Younger generation having lesser sex than their parents, study shows

By @ritwikroy1985 on
Sex Education
Entrepreneurs work on their projects at Nailab, a Kenyan firm that supports technology startups, behind the latest initiative, which targets entrepreneurs for their ideas on providing sex education through technology and social media in Nairobi, Kenya, July 4, 2016. Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

An ongoing US research has revealed that more adults in the age group of 20-24 are having lesser sex than those in the same age group but who were born in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Thus, the Millennials are involved in lesser sexual activity, the survey of almost 27,000 people confirmed. The new sexual revolution has left behind a larger segment of this generation than previously thought.

The study results, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour, are in stark contrast to the popular belief that the Millennials are the “hook-up generation,” popularised by dating apps such as Tinder that suggest this generation believes in frequent casual sex and quick relationships.

Ph.D., co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at Florida Atlantic University, Ryne Sherman, said that the data obtained from the study show that this does not seem to be the case at all and that Millennials are not more promiscuous than their predecessors.

Another interesting find by Sherman and co-authors Brooke E. Wells, Ph.D., Widener University, and Jean Twenge, Ph.D., San Diego State University, is that Millennials’ sexual activity changes are not related to the time period or decade but simply to the generation.

The researchers used a two-pronged approach to compare sexual inactivity rates by birth decade among 20 to 24-year-olds. They also examined religiosity, region, education, race and gender as moderators to understand if any changes in sexual inactivity differed from one group to another.

“Many of the differences between the groups in the recent generations were also significant. For example, women were more likely to be sexually inactive compared to men, Whites more than Blacks, those who did not attend college more than those who did, and in the East more than the West,” Sherman said in a statement.

Experts speculate that a number of reasons may be at play for the shift in sexual behaviour between Millennials and other generations. Some of the reasons could be awareness of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, more sex education and easy access to pornography because of technology.

There may also be differences in understanding what sexual activity is and is not as generations define sex differently.

“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,” Sherman added.