In humans, promiscuity refers to less discriminating casual sex with many sexual partners. The term carries a moral or religious judgement and is viewed in the context of the mainstream social ideal for sexual activity to take place within exclusive committed relationships. Promiscuity is considered a less restrained sex drive.
What sexual behavior is considered "promiscuous" varies between cultures as does the prevalence of promiscuity, with different standards often being applied to different genders and civil status. Feminism has traditionally argued that there is a significant double standard between how men and women are judged for promiscuity. Historically, stereotypes of the promiscuous woman have tended to be negative, such as 'the slut', while male stereotypes have been more varied, some expressing approval, such as 'the stud', while others imply societal deviance, such as 'a womaniser'. Scientific studies have found that both promiscuous men and women are judged equally harshly and both genders express strong preference for sexually conservative partners. Promiscuity is very often portrayed in literature, cinema and television, for example in the popular series Sex and the City.
Promiscuity is common in many animal species. Some species have promiscuous mating systems, ranging from polyandry and polygyny to mating systems with no stable relationships where mating between two individuals is a one-time event. Many species form stable pair bonds but still mate with other individuals outside the pair. In biology, incidents of promiscuity in species that form pair bonds are usually called extra-pair copulations.