Millennials get so much crap. Between Martha Stewart telling us to “move out,” and take the initiative to grow a tomato plant on our terrace and our own kind turning on us, the world has become a really hard place! Okay, it’s hard to even say that sarcastically. In reality, us millennials live a pretty cushy life. Everything we’ve ever wanted is conveniently located just a click away, including sex. Which is among the reasons why, as a new study points out, younger millennials 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.
But why? Millennials seem like such loose, free wheeling, sexual maniacs. What with Snapchat nudes, and Tinder hookups, you’d think millennials had it made in the shade. But as it turns out, they’re substantially more reserved than it seems. After speaking with several illusive millennials, The Washington Post recently offered a few reasons for the generation’s disinterest in sex.
While some experts are concerned about young peoples’ ability to “form deep, romantic connections,” The Washington Post suggests that millennials are putting off sex because of pressure to succeed, commitments to online social lives, unrealistic physical expectations, and wariness about date rape. It’s no coincidence that many of these “excuses” are perpetuated by technology.
One 18-year-old man who has never had sex told The Washington Post, “I’d rather be watching YouTube videos and making money.” Sex is “not going to be something people ask you for on your resume.”
Additional reports found that millennials have fewer sexual partners than Generation X and baby boomers, with millennials having 8 on average and Generation X and baby boomers having 10 and 11 respectively. The percentage of high school students who have ever had sex is also down since the early ’90s — from 54.1 percent to 41.2 percent last year. And high school students with multiple partners is down 7 percent since 1991. So all those girls you slut-shamed in high school are probably conservative single-partner angels, just like you.
According to Jean Twenge, author of two studies related to the topic, communication through smartphones puts a lot of pressure on us to be physically attractive, which dismisses and discourages a large portion of the population. Millennials also underestimate the time it takes to get to know a partner. And, as another 19-year-old student told The Washington Post, they’d rather spend time meeting friends, attending class, or participating in extracurriculars.
Finally, millennials are allegedly scared of “catching feelings,” and as 18-year-old Noah Patterson told The Post, millennials are not quite curious enough to seek a partner because we think the internet gives us plenty to look at, like porn.
While these explanations — which also include better sex ed and female empowerment amongst them — are plausible, it’s also possible that young people today are just more honest today than they were in past studies. Or perhaps they’re just lying abut different things.
One thing’s for sure, though: No matter what’s transforming the way millennials approach relationships, it’s still really hard out there, okay?
(Via The Washington Post)