The great sex recession: Celibate Americans at record high
WASHINGTON — More American adults are having less or no sex at all in 2018, an intimate survey revealed on Friday, and many of those missing out are men in their 20s.
An analysis of new research data by The Washington Post reveals a battle of the sexes, with 18 percent of the women between the ages of 18 and 30 reporting no sex in the past year. The figure is 28 percent for men.
The news prompted a surprised reaction on social media amid popular perception that male millennials are the most sexually active, or at least the most sexually eager, demographic.
The reasons behind the men’s lackluster sex life are likely “a greater preference for video games and for porn,” tweeted US psychologist and practicing family doctor Leonard Sax, who was speaking generally about the issue before the survey’s release.
“Young men tell me that the video games, and the porn, are vastly better today than they were 20 years ago,” Sax said.
The largest disparity is between age groups, with only 7 percent of 30-somethings reporting a barren year in the love stakes.
The figure is as impressive among frisky 40-somethings: only 9 percent said they’d struck out in 2018. Among those aged between 50 and 59, just 13 percent said they didn’t get lucky last year.
For those 60 years and older, the percentage of those reporting no sex over the past year has remained steady at around 50 percent.
But the overall 23-percent share avowing celibacy — up from 19 percent two decades ago — paints a picture of a nation growing gradually but steadily less amorous.
Celibacy as a corrosive force hit the headlines recently with the emergence of the “incel” online subculture of angry young men unable to find sexual partners, with the movement linked to several mass shootings in the United States.
But it has had its high-profile champions, too. Pop artist Andy Warhol, FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, physicist Isaac Newton, and St. Joan of Arc were all said to be proud celibates.
The data on America’s bedroom habits was collected for the General Social Survey conducted by the NORC research organization at the University of Chicago and analyzed by the Post.
The newspaper said its analysis underscored a three-decade trend line marked by an aging population and higher numbers of unattached people.
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