According to a recent study by the American Sociological Association (ASA), young adults are having less casual sex than before.
Analysing data from 2000 to 2010, 11.67% of adults aged between 20 and 24 said they hadn’t had sex in the last year, but this rose to 15.7% between 2010 and 2014. Then in a 2020 report, the percentage of sexually inactive men aged 18 to 23 increased from 18.9% between 2000 and 2002, to 30.9% between 2016 and 2018.
Meanwhile, the number of young women not having sex increased from 15.1% to 19.1%. The recent report published by ASA describes young people having casual sex as ‘an important form of adolescent and young adult sexual activity is encounters that occur outside of a committed relationship or partnership.’
While there are obvious benefits to people not having sex, such as fewer unwanted pregnancies and lessening the spread of STDs, there are also negatives to sexual inactivity, like hindering ‘young adults’ psychosocial development and diminish their physical and emotional gratification.’
Why this decline has happened is yet to be researched, but the study suggests it could be down to a decline in alcohol consumption. Two researchers – Scott J. South and Lei Lei – found that a reason for the decline could be down to fewer people being in romantic relationships.
Some research even suggests that video gaming attitudes of males could result in sexual inactivity, while others identified that drinking alcohol can increase the chances of engaging in casual sex, and since alcohol consumption has declined, so has the number of people having sex.