Young Americans are having less sex, according to a new study, likely due to the stress of modern life, easy access to online entertainment and a trend among adolescents and young adults of taking longer to grow up.
The study by San Diego State University researchers examined levels of sexual activity among young Americans between 2000 and 2018, ruling out social distancing from the coronavrius pandemic as a factor.
Published Friday in the medical journal JAMA Network Open, the study examined responses to a survey by more than 4,000 men and 5,000 women on the issue of sexual frequency and number of sexual partners.
It noted an increase in sexual inactivity during the study period among men aged 18 to 34, and women aged 25 to 34, with the increase among men mainly occurring among unmarried individuals.
"First, adolescents and young adults are taking longer to grow to adulthood. This includes the postponement of not just sexual activity but also other activities related to mating and reproduction, including dating, living with a partner, pregnancy, and birth," said Jean M. Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, in a commentary on the report.
"However, these reproductive trends have not occurred in isolation; instead, they are part of a broader cultural trend toward delayed development. For example, adolescents in the 2010s were also less likely to drive, drink alcohol, go out without their parents, and work at paid jobs compared with adolescents in previous decades."
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