Not the kind of news we expected to see: In 2018, the share of American adults who admit having no sex for the past year hit an all-time high.
Nearly one in four American adults aren’t getting it on for at least a year. The folks at General Social Survey call this “the Great American Sex Drought.”
While a drop in sex is expected among those who are aging, the percentage of Americans 18-29 reporting no sex for a year more than doubled between 2008 and 2028.
Ten years ago, eight percent the 18-29 bunch weren’t getting any, compared to 28 percent in 2018.
San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge blames part of the drop in sex to 20-somethings who wait later in life to “partner up.”
“There are most people in their 20s who don’t have a live-in partner,” Twenge told The Washington Post last week. “Under those circumstances, I think less sex is going to happen.”
Interesting. Back in the swinging 1970s, when I went from age 20 to 30, I didn’t live with anyone during for most of that decade but I had a lot of sex. Religion? Not a reason. A Catholic lady friend, and sexual partner, said she took birth control pills “to stop cramps and keep my periods regular.” The Church frowned on such pills. They weren’t too happy about premarital sex either.
What we didn’t have in the 70s were video games, cell phones or other electronic distractions. A popular passion, instead, was pursuit of the opposite sex — and that pursuit did not come from just men. Women often took the lead in dating and mating.
Some religious evangelists claim the drop in sex means more influence from faith. However, studies say a belief in God, or non-belief, has little to do with the increase in abstinence.
The General Social Survey says over half of 18-34 year olds don’t have a steady partner.
Pew Research says the median age for marriage is rising. Women are having fewer children and waiting later in life to have the few they do have.
More men than women report year-long periods of sex. Abstinence, voluntary and not, tripled in the years leading up to 2018 — to 28 percent among men but only eight percent of women cut back on sexual activity.
One of the reasons. More young men live with their parents (35 percent of 18-34 year olds) while 29 percent of women still live in their parental home.
“When you’re living at home, it probably harder to bring sexual partners into your bedroom,” says Twenge.
We can also blame it on technology.
“There are a lot more things to do at 10 o’clock at night now than there were 20 years ago,” Twenge adds. “Streaming video, social media, console games, everything else.”
In 1996, at least 51 percent of Americans said they had sex at least once a week. Now, the percentage if 39 percent, and dropping.
The New York Times reports the drop in sex, even among married couples, began in the early 2000s:
That goes for people of all types, regardless of their gender, race, marriage status or the region in which they live, according to a new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. In fact, American adults had sex nine fewer times in 2014 than they did in the late 1990s.
From the early 1990s into the early 2000s, Americans generally had sex from about 60 to 65 times a year, according to the study. But after 2002, Americans appeared to lose interest. While the decline has been nearly across the board, one group seems to be pulling everyone else down: married couples.
Married couples generally have sex more often than single people, but that advantage is declining. Married couples had sex an average of 56 times a year in 2014, down from 67 in 1989. But more people are staying single — meaning there is less sex — and the couples who do walk down the aisle are making fewer trips into the bedroom.
Do we have this straight? People would rather watch streaming video or play computer games than crawl into the sack with the one they love, even when married?