Survey Says Millennials Have Fewer Sex Partners Than Previous Generations

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In the generation where sex is openly talked about and casual relationships seem to happen often, many believe that the Millennials generation each have a vast number of sexual partners. But in fact, research taken from a new survey supposedly says that Millennials have fewer sex partners than the previous generations, like their parents. Though the farther back one looks into the generations, the lower the number of sex partners is each person of the oldest generations, however things may be starting to slow down, according to research gathered by a psychology professor at San Diego State University.

Professor Jean Twenge studied data from surveys given to 33,000 adults across the United States. The data show surprising results as it estimated that the average of the Greatest Generation (1901 – 1924) had slept with three partners, the average of the Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) had about 11 sexual partners, and the Generation X (1964 – 1980) had an average of 10 sexual partners in adulthood, but the Millennials (1980 and on) have only an average of eight partners.

Of course, because the Millennials generation is still young, research had to be analyzed more carefully, as most at this point are probably saying “well, Millennials still have a lot of years of adulthood left.” Twenge knew this, so the professor only calculated data for up to 25-years-of-age. This would help make the results more accurate for gaining averages of comparison. Researchers also calculated in projections based on based on sexual patterns in each different generation.

After finding this data, researchers were obviously a bit surprised, as many thought that the Millennials were just incautiously, sexually active and were well familiar with the term “friends with benefits.” The group wondered why it was that the Millennials had fewer sex partners than their parents and grandparents. They could only conclude that perhaps the Millennials favor casual relationships and not serious dating that that meant that the generation was not put in a position to have as many partners. The group also thought that the figures could have something to do with the percentage of people who had sex before age fifteen in the Millennials generation was eleven for girls and fourteen for boys and in the Generation X it was 19 for girls and 21 for boys.  This is most likely because the Generation X considered the coming of age to be at a younger maturity, especially as they married younger.

The research group also attributes the findings to the sex education offered in schools and the knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases which keep Millennials from being less cautious than the older generations. One thing that could also contribute is the fact that the newest generation is no as social as their parents were. With the internet, social media, digital media, etc. young adults spend more time focusing on their own lives and interests and less time outside of the house. As things like going to the movies, going bowling, joy riding just because, and many other activities have diminished, younger generations tend to prefer more mediated communication than face-to-face interaction. Though sex does not require talking it does require actually meeting someone first.

As the survey says, Millennials apparently have fewer sex partners than their parents and grandparents did in previous generations. This data should make parents worry less about their kids as they venture into young adulthood, or even if they are already there. Though the thoughts on sex have openly changed throughout history, the philosophy has not, and people continue to be somewhat cautious when choosing to jump into bed with someone, according to research.

Opinion by Crystal Boulware


Washington Post