It’s really hard to dispute science (even if we really want to), but Americans aren’t really having a lot of sex these days. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. There are many reasons why couples don’t engage in sexual activity on a regular basis. We all work hard and sometimes we are just too tired. After a long day, Netflix and chill literally means watch Netflix and lay on the couch covered in a blanket, that’s it. But, is it really an epidemic? We couldn’t possibly be having less sex than previous generations, could we? Well, according to science, we are.
The results of a recent study from the Journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour say that Americans are having a lot less sex than we were only 20 years ago. A survey of over 25,000 people found that American adults are having sex nine fewer times now than they did in the 90s. I wonder what got us all so hot and bothered in those days? Maybe a slow jam from Boyz 2 Men or Baywatch re-runs?
If you believe news headlines, it seems like young adults are more sexually active than ever. But, according to the data, they really aren’t. Of those individuals born in the 90s (between the ages of 20 and 24), 15% reported that they didn’t have a single sexual partner after the age of 18 (compared to 6% for those born in the 60s). “It is very possible that for young people this is a conscious life choice,” Ryne Sherman, co-author of the study from Florida Atlantic University, told The Guardian.
The research also determined that Millennials have sex on average six times per year less than participants that were born in the 1930s did during the same ages. The “Silent Generation,” those born in the 30s, were also the most sexually active (in their 20s) while those born in the 90s are the least. How can this be? Are we as Americansjust becoming desensitized to sex? Are we that busy in our lives that we don’t have time for an occasional “romp in the hay”? We really need to put down our iPhones and get to getting it on ASAP.
The researchers noted that it didn’t matter participants’ race, religion, or even the region of the country they came from, the results were the same across the board. Millennials just aren’t having sex that often. They noted that this is likely due to the fact that young people don’t really seem to be getting married as much these days. Culturally, young adults are staying single longer than ever before.
We can’t blame the internet and long work hours, though. The researchers say that pornography and work stresses are not to blame for this decline in sexual activity. The main things researchers noticed were that there are many people without a steady partner, which could contribute to the lowered numbers. They also noticed that people in relationships are having less sex. Sherman points to various possibilities, including our addiction to our phones, social media, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu and the changing gender roles in society. “That’s one of the big things that has changed over the course of time – men and women’s gender roles both at work and at home,” he said.
This news is heartening (if you care about sex) and is good reminder that maybe we all need to make a little more effort. Maybe tomorrow, though. We need to finish these last few episodes of Westworld first.