Find Out Why Americans Are Having Less Sex Than Before


It appears that Americans are less fond of hitting the sack than they used to be.

People in the United States have been engaging in less sex than a quarter century ago, according to a new study that reflected a drop across race, gender, region, educational attainment, and work status. Married individuals showed the most significant decline.

Less Lovemaking In The United States

Psychology professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University and her colleagues — using data from the annual national General Social Survey — discovered that Americans had around nine fewer instances of sex every year from 2010 to 2014 than they did from 1995 to 1999, the peak period since the survey began in 1989. In this peak period, they had sex around 62 times annually on average.

The decrease in sexual activity was doubled among married couples compared to single ones, from about 73 times every year in 1990 to just 55 in 2014. Those who were never married had sex around 59 times annually on average.

Broad trends could partly be attributed to the fact that committed relationships are no longer as common as they used to be.

“The marriage rate has declined, and it has not been replaced by people living with a romantic partner,” said Twenge.

Americans are far less coupled today. According to the survey findings, 59 percent were living with a partner in 2014, compared to 66 percent back in 1986.

In addition, the sharpest decline was spotted in individuals in their 50s, college degree holders, people with school-age kids, those living in the South, and those who are not avid viewers of pornography.

Potential Factors At Work

The report did not cite causes behind the decline. It, however, mentioned possible factors, including greater access to social media and entertainment, a drop in happiness among those age 30 and above, an increased incidence of depression, and more frequent used of antidepressants implicated in sexual dysfunction.

Could it be that they are less happy and thus engaging less in sex, or does having less bedroom action come first and lead to less happiness?

It’s likely a bit of both, Twenge proposed, saying it is unclear whether the frequency of sex is tied to marital satisfaction.

“So overall if you have fewer people having sex, you could have people who are less happy and less satisfied with that relationship,” she explained.

Digital disruption may also be at play. While the advent of dating services and apps such as Tinder might make it easier for casual relationships and sexual activity to come along, electronic distraction may also get in the way.

Another crucial factor: fatigue from meeting financial obligations. In the rise of the so-called two-income family, Americans’ sex lives often become sacrificed.

“I would say the number one cause for a lack of sex is fatigue,” said University of Washington social professor Pepper Schwartz, citing more men and women striving to stay middle-class or above, and therefore getting preoccupied with things other than sexual connection.

Twenge did not greatly agree, noting that a steep drop in sexual incidence reported from 2008 had not been reversed despite economic improvements since the Great Recession.

The findings were discussed in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

A separate study last month warned that strenuous exercise, while one way to achieve a leaner and fitter physique, could also potentially disrupt a man’s sex drive.

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