However, she said some groups may have been underrepresented in the sample and it would be important for the findings to be replicated in other countries.

“In future surveys, participants could be encouraged to use a counting strategy (rather than estimating) when asked to report their number of partners,” she said.

Graham concluded: “When men report having more lifetime sexual partners than women, this is most likely due to aspects of the survey methodology and misreporting due to social norms, rather than actual gender differences in the number of sexual partners that men and women have had.”