An ongoing study found that more people between the ages of 20-24 report no sexual partners than their counterparts of previous generations
Sex had a good run: thousands of years of awkward commutes back to the cave/flat in last night’s clothes and someone else’s trainers, producing kids that would grow up to be dictators and reality TV extras, whispered arguments over who’s sleeping on the side of the bed with the wet patch. Young people are now apparently turning their back on good times and having less sex, according to a new study.
The Washington Post reports that the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour “finds that younger millennials – born in the 1990s – are more than twice as likely to be sexually inactive in their early 20s than the previous generation was, and more likely even than older millennials were at the same age.”
Research from the U.S detailed that 15 per cent of young adults between the ages of 20 and 24 who were born in the 1990s reported having no sexual partner. Previous data from the same age range born in the 1960s rolled in at 6 per cent.
Co-author of the study Ryne Sherman, from Florida Atlantic University told the Guardian: “You would expect, based on the popular notion that with apps such as Tinder, it’s a group that is looking for hook-ups and not long-term relationships. But what we are seeing is this group is less likely to hook-up, so to speak, than previous generations.”
It dispels the notion that with apps like Tinder, Happn and even 3nder at our disposal, casual or frequent sex is as widespread for some. And astonishingly, some other aspects of life might come into play: like the fact we’re all lying awake at night thinking of the crazy amount of debt we’ve been saddled with, and previous generations can freely fuck without thousands in debt weighing on their back. Or that many young people are forced to live at home for longer. Maybe with sex becoming part of the mainstream narrative and the act becoming less of a taboo or initiation process to ‘coolness’, young people don’t feel as much pressure to do it. Or just Brexit and American politics.
The trend was also greater for women than for men: 2.3 per cent of women born in the 1960s were sexually inactive, compared to 5.4 per cent of those born in the 1990s. The authors point that the sexual shaming and stigma that still surrounds young women having sex as they wish could play into this.
“Americans are now strikingly more accepting of premarital sex, but more of those born in the 1990s in particular are nevertheless foregoing sex during young adulthood,” the authors state. “The new sexual revolution has apparently left behind a larger segment of the generation than first thought.”
Sherman also suggested that participants could have had sex before 18 then remained abstinent after. “What it probably means is there are more young people who are virgins than young people who were virgins in the past,” he said.
The study didn’t delve into exactly why this is apparently happening, but the authors suggested the living at home factor, wanting 'more intimacy', video games, Netflix, porn and the big bad internet in general. Sherman also hypothesised that older generations may count oral sex as a sexual encounter, whereas young people today might not (maybe a half).