasingly assertive in their sexual habits, while one-in-five younger French men "has no interest in sex", according to one of the most comprehensive surveys of the nation's love lives.
Women now have more than twice as many partners as they did in the 1970s, according to the study by the French Aids research agency, which is backed by the government.
"Are women just like men?" asked Le Nouvel Observateur yesterday, which released extracts of the Study on Sexuality in France, a 600-page tome that brings together 12,000 in-depth interviews with people of all ages conducted during 2005-06.
One of the biggest changes in recent years, according to the report, was that male and female sexual behaviour had become increasingly similar.
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.