Sex and Relationships

Why are Americans Having Less Sex?

The Data Behind the Dryness

By: Dejon Virgo

The number of people not having sex is at an all time high. Photo Credit:

Americans are having less sex…but why? Does it have to do with how we interact with each other and the new ways that this generation finds partners?

Well, there is much speculation behind the reasons, but first let’s explore the data that reports the actual numbers of Americans having less sex.

According to the Washington Post, the number of people not having sex has reached an all time high with 23 percent or 1 in 4 adults reported having no sex in 2018. Data from the General Social Survey a larger number of these people happen to be males in their twenties.

One of the factors that the Washington Post points out is age. According to their survey, the 60 and older demographic jumped from 18 percent of the population in 1996, to 26 percent in 2018.

This age group has around 50 percent of people who reported not having sex. The other age group of 18-29 has it even worse.

The reports of no sex in this group doubled from about 9 percent to 23 percent between 2008-2018.

The data from the survey also showed a gender gap between the 20 year olds with three decades of them having similar rates. But in 2008, that all changed with both groups increasing but men at a faster rate than women.

In 2018, 28 percent of men between the age 18 and 30 reported having no sex while only 18 percent of women reported having no sex.

According to Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University says that young male participation in the workforce can also be a factor in the rate of no sex.

The survey showed that 54 percent of unemployed Americans didn’t have a stable relationship, while 32 percent of employed Americans reported not having a stable relationship, according to the Washington Post.

The Washington Post also points out other reasons for the higher no sex rate among men with one of them being that young men are more likely to live with their parents.

For example, in 2014, 35 percent of men age 18-34 reported living with their parents, while 29 percent of women reported the same.

Thus, living with your family makes it difficult to bring someone home and have sex.

Another factor is technology, according to Twenge there are more things to do virtually during late night then about 20 years go.

She mentioned things like streaming video, social media, console games, and pretty much everything else people are doing at night that can kill a sex drive. These factors can cause the decline of being sexually active.

According to the Washington Post the amount of people having sex once a week or more decreased to 39 percent now from 51 percent in 1996.

The data from the article, the survey, and Twenge’s ideas are very interesting, but I think they should have talked more about the way that dating within our generation.

Generation Z is now using technology more than ever for multiple things like communication and work. Currently, these advances have moved into the dating world with apps like Tinder, Grindr, Bumble, Okcupid, etc.

These apps have changed the way we interact with each other romantically.

For example, these dating apps have pushed people to rely on a market based persona with posting pictures trying to make yourself look cute, instead of the old way of meeting someone in person and striking a conversation.

This is not to say that the old way doesn’t still exist, but this forced people to try to fix themselves and compete for a partner instead of being themselves and allowing people to like them for who they are.

This can lead people to feel like they can’t compete because they are unable to meet the impossible high standards that are set. Thus, they may stop trying to find someone causing the decline of  sex.

This specific article should have dove deeper into this subject to explore the many reasons for less sex in young Americans.


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