QUICK READ: American teenagers and young adults are having less sex. Today’s young adults are on track to have fewer sex partners than members of the two preceding generations. People now in their early 20s are two and a half times as likely to be abstinent as Gen Xers were at that age; 15 percent report having had no sex since they reached adulthood. This is not something that can be solved by our pill culture.
Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are having less sex today than previous generations did at the same age. From the late 1990s to 2014, Twenge found, drawing on data from the General Social Survey, the average adult went from having sex 62 times a year to 54 times. A given person might not notice this decrease, but nationally, it adds up to a lot of missing sex. Twenge recently took a look at the latest General Social Survey data, from 2016, and told me that in the two years following her study, sexual frequency fell even further.
According to research published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, Millennials are having less sex with few people than their parents did at the same age. A recent British study found that one in eight 26-year-olds is still a virgin. One-third of American men aged 18 to 29 didn’t have sex once in all of 2018. And the sexlessness is even seeping into the generation coming after the Millennials: Nearly 60 percent of modern teenagers are staying virgins until after they graduate, a complete reversal of the 1990s when a majority of teenagers had had sex by prom night.
Having sex is healthy
“Sexually active people take fewer sick days,” says Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD a sexual health expert. Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of a certain antibody compared to students who had sex less often.
Research also suggests a link between sex and lower blood pressure, says Joseph J. Pinzone, MD. He is the CEO and medical director of Amai Wellness. A good sex life is also good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate, sex helps keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.
If you’re stressed, sex may be the last thing on your mind. But if you can get in the mood, sex is a great stress-reliever. The act of sex floods your brain with all sorts of feel-good chemicals while reducing the stress hormone cortisol. Dopamine, which impacts the brain’s pleasure and reward centers; endorphins, which can reduce pain and stress; and oxytocin, also known as the cuddle hormone, are all released during sex, with higher levels after orgasm.
Sex is an important part of life and overall well-being. … Physical and emotional benefits like reduced risk of heart disease, improved self-esteem, and more can come from having sex.
You would think in an era of dating and hookup apps people might be having more sex but research doesn’t support that. The truth is that there is a very strong emotional connection between people making love but not necessarily having sex.
The pill, that was supposed to boost women’s libido has been a failure because this is one problem that can’t be solved by our pill culture.
Regular sex helps you feel emotionally close to your partner, which opens the door to better communication. Couples who have sex more often tend to say they’re happier than those who get less of it.
Further studies are needed to determine why so many people are having less sex and their effects on overall wellness and productivity. More people are turning to wellness supplements to improve sexual performance but most of these supplements are not studied and could be dangerous.
Physicians should be trained to talk to patients about their sex lives. It won’t be easy but it could help identify some potential serious wellness problems. Insurers also need to remind their customers of the benefits of regular sex and provide resources to help them understand their sexuality.