Going through a dry spell? Is it, perhaps, a lifelong dry spell? Or maybe it's not a dry spell at all. Maybe you just don't want to be boning anyone.
Well, despite what literally every TV show you watch seems to be implying, it turns out you're not alone! In fact, if you're a Millennial, you might even be... dare I say it, normal.
A new paper in the Archives of Sexual Behavior aims to find out what percentage of Millennials have not had any sex partners since the age of 18. What they found is that a surprisingly large number of Millennials are actually chaste.
The researchers conducted their study by analyzing people's responses to something called the General Social Survey throughout the years. The General Social Survey, around since 1972, asks a nationally representative sample of Americans a wide range of questions about their lifestyles.
For this study, Jean Twenge of San Diego State University teamed up with Ryne Sherman of Florida Atlantic University and Brooke Wells of Widener University, to look into people's answers to two questions that have been on the survey since 1989:
- ''Now thinking about the time since your 18th birthday (including the past 12 months), how many female partners have you had sex with?”
- ''Now thinking about the time since your 18th birthday (including the past 12 months), how many male partners have you had sex with?”
Now, we obviously have to account for the fact these people could have been having sex as teens so this doesn't necessarily mean they're virgins. But take a look at what they found:
Do you see that jump?! A way larger percentage of people born between 1990 and 1994 (aka us Millenials) have had zero sexual partners since turning 18 than in any other generation.
Pretty nuts, right?
Feel free to draw your own conclusions on why this might be but Twenge and her fellow researchers have a few ideas of why this might be.
Her first theory is that people born after 1980 are more aware of the dangers of AIDS than any generation before us. This might make us a little less enthusiastic about jumping into bed with someone than people in generations before us who were less concerned with the possibility of contracting an STI.
Next, she provides two more possible reasons. The first has to do with our living situations,
With more living with their parents even postrecession (Pew Research Center, 2015), young adults may have fewer opportunities to have sex.
I guess that makes sense. Having sex like high schoolers isn't really fun when you're 24. The next is that Millennials are getting married later than generations before them and marriage still tends to be a popular outlet for sex.
Whatever the reason may be, I'm just going to go ahead and say you can CHILL OUT about your dry spell. It's normal.
Citations: Why Are So Many Millennials Having Zero Sex? (New York Magazine), Sexual Inactivity During Young Adulthood Is More Common Among U.S. Millennials and iGen: Age, Period, and Cohort Effects on Having No Sexual Partners After Age 18 (Springer Link), The General Social Survey (University of Chicago)