A new study conducted by Miami (AFP) has found that young people today are not having as much sex as previous generations, despite sex being the most accessible it ever has been- but maybe that's the problem.
The report found that Americans between the ages of 20 to 24, who were born in the 1990s, were significantly more likely to not have any new sexual partners after the age of 18 compared to Gen X. A whopping 15% of the subject group reported no sexual partners after turning 18.
Ryne Sherman, co-author of the study, stated that "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 causal sex".
Ok, the report makes a good point here- that maybe this causal sex culture isn't as widespread as popular opinion suggests, but they're not looking at this from another angle.
Maybe it is precisely this hookup culture that's limiting the sex millennials are having...hear me out. Our generation is so fearful of commitment that even 'casual' sex is frightening, because it can often turn into a f*ck buddy situation, which for millennials is too close to being a relationship.
We've all been there, trying to persuade our friends that whoever we're currently seeing isn't serious, but it is usually when these questions start being asked that we start distancing ourselves- a self-defence mechanism to avoid catching feelings and being hurt.
But why are millennials so afraid of feelings, and in turn sex? Is it because we were the first generation that lived through our parents being divorced as the norm? We ask "are your parents still together?" in a surprised tone rather than that being an assumed family dynamic. Commitment is frightening to millennials because we don't have many examples of it ending well surrounding us.
A study by Twenge in 2009 showed that young people are taking antidepressants more frequently, which can kill our sex drives. Also, the pill can kill our sex drives. Maybe medication is at the heart of this? Are we not having sex, ironically, because of medication that makes sex more safe?
The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles found that 33.8% of sexually active teenagers and young men aged 16-31, and 44.4% of young women the same age, have experienced at least one problem, which lasted for 3 months or more, affecting their ability to enjoy sex in the last year. What are these problems then?
For women some of the most common problems are difficultly in reaching climax, not enjoying sex, feeling pain due to sex and feeling anxious during sex.
With all the above reasons, can you really blame millennials for not having sex as frequently? People have quipped that it's because we're all too busy playing Pokemon Go, but there might be some validity in this.
Do millennials feel sexually active because sex is so accessible - hookup apps, porn, sexting culture etc - but aren't actually having that much sex. We're not missing it as much because we're surrounded- everything is sexualised nowadays. Are we substituting IRL sex for sex behind a screen? Our phones may be acting as buffers, that make being sexual easier because our anxiety isn't as bad when we're online? Good angles, carefully curated messages and the lack of pressure reduces all the sexual anxiety millennials feel in real life, but it's not solving the problem.
This culture of living online rather than IRL is a phenomenon that affects every aspect of millennial life, and now even sex. From an evolutionary perspective this is not very smart, because if we stop having intercourse we'll stop reproducing. But on a less philosophical front, millennials need to be having sex (safely and consensually, of course) because it's fun. And we don't have much of that anymore. Brexit, unemployment, living with our parents (which is probably another cause for us not doing 'it') and all the other problems facing us are already limiting what fun we can have. Sex is free, sex can help your mental and physical health, it can bring you closer to people.
Millennials, start boning- it'll help you get over Brexit...
Photo Credit: Pinterst
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