- Millennials lose their virginity later than previous generations did, according to a new study.
- There are several possible reasons for this, including the fact they may struggle with intimacy.
- Or maybe they just have better things to do.
If you were to listen to some cynical older people, you’d believe the younger generations drink and take drugs, spend too much time on their phones, and spend all day having sex with each other.
In reality, younger people are more likely to avoid alcohol, and spending time on social media isn’t actually that bad for them. Also, according to a new study, millennials are waiting longer to have sex than previous generations.
Researchers with the Next Steps project, set up by the Department for Education and managed by University College London, tracked the lives of 16,000 people born between 1989 and 1990 from the age of 14.
Results showed that millennials remain virgins for longer, with 12.5% of them not having sex until the age of 26.
Of those who lost their virginity by this age, about 90% did so by 19, while 1% said it happened between the ages of 23 and 26.
According to Susanna Abse, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist at the Balint Consultancy, young people could be struggling with intimacy problems because they are exposed to a lot of pornographic material and sexual content in TV and films from a young age.
“Millennials have been brought up in a culture of hypersexuality which has bred a fear of intimacy,” she told The Sunday Times. “The fear for young men is of being humiliated, plus the fear of exposure in your Facebook group.”
The pressures of social media are a possibility for how millennials approach sex, but there are likely to be several different reasons. It could just be because teens have more options for how to spend their time now, and sex isn’t as high on the agenda.
Or it could be something to do with passing on having sex earlier, in a similar way they have done with drugs and alcohol.
There’s also the possibility that it has to do with millennials working long hours, and being more likely to still live at home with their parents – neither of which present a lot of opportunity for intimate encounters.
They may also simply be more socially isolated. A recent study found that younger generations are at the highest risk of loneliness. Results showed 7% of millennial participants said they often felt lonely, while 23-31% said they felt left out or lacked companionship.
Whatever the reason, research suggests falling sexual activity is a trend that isn’t likely to go away any time soon. For example,a US survey found that 44% of teenage girls have had sex, compared to 58% 25 years ago. For boys, it was 47% compared to 69% 25 years ago.
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