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Paul Thomas is a Weekend Herald columnist

Paul Thomas: Promiscuity title latest to be stolen by Australia

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The male stars of The GC seem to think women are only there for one thing, and it's not polite conversation. Photo / Supplied
The male stars of The GC seem to think women are only there for one thing, and it's not polite conversation. Photo / Supplied

Women behind steamy statistic appear to have all moved to GC

Imagine the reactions around the nation's breakfast tables as Kiwis came to grips with Conservative Party leader Colin Craig's claim that our young women are "the most promiscuous in the world".

Seeing Craig is an evangelical Christian who preaches family values, many people must have wondered, "How would he know?" Durwood Douche's underground jazz classic Everybody's F****** But Me probably sums up the feelings of blokes who aren't getting a piece of all this action.

Those who know their history would have pointed out that New Zealand has always been ahead of the field in women's affairs. We were the first country to give women the vote, and Onehunga was the first borough in the British Empire to elect a female mayor.

Prime Minister John Key, who's on a bit of an anti-roll right now, could have responded in any number of ways but opted for the first thing that entered his head, which was that Craig had made it up.

In fact, Craig's source was a 2007 survey which found that New Zealand women averaged 20 sexual partners compared with the global average of seven.

The results were released just after the All Blacks were tipped out of the World Cup, which might explain why they escaped people's notice, although if there was ever a time when we needed to be number one in the world at something, anything at all, it was then.

You may be wondering why Craig singled out young women, since if they have plenty of sexual partners it would seem to follow that the same is true of young men. Interestingly, the survey also found that this is the only country in the world where women have more sexual partners than men.

Kiwi males average 16 partners, which would put them on top, so to speak, pretty much everywhere else. Presumably male tourists are the beneficiaries of this discrepancy.

Men didn't get off scot-free. After dismissing Craig's claim as "ridiculous and offensive", Social Development Minister Paula Bennett suggested in a convoluted way that the problem of young single mums was partly attributable to them being "preyed" on by older men.

That would seem to leave our older women as the only slice of the demographic that doesn't need to take a long, cold shower. Perhaps those reported sightings of the mythical Kiwi cougar should be treated with caution.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira advised Kiwi women to go and see Craig and "set him straight". Leaving aside the rather provocative choice of words given the subject under discussion, one would like to know how they're supposed to do that: by standing around for hours on end making small talk and ostentatiously not engaging in sex?

New Zealand First's leader Winston Peters reckoned the fact that the PM was open to a potential coalition with "someone who held such a belief only showed how desperate National was".

Actually there's an even more revealing indicator of National's desperation: the fact that Key is now refusing to rule out a deal with Peters in 2014.

Craig's bombshell was triggered by the Government's $1 million initiative to provide grants for women on benefits to get long-term contraception.

Both the measure itself and Craig's reaction ("Constant changing partners is a decision young women are making") evoked Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World which depicts a society in which natural reproduction has been virtually done away with, sex has become a social activity, relationships are obsolete and the few women allowed to reproduce carry their contraceptives in Malthusian belts which double as fashion accessories.

In an attempt to get to the bottom of this controversy, I forced myself to sit through an episode of TV3's bewildering new mockumentary The GC.

I say bewildering because it's impossible to work out what's going on with The GC. Is it a case of Australia trying to lure impressionable young Kiwis, or are we trying to get rid of narcissistic airheads? Is it New Zealand on Air trying to disprove once and for all the charge that it squanders taxpayers' money on high-brow arty-farty projects which no one watches, or an attempt to explain why Quade Cooper, an inoffensive young lad from Tokoroa, turned into such a dickhead?

According to wannabe rapper Nate, Gold Coast girls are "pretty slutty - any girl is plausible". That seems conclusive but Nate was actually born in Australia so may be unaware of the heights of sluttiness being scaled on this side of the Tasman.

The last word belongs to scaffolder, property investor and colossal dimwit Tame, seemingly the star of the show: "Girls here are easy, up for anything. Ain't going to get that in Wellington."

Pavlova, Phar Lap, Russell Crowe, promiscuity - those bloody Aussies have done it again.

- NZ Herald

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