People Have Been Having Less Sex—whether They’re Teenagers or 40-Somethings

People Have Been Having Less Sex—whether They’re Teenagers or 40-Somethings

(Link): People Have Been Having Less Sex—whether They’re Teenagers or 40-Somethings


Among the young, social media, gaming and “rough sex” may contribute to this trend

By Emily Willingham on January 3, 2022

…A recent study evaluating what is happening in the U.S. has added to the pile of evidence, showing declines from 2009 to 2018 in all forms of partnered sexual activity, including penile-vaginal intercourse, anal sex and partnered masturbation.

The findings show that adolescents report less solo masturbation as well.

The decreases “aren’t trivial,” as the authors wrote in the study, published on November 19 in Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Between 2009 and 2018, the proportion of adolescents reporting no sexual activity, either alone or with partners, rose from 28.8 percent to 44.2 percent among young men and from 49.5 percent in 2009 to 74 percent among young women. …

The study itself did not probe the reasons for this trend. But Scientific American spoke with its first author Debby Herbenick, a professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health–Bloomington, and Tsung-chieh (Jane) Fu, a co-author of the paper and a research associate at the school, about underlying factors that might explain these changes.

What might explain declines [in sexual activity] among young people?

FU: We need more studies to tell us why. But for young people, computer games, increasing social media use, video games—something is replacing that time.

During that period from 2009 to 2018, different types of social media emerged. This is always evolving, especially for younger people.

HERBENICK: We don’t expect there to be one explanation or one driver in these decreases. We fully expect that there are multiple things going on for different age groups, different partnership status, different genders. You don’t need those individual pieces to explain a big part of a notable decrease, but … each one [might]  explain a percentage point or two.

Is there any contribution from increases in people expressing an asexual identity?

HERBENICK: We don’t know why more people are identifying as asexual, but I do think more people are aware of it as a valid identity. …

In your paper, you bring up increases in “rough sex” as potentially contributing to declines. Can you explain what you mean by rough sex, and how it could be playing a role in these changes?

HERBENICK: Especially for those 18 to 29 years old, there have been increases in what many people call rough sex behaviors. Limited research suggests that an earlier idea of this was what I would consider fairly vanilla rough sex: pulling hair, a little light spanking.

What we see now in studies of thousands of randomly sampled college students is choking or strangling during sex.

The behavior seems to be a majority behavior for college-age students. For many people, it’s consensual and wanted and asked for, but it’s also scary to many people, even if they learn to enjoy it or want it.

It’s a major line of research for our team: to understand how they feel, what the health risks are and how that fits into the larger sexual landscapes.

Related Posts on This Blog:

(Link):  Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex? America is in a Sex Recession –  by K. Jullian – via The Atlantic

(Link): More Young Adult Americans Living Sexless Lives, Especially the Religiously Devout: Study – by Leonardo Blair

(Link): Single Men Just Don’t Care About Sex Anymore, Study Says 

(Link): Young Adults Are Having Less Casual Sex. A New Study Found 3 Reasons Why by Ross Pomeroy

(Link):  Americans Having Less Sex Now, Says 2017 Study

(Link):  Study: Americans Having Less Sex; Video Streaming May Be To Blame

(Link):  The Many Reasons That People Are Having Less Sex (2017 article via BBC News)

(Link):  When Women Wanted Sex Much More Than Men – and how the stereotype flipped

(Link): Technological Progress and the Global Sex Recession by J. Kotkin

(Link): Living Myths About Virginity (via The Atlantic)

(Link): (Article) Young People in Japan Have Stopped Having Sex – sekkusu shinai shokogun – Celibacy Syndrome

(Link): Why Aren’t Millennials Having Sex Anymore? via Relevant Magazine

(Link):   More Than 40 Per Cent of Japan’s Adult Singles are Virgins, Says Study

(Link):  I Shouldn’t Need An Excuse To Be A Virgin – (Secular Editorial Defends Virginity – More Rare Than a Unicorn Sighting)

(Link):   Young, Attractive, and Totally Not Into Having Sex by K McGowan

(Link):  Teens Too Busy Playing Video Games to Have Sex

(Link): When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments

(Link): Conservatives Have Now Abandoned All Pretense of Advocating For Sexual Abstinence and They Actually Lament the Lack of Fornication – The Bradford Wilcox Piece, 2019

(Link): People Were Asked to Guess A Virgin From A Group Of Strangers. The Results Were Unexpected

(Link): Christians Who Attack Virginity Celibacy and Sexual Purity – and specifically Russell D. Moore and James M. Kushiner

(Link): CDC Report: Virgin Teens Much Healthier Than Their Sexually Active Peers (2016 Report)

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