The invention of online dating and apps such as Tinder may give off the impression that the young people of today are hooking up left, right and centre. However, new research has found that they are in fact having less sex than their mums and dads did at the same age.
A study conducted by academics at Florida Atlantic University has found that Millennials, born in the 1990s, are shunning sex in adulthood.
Looking at young people in America, it was found 15 per cent aged between 20 and 24 had not had sex since they turned 18, compared to six per cent of those born in the ‘60s. In fact when comparing sexual behaviour between the ages, the only time period that had a higher rate of sexual inactivity was in the 1920s.
To determine the results, researchers analysed data from the General Social Survey (GSS), a nationally representative sample of American adults since 1989, covering adults aged 18 to 96 years old.
“This study really contradicts the widespread notion that Millennials are the ‘hookup’ generation, which is popularised by dating apps like ‘Tinder’ and others, suggesting that they are just looking for quick relationships and frequent casual sex,” said study co-author Ryne Sherman, Ph.D. “Our data shows that this doesn’t seem to be the case at all and that Millennials are not more promiscuous than their predecessors.”
Dr Sherman, and his fellow authors Jean Twenge, Ph.D. and Brooke E. Wells, Ph.D., contemplated the reasons behind the shift in sexual activity, pointing out better sex education, more awareness of sexually transmitted diseases and easier access to porn may be factors. Individualism also plays a role, explained the team.
“While attitudes about premarital sex have become more permissive over time, rise in individualism allows young American adults to have permissive attitudes without feeling the pressure to conform in their own behaviour,” Dr Sherman said.
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