Young people ‘are having less sex than their parents did’ Good news for moralists?



Young adults of the ‘Tinder generation’ are having less sex than any generation since the 1920s, a study suggests.
Experts have assumed that people born in the 1990s – known as ‘Millennials’ – were more promiscuous than those who came before, due to the availability and popularity of dating apps such as Tinder and Gridr.
But scientists at Florida Atlantic University have found that people aged 20 to 24 today are more likely to abstain from sex than any generation for 90 years.
Some 15 per cent percent of this age group in the US have had no sexual partners since turning 18, the researchers found.

Of those born in the 1960s, only 6 per cent had not had sex when they were at the same age.
The only other generation that showed a similar rate of sexual inactivity were those born in the 1920s – those who turned 20 in the years of World War Two or soon after – for whom the figure was roughly the same as that of today’s 20-somethhings.
‘The new sexual revolution has apparently left behind a larger segment of the generation than first thought,’ said the researchers, writing in the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour.

The research echoes trends seen in Britain, where teenage pregnancy rates among teenagers have plunged to a record low.
According to the Office for National Statistics there were fewer than 23,000 pregnancies among girls under 18 in England and Wales in 2014, a conception level not seen since figures began to be recorded in 1969.
The collapse in pregnancy rates follows compelling evidence that teenagers are becoming less and less likely to smoke, drink or take drugs in an age in which millions spend much of their spare time engaged with solitary social media rather than mixing with their friends.

Researchers found 15 per cent of Millennials aged 20-24 had no sex since they turned 18 compared to just six per cent of Generation X
Some researchers have pointed to a ‘Facebook effect’ which has led teenagers who would once have spent their spare time on the streets instead to devote it to playing with gadgets in their bedrooms.
Widespread public disapproval of smoking, drunkenness, drug abuse and teen mothers is also likely to have influenced teen behaviour.
Dr Ryne Sherman of Florida Atlantic University, who led the new study, said: ‘This study really contradicts the widespread notion that Millennials are the “hookup” generation, which is popularized by dating apps like Tinder and others, suggesting that they are just looking for quick relationships and frequent casual sex.
‘Our data show that this doesn’t seem to be the case at all and that Millennials are not more promiscuous than their predecessors.’
The researchers used data from the General Social Survey, a nationally representative sample of American adults which questions 18 to 96 since 1989.
Dr Sherman said that those born in the 1990s were the most likely to be sexually inactive in their early 20s, and showed a definite break with those born in the 1980s.
‘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,’ he said.
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