Most Americans can count their sexual partners on one hand, and ISU students are no exception.

A random-digit telephone survey conducted by Yankelovich Partners questioned 1,000 adults aged 18 to 65 and found men who claim they have had 14 sexual partners are actually in the minority.

Overall, the majority - about 53 percent of the men and women surveyed - said they have had one to five partners.

The poll concludes that on average, men claim to have had 14 sexual partners over their lifetime, while women claim to have had five.

Peter Kanaris, sex therapist in Smithtown, N.Y. with a Ph.D. in psychology, is not surprised by this figure. "There's a greater awareness of STDs [today]," he said. "In the '70s, there were places like Studio 54. It was really a time of sexual casualness."

The AIDS epidemic changed that, Kanaris said.

Brian Dunn, health promotions coordinator for the ISU Wellness Center, said that on average men do have more partners than women.

"More men report [sexually transmitted diseases] than women," he said.

However, Dunn said, that may be because women's symptoms are less apparent than men's.

Despite the known risks of AIDS, both Dunn and Kanaris said young adults have more partners than middle-aged adults.

"In college, the numbers tend to be higher," Kanaris said. Once people start settling down, he said, they don't have as many partners.

Some ISU students may already be settling down.

Dunn said the National College Health Assessment of Iowa State University students reported that in the past year, men and women had an average of 1.12 partners.

This does not mean, he said, that college students engage in sex with a different partner every year in college. Instead, students may be involved in long-term relationships, and their partner is the same person each year.

The survey, which also found 9 percent of those polled claiming to have more than 30 partners in their lifetime, was sponsored by Adam & Eve, a mail-order distributor of erotica.

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