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Gen-Z men aren’t having sex, and the internet (of course) may be to blame

Gen-Z men aren’t having sex, and the internet (of course) may be to blame
[Photo: Jakari Ward/Unsplash]

It brings new meaning to the phrase “Netflix and chill.” More men between the ages of 18 and 30 are not having sex than ever before. It’s a sexless pandemic, if you will.

This is according to data from the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey, writes the Washington Post. For decades, the percentage of Americans who reported not having sex was generally steady; in 1989, it was at about 19%. It’s since gone up–in 2018, hitting 23%. (That’s nearly a quarter of Americans not having sex!)

According to the Post, young people are behind this large jump in sexlessness: “The portion of Americans 18 to 29 reporting no sex in the past year more than doubled between 2008 and 2018.” It’s now at 23%, compared to around 9% in 2008. What’s more, it’s the men who are behind the spike. About 28% of men in that age group reported not having sex in 2018, compared to only 18% of women. Compare that to about 10% and 8%, respectively, in 2008. Which is to say, more twentysomething men are refraining from doing the nasty than ever before.

So what’s causing this rampant lack of gen-Z and millennial sex? Of course there’s no way to definitively answer this, but there are a few hypotheses:

  • Since the recession, fewer young men have been entering the workforce. Not only that, but it’s becoming harder to make ends meet in the current economy. So it’s possible that young men without a steady income simply don’t feel comfortable dating.
  • Additionally, young men are more likely to live with their parents, compared to women. It’s logical that a guy doesn’t feel comfortable bringing a partner back to his place when he’s shacking up in a suburban basement.
  • What’s more, this generation has a new pastime: being online. One researcher posited to the Post that there’s a lot more to do now at night, what with gaming, social media, and other fun digital distractions. This doesn’t just impact the young men, but it’s possible a lot of these dudes are fondling their phones and computer rather than . . . other bodies.

So there you have it–sex is so mid-2000s.

You can read the full Washington Post article here.

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