Researchers have found that adults, on average, were having sex seven fewer times annually in the early 2010s compared to the early 1990s, and nine fewer times compared to the late 1990s.
Despite living in a culture that has evolved to a point where sex is openly discussed and accepted in many forms, Americans are having sex less frequently than they were 25 years ago, according to a new Widner University study released Wednesday. The data was collected between 1989 and 2014, and involved asked participants how often they'd have sex during the last 12 months.
Overall, the study reveals that the decline in sex over the years is largely down a rise in the number of individuals who are unmarried or have no steady partner, and a decrease in sex among those who are married or have steady partners.
Researchers followed 159 married couples in a variety of industries (education, health care, retail, government, etc.) for two weeks, asking them to complete two short surveys each day.
The report did not pinpoint a reason for why Americans are having less sex, but Twenge says it's obvious something has changed in the past10 years. "For example, studies find that the average college student hooks up, but does so only a few times a year".
They published their findings Wednesday in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
According to Prof Twenge, a critical factor appears to be when you were born, with later-born generations having sex less often than those born earlier in the 20th century.
They've got access to a tech-filled world of dating apps that can produce a prospective partner in as little time as it takes to hail an Uber.
It is believed that the overall cause of rates of sexual activity dropping is twofold: on one hand, there's an increasing number of individuals who aren't married or in steady relationships.
These decreases in sexual frequency were consistent across genders, races, regions, educational levels, and work status, and were largest among those in their 50s, those with school-age children and those who did not watch pornography, the researchers found. This figure dropped so much that is now lower than the registers of the average sex frequency of never-married people, which is of 59 times a year. Those born in the 1990s had sex only about 57 times a year. Information on the greatness of sex is useless if we aren't actually doing it, though.
"In a previous paper, we found that the happiness of adults over age 30 declined between 2000 and 2014", she said. On the other hand, those who are coupled up are having less sex as well. "People aren't looking around saying, 'Hey, it's ten o'clock, what are we going to do?'"
One of the factors for this decline is the increase in the percentage of unpartnered people, who tend to have less sex than partnered ones.