Fewer Americans are having sex now and rise of digital media, internet could be blamed for it, claims study

There are other reasons too as adolescents and young adults are taking longer to leave their homes and become independent from their families, say experts


                            Fewer Americans are having sex now and rise of digital media, internet could be blamed for it, claims study
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While it was initially thought that staying under lockdown will lead to more sexual activity, it seems the opposite has happened across the US. In fact, over the last two decades, fewer American adults — especially men — are engaging in sex, suggests a new study. And the blame for this trend, according to researchers, falls on the internet and digital media.

Researchers from the US, UK, Japan and Sweden studied sexual activity among American men aged 18 to 34 and women aged 25 to 34. They found that one in three American men, on average, reported no sexual activity. These men were more likely to have low-paying, part-time or no jobs. Students — both men and women — are also getting less sex, according to the study.

There are other reasons too. "Adolescents and young adults are taking longer to grow to adulthood. This includes the postponement of not just sexual activity but also other activities related to mating and reproduction, including dating, living with a partner, pregnancy, and birth," Jean M Twenge, the study's author and professor of psychology at San Diego State University wrote in a commentary.

Fewer younger adults are living with their partners, as more continue to stay with their parents. "It is more difficult to date and engage in sexual activity when not economically independent of one's parents," Twenge added. Sexual activity dropped among older and married adults as well, although the reasons are not clear.

Researchers surveyed over 4,000 men and 5,000 American women for the study. Between 2016 and 2018, nearly 31% of heterosexual men aged between 18 and 24 did not have sex in at least a year. In 2000-2002, this figure stood at about 19%. Among those aged 25 to 34, the proportion of sexual inactivity climbed to 14% from 7% percent in men during the same period. The same increased to 13% from 7% in women.

As for people having sex at least once a week, the numbers dropped from about 52% to 37% among the younger population. In the older age group, it fell from 65 to 50% in men, and 66 to 54% in women. What is more, married adults reported having fewer sessions of weekly sexual activity: it decreased from 71% to nearly 58% in men and 69% to about 61% in women.

The authors acknowledge that their study suffers from a few limitations, including reporting bias. It means that the survey relied on what the participants could recall, which could sometimes be erroneous.

Nevertheless, the study agrees with other reports on the topic. Growth of the internet and digital media, along with a slower trajectory to adulthood, could be driving these changes. "Put simply, there are now many more choices of things to do in the late evening than there once were and fewer opportunities to initiate sexual activity if both partners are engrossed in social media, electronic gaming or binge-watching," Twenge added.

Besides, one study found that both sexually active and inactive people reported having similar levels of happiness. The researchers think it is crucial to understand the changing dynamics in the country, adding that further studies on the reasons behind and potential feelings about sexual inactivity are required. The study is published in JAMA Open Network.

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.