Skip to Content

New study finds Millennials having less sex than previous generations


BY KEVIN SAWYER – It seems that the hooked up generation may not be as hooked up as they may have thought. A recent research study out of San Diego State University tells a compelling tale that the generation born in the late 1980’s and 1990’s is having less sex than previous generations have had at their current age level.

The findings of the research done by three San Diego State female researchers was published this week in the journal, Archives of Sexual Behavior. The centerpiece of their startling research is that the team found that 15% of Americans between that ages of 20-24 have not had any sexual partners since they turned 18 years old. This compares with only 6% from the generation that was born during the 1960’s.

These research findings seem to be in support of previous research into Millennials that tends to say that the 20 something’s, when they are having sex, are having it much less and are having it with far fewer partners than previous generations. If taken in a certain perspective, this study could be seen in a positive light. Perhaps Millennials are taking less physical risks than previous generations. Perhaps they are more focused on trying to establish themselves in their careers and to get financially stable before venturing off in search of sex or a serious relationship. Perhaps they realize that greater stability means a greater chance of a happier relationship and a stronger family situation.

When Millennials are asked why they are having less sex they generally say that they do, indeed, want to get stability into their careers and lives and feel that they can better accomplish this without the added burden of an involved relationship. Researchers have also found that less sex may be occurring because 20 something females are more confident that previous generations of females which is why the numbers of unreported unwanted sexual advances or attacks is way down. Another reason sited is the wide availability of adult entertainment sites through which many, especially the males, are channeling their sexual energy negating the need to go out and engage in the time consuming affair of hooking up simply for sex.

Jean Twenge, lead researcher on the study stated that, for her research, some new considerations arose.

Her evidence, she says, seems to suggest that there is a new, “rising individualism wherein individuals hold permissive attitudes about a variety of behaviors while also feeling less pressure to conform in their own behavior. New technology, too, may have created unequal outcomes. While some young adults may use apps like Tinder to hook up with many partners, a growing minority may be excluded from this system entirely perhaps due to the premium placed on physical appearance at dating websites.”