New study shows Americans are having sex less often

March 7, 2017
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

While the topic of sex is less taboo than it was a generation ago, that doesn't necessarily mean people are having more of it.

According to a new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior today, Americans who were married or living together had sex 16 fewer times per year in 2010-2014 compared to 2000-2004.

The survey also found that overall, Americans had sex about nine fewer times per year in 2010-2014 compared to 1995-1999.

The study is based on data collected from the General Social Survey, a nationally representative sample of more than 26,000 American adults asked about their since 1989.

"These data show a major reversal from previous decades in terms of marriage and sex," said Jean M. Twenge, the study's lead author and professor of psychology at San Diego State University. "In the 1990s, married people had sex more times per year than never-married people, but by the mid-2000s that reversed, with the never-married having more sex."

According to Twenge, author of the book "Generation Me," a critical factor appears to be birth cohort, with later-born generations having sex less often than those born earlier in the 20th century.

In an earlier study, Twenge and co-authors Ryne Sherman at Florida Atlantic University and Brooke Wells at the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University, found that Millennials had fewer sexual partners than their Generation X predecessors.

"Despite their reputation for hooking up, Millennials and the generation after them (known as iGen or Generation Z) are actually having sex less often than their parents and grandparents did when they were young," said Twenge. "That's partially because fewer iGen'ers and Millennials have steady partners."

Age also appears to play a significant role. People in their 20s have sex more than 80 times per year, declining to 60 times per year by age 45, and 20 times per year by age 65. Each year after the peak of sexual frequency at 25, sexual frequency declines 3.2 percent.

"Older and married people are having sex less often—especially after 2000," Twenge said. "In a previous paper, we found that the happiness of adults over age 30 declined between 2000 and 2014. With less sex and less happiness, it's no wonder that American adults seem deeply dissatisfied these days."

Blame might be placed on the busy lives of more working parents, but the research didn't bear that out, said Twenge.

Instead, those who worked more hours actually had sex more often, as well.

Explore further: Millennials less sexually active than Gen-X peers: study

More information: Jean M. Twenge et al, Declines in Sexual Frequency among American Adults, 1989–2014, Archives of Sexual Behavior (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s10508-017-0953-1

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5 comments

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RobertKarlStonjek
3 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2017
American voters are making up for the lack of sex by screwing the whole country...
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Mar 08, 2017
American voters are making up for the lack of sex by screwing the whole country...

Ahhh, Robert.
it's a cyclical phenomenon...
It ain't the voters - it's who they have available to vote FOR....
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2017
American voters are making up for the lack of sex by screwing the whole country...

Volumetric Relativity...
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2017
Less sex = fewer babies. Thats the Plan.

First you turn it into a form of recreation, which makes it optional, and then you legalize and promote all forms of it which dont lead to conception. Then you legalize and promote prenatal infanticide and contraception.

Then you give women all sorts of alternatives for giving their lives meaning besides making and raising babies. This is easy because they know intrinsically how dangerous making babies is for women over 25. So all you have to do is keep them distracted from puberty to age 25, and youre golden.

Finally you teach people how dangerous sex can be, how it can make you sick and land you in jail at the slightest misstep.

And voila! Zero growth.

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing" ecc3

-Plenty of time and space for embracing once we get to mars. Pioneers have all the fun.
RobertKarlStonjek
5 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2017
Whydening Gyre, There was plenty of choice, the Republicans fielded many candidates in the primaries. Any party member can vote on it. And then 75% of the American public did not vote against him, a huge endorsement. And in the congressional elections, the American people chose to give the president almost unfettered power, which he has managed to squander anyway.

There were plenty of choices along the way....too many people just couldn't care less, didn't bother even voting...

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