Young Americans under the age of 35 years are having far less sex that previous generations in what has been described as a ‘sex recession’.
New research from the Institute for Family Studies suggests that between 2008 and 2021, the share of young adults forgoing sex more than doubled from 8 percent to 21 percent.
More females than ever between 18 and 35 reported not having sex in the past year.
The decline has been occurring for more than a decade but the problem was worsened with the pandemic and lockdowns that came as a result.
More young adult Americans are living sexless lives, especially the religiously devout
Since 2010, ‘there has been a sharp rise in the share of males and females ages 18 to 35 who report not having sex in the prior year,’ IFS research fellow Lyman Stone reported in the findings.
‘Married people are more likely to be sexually active than unmarried people: in 2021, only about 5% of married people under 35 reported no sex in the past year, versus about 29% of the never-married. As a result, declining marriage tends to reduce sexual activity as married people make up a shrinking share of the population of people under 35,’ Stone suggested.
‘Much of the rise in sexlessness has been driven by people who have moral concerns about premarital sex,’ the IFS report details.
Among under-35s who have never married, opinions of premarital sex have been fairly stable over the past 15 years, with 70 per cent approving and 30 per cent disapproving.
Researchers suggests that from 2008 to 2021, the share of young adults forgoing sex more than doubled from 8% to 21%
‘So, does religious behavior correlate with abstaining from sex? The answer is yes, the lion’s share of the increase in sexlessness has been among the relatively religiously devout,’ the report explains.
Although married young adults are less likely to be leading sexless lives, there has been a growing trend of delayed marriage among young adults, contributing to a worsening of the problem.
‘It seems like most of the increase in sexlessness among never-married under-35s has been among those who say premarital sex is at least sometimes wrong,’ Stone found.
‘Though it is true they are a minority of never-married individuals in this age group, their distinctive behaviors are driving the trend. In other words, much of the rise in sexlessness has been driven by people who have moral concerns about premarital sex. It might be better to call it abstinence than sexlessness, since it’s consistent with expressed values.’
Stone also notes most young adults who choose not to have sex and believe premarital sex is wrong are mainly from a religiously devout demographic.
Other factors like high unemployment among men have contributed to declining marriage rates with the pandemic isolation only heightening
‘While there has perhaps been a modest increase in sexual abstinence among religious non-attenders or occasional attenders, the lion’s share of the increase in sexlessness has been among the relatively religiously devout,’ he wrote.
‘Since 2008, among never-married individuals under age 35 who attend religious services more than monthly, the rate of sexlessness has risen from about 20% to nearly 60% in 2021. Among their less religious peers, sexlessness has risen from around 10% in 2008 to 20% in 2021.
Other factors also appear to be at play.
A reduction in the amount of social drinking is preventing casual sex.
Those on low incomes and the unemployed are also less likely to have sex than with jobs and higher incomes.
Another reason seems to be linked to digital media reducing the desire for sex.
With things like Netflix, social media and gaming giving instant gratification, sex might be becoming something of an afterthought.
People have only exacerbated the ‘sex recession’ by spending more of their lives online, ‘substituting’ their desire for sex. A trend which has ‘only gathered speed’ during the lockdowns and isolation of the pandemic.
Read More: DailyMail