If it feels like you’re having less sex these days, don’t worry — it’s not just you who’s going through a dry spell. An overwhelming amount of new research suggests that young people just aren’t hooking up the way they used to. They’re also waiting longer to have sex, drinking less, and acting like 15-year-olds even after they’ve hit the big 18.
According to millennial researcher Jean Twenge, lead author of a new study just published in Child Development, the shift is due to a variety of factors including more parental involvement and a longer life expectancy, which allows young people to act like teens for far longer than those who were born before 1994.
And there’s more: according to Macquarie Research, a firm that conducted financial research for Church & Dwight, the conglomerate that owns Trojan Condoms, condom sales are dropping, which means fewer people are having (safe) sex — and, apparently, Generation Y’s over-reliance on technology is to blame.
Young people (17-25 years old) are having less sex because they are distracted by their mobile phones,” Macquarie Research wrote in a statement released last Thursday.
To be fair, this isn’t the first time that someone has argued that millennials are too distracted by technology to have sex. A 2016 study in Archives of Sexual Behaviorpolled 26,707 U.S. adults of all ages and found that nearly 15% of millennials hadn’t had sex since age 18, compared to 6% of Generation X members who fell in that category. Media reports on the study linked millennials’ decreasing interest in sex to a generational obsession with technology. Another recent study found that teens are more into video games than humping like jackrabbits.
But even if millennials are not exactly the Tinder-fueled hookup generation their parents feared, is this thesis actually true? Are millennials having less sex — and if so, is technology the actual reason?
Part of it might have to do with how shallow the dating game has gotten. Twenge, for instance, told the Washington Post that using popular dating apps “ends up putting a lot of importance on physical appearance, and that, I think, is leaving out a large section of the population.”
There are other possible reasons why millennials are less sexually active. According to Macquarie Research’s analysis, many millennials are living at home, and it’s harder to get it going with your parents snoring mere feet away. Additionally, the issue might not be that millennials are having less sex, but that they’re buying fewer condoms simply because they’re increasingly using other, riskier birth control methods, like pulling out.
But even if millennials are having less sex, is that going to spell the end of times for the human race? Probably not. Twenge’s research finds that although the average baby boomer had 11 sexual partners versus Gen Y’s average of eight, members of the Greatest generation (1901 to 1924) had an average of just three sexual partners. Perhaps our declining number of sexual partners just means we’re paying homage to our ancestors. But, hey, if you’re feeling like your sex life could use a little bit of a kick, you can check spice it up with the 30 best sex toys or these tips, which will take your bedroom game to the next level.