healthHealth and Medicine

Adults Are Having Less Sex Now Than They Were Two Decades Ago


While tradionally couples had the most sex, this has been dropping.

A new study of more than 26,000 people has found what we’ve been hearing quite a lot of lately: People are having less sex. It seems that adults in America are having sex up to nine fewer times than they were in the 1990s. Interestingly, this has held true across gender, race, region, work status, and education level. A number of factors are thought to contribute to this decline, including social media and shifting gender roles. 

It used to be that those who were married or were living with their partner were getting their leg over more often than the singletons. But this latest research has found that the so-called “marriage advantage” is actually diminishing, with married couples getting less nookie than couples in the 1990s. Back then, married people were having sex on average 69 times per year, whereas in 2014 that figure is closer to 56.


“These data show a major reversal from previous decades in terms of marriage and sex,” explains San Diego State University’s Jean M. Twenge, lead author of the study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, in a statement. “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.”

It seems, though, that all adults in the US are seeing less action. From between 1995 and 1999, people were having sex on average 62 times per year, but by 2010 this had fallen to 54 times a year.

When reports started emerging that millennials were drinking less, smoking less, and having less sex, many were quick to mock them for having no fun. But it seems that the reason could simply be down to the fact that the younger generations are less likely to be in a long-term relationship than their parents or grandparents were. It may also be that millennials don’t feel like they need to have sex and are more interested in doing other things with their spare time.

While younger people may be having less sex than those their age a few decades ago, older people are having even less sex than the millennials. For every year over the age of 25, the researchers found people had sex on average 1.8 fewer times per year. This culminated in a drop from people in their mid-20s having sex roughly 80 times per year to those in their 60s doing it around 20 times per year. 


It seems that the rise in single individuals, who generally tend to have sex half as much as the married folk, coupled with the decline of sex in marriage may explain the majority of the decline seen in the rate of sex across the board.


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