Men and Women

And just like that, nobody’s having sex any more – but why?

The Guardian

(Not much) sex in the city

And just like that, nobody’s having sex any more. Middle-aged people aren’t having much. Young people aren’t having much. Japanese people aren’t having much. Nor are Brits or Australians or Americans. Over the past decade a number of studies have found a significant decline in sexual activity around the world, the latest example of this being a recent US-focused study showing declines from 2009 to 2018 in all forms of partnered sexual activity and a decline in adolescent masturbation. The researchers, by the way, looked at self-reported information from government surveys among people 14-49 years old; it’s possible that it’s a very different story when it comes to the over-50s.

So what’s going on with young and youngish people these days? Why is sexual activity declining? While the study didn’t go into possible underlying factors in much detail – nor did it look at the effects of the pandemic – two of its authors, Debby Herbenic and Tsung-chieh (Jane) Fu, recently shared their hypotheses with Scientific American. The (very technical) summation of the conversation is that a bunch of factors are probably at play. There’s increasing social media and video game use, of course. A decrease in alcohol use could be another factor. Perhaps most interesting and worrying, however, is the researchers’ hypothesis that the mainstreaming of extremely rough sex could be putting a generation of young people off sex altogether.

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