In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of Americans reporting a lack of sexual activity. In 2018, the proportion of U.S. adults who had not had sex in the past year reached an all-time high, with nearly one in four U.S. residents falling into this category. This trend can be attributed to a variety of factors, including an aging population and an increase in the number of people who are not sexually active. What is particularly surprising, however, is the large number of men in their 20s who choose to remain celibate.
According to the General Social Survey, the percentage of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 who have not had sex in the past year more than doubled from 2008 to 2018 to 23%. This increase is primarily due to young people becoming partnered later in life. According to Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, the lack of regular partners among those in their 20s is a factor in their decreased sexual activity.
On the other hand, Americans in their 30s, 40s and older are more likely to be married, leading to an increased likelihood of sexual intercourse. The findings also show a significant gender gap among 20-year-olds. In recent years, the proportion of men under 30 who have not had sex has nearly tripled to 28%, while among their female counterparts, the rate has increased by only 8 percentage points.
There are several possible explanations for this gender disparity. One factor is the decline in labor force participation among young men, especially since the last economic downturn. Research shows that there is a link between stable relationships and labor force participation. Research has also shown that unemployed Americans are less likely to have a steady romantic partner compared to those who are employed.
Another contributing factor is the living conditions of young people. More young men, compared to young women, are living with their parents, making it harder to attract sexual partners into their bedroom. In 2014, 35% of men aged 18 to 34 lived with their parents, compared to only 29% of women in the same age group.
The Great American “sexual drought” is a complex issue with many factors involved. Changing relationship dynamics, economic factors, and living conditions all contribute to the decline in Americans’ sexual activity. If this trend continues, it raises questions about the future of the United States.