MIAMI (AFP) – Young people today are not having as much sex as previous generations, despite the widespread availability of dating sites and apps and more accepting attitudes about premarital sex, researchers said Tuesday.
The study focused on younger members of the millennial generation, and found they were the most sexually inactive group since the Depression era.
“The only other generation that showed a higher rate of sexual inactivity were those born in the 1920s,” said the study by researchers at Florida Atlantic University and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
The report found that among Americans aged 20 to 24, those born in the early 1990s were significantly more likely to report no sexual partners after age 18 than Gen Xers born in the late 1960s.
Fifteen percent of 20- to 24-year-old American millennials reported having no sexual partners since turning 18, compared to six percent of those born in the 1960s.
“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,” said co-author Ryne Sherman, associate professor of psychology in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at Florida Atlantic University.
“Our data show that this doesn’t seem to be the case at all and that millennials are not more promiscuous than their predecessors.”
Young women today are about twice as likely as men to be sexually inactive, it found.
The study also showed that fewer young people get a driver’s license or work for pay, suggesting they “are growing up more slowly than those born in the 1980s.”