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Millennial Myth: This Is Not The Hookup Generation

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Among many of the various stigma millennials carry is the belief that they are hookup generation. Millennials have traded in knocking on doors with flowers in hand for the first date for swiping until they find someone attractive enough for a potential one-night stand.

However, just because they commonly use dating apps when searching for love doesn't necessarily mean that sex is the only thing on this generation's mind when it comes to relationships. In fact, it is a huge myth that millennials are just about a hookup.

The truth is that millennials aren't hooking up as much as many might have believed. Many aren't even getting it on at all.

According to a paper published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior on Tuesday, more millennials in the U.S. are abstaining from sex.

Led by Jean Twenge from San Diego State University and colleagues Ryna Sherman and Brooke Wells, the researchers found that 15 percent of millennials ages 20 to 24 years old born in the 1990s in the U.S. reported to not having any sexual partners after they turned 18 years old.

The researchers used data from the General Social Survey, which includes a sample of 26,707 Americans nationwide who answered questions regarding a variety of behaviors and beliefs, such as sex, focusing on the responses from Gen X (those born in the '60s and '70s), millennials and those born in the generation after them known as iGen (born 1995 to 2012).

While this 15 percent may seem to be low, according to the survey, only six percent of Gen X'ers of the same age that were born in 1960s reported to not having sex since their 18th birthday. This means the amount of sexually inactive people within this age group has doubled in the past 30 years.

However, with so many dating apps at millennials' fingertips, why would they be getting it on less?

It could very well be that the very promiscuous Tinder users are the exception, while most millennials aren't getting any action because they spend too much of their social time online and not making real-world connections.

The researchers speculate that there are many different reasons why people in their 20s and 30s have put the brakes on a sexually active lifestyle.

For one, it all comes down to money. Young people are coming out of college with lots of debt and no jobs, making it harder for them to afford to go on lots of dates or be able to financially support a family.

The study cites that young people living with their parents is more common now than living with, say, their boyfriend or girlfriend or with a roommate. Also, not everyone is comfortable with getting it on when their parents are in the next room.

The decision to live at home could be because of money or because they want to continue to live their teenage years by putting off as much adulting as possible like getting into a serious relationship, getting married and having kids — which ultimately means that sex can be delayed as well.

Only 26 percent of millennials ages 18 to 32 were married as of 2014, compared with the 36 percent of those part of Gen X back in 1997.

Millennials may also be more wise about the health risks associated with having multiple partners. This may prevent them from having more casual hookups and instead wait for something more real to avoid STDs. With more prevention for rape on college campuses, many more young adults may opt out of wild college parties with drinking or be more aware of these dangers.

While there are a few reasons why millennials aren't the hookup generation they are assumed to be, what is known is that they have no problems putting sex off the table — for now.

Source: NY Mag

Photo: Cristina Souza | Flickr

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