Has Our Generation Really Stopped Having Sex?


Kamel Lahmadi for Style and the City

The mating habits of millennials have been a hot topic as of late, after it was reported that they’re not having as much sex as they should be. As it turns out, the reports were false, and the authors of the study that started the uproar attempted to clarify their findings.

“Just like it’s not true that millennials are all promiscuous people who are on Tinder all the time, it’s also not true that all millennials are sexless and just watching porn in their moms’ basements,” lead author Jean Twenge told The New York Times.

So then what is the truth? Are millennials promiscuous or not? Do they prefer hook-ups or long-term relationships? In a new piece called “Here’s Everything We Know About Millennials and Sex,” Huffington Post attempted to find out.

As it turns out, 85% of millennials have had sex at least once in the last year. While that doesn’t suggest promiscuity per se, it’s not exactly prudish behavior either. Twenge suggests that those who are abstaining from having sex are doing it because of delayed adulthood. “For late millennials and iGen, sex is now joining the later to adulthood party. Sex has caught up to other adult milestones and is being delayed,” Twenge told Science of Us.

Not only are millennials having sex, but when they do, they’re likely to use some form of contraception. How else can we explain the drop in teen pregnancy, which is at a historic low according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?

Another traditional adult milestone that seems to be getting the cold shoulder from millennials is marriage. A recent study found that the average age of someone’s first marriage had risen from 23 for men and 20 for women in 1960 to 27 for women and 29 for men in 2011. According to sociologist Eric Klinenberg, economics play a huge role in this dramatic sociological shift. “When there’s rough economic times, marriage rates go down,” Klinenberg, told Washington Post. “People don’t feel comfortable committing to someone during hardships.”

That unwillingness to commit inevitably leads to more casual sex among millennials. According to a 2015 study, 45% of millennials admitted to engaging in sex with someone who wasn’t their partner. When they do decide to get married, millennials have a greater chance of making their marriage last, the Post writes. Well, it looks like we’re doing something right.

Experience an insightful look at the frisky topic with a copy of Millennial Sex, and tell us your thoughts on the topic.