From online dating to Tinder to sexting, you might think that young people today are having more sex than any other previous generation. Not so, says a new study, which highlights the fact that men today are having less sex than their Millennial and Gen-X peers did at their age.
These findings are really shocking because it seems like sex should be more available and accessible than ever before for young people. Gen-Z people are more open and accepting of sexuality, and there is more empowerment around gender identity and sexual orientation, not to mention sex and dating apps which make it even easier to find a potential partner(s).
However, it seems that technology could actually be harming a man’s chance at intimacy.
What the researchers found was that things like gaming, social media, and streaming entertainment distracted Gen-Z men from the pursuit of love and dating.
I would also add pornography to that list of growing distractions: Gone are the days of hiding a copy of Playboy under your bed. Now, men can access pornography anywhere at any time on their phones, free of charge. This nonstop access to X-rated material can mean that men become content with solo fulfillment and don’t want to put in the effort or risk potential rejection in seeking a real-life woman.
The findings could mean that ‘hookup culture’ is falling out of vogue with younger generations.
Years ago, there was a lot of attention on things like friends with benefits, hooking up, and other casual sex experiences. But it could be that improved sex education in schools and more acknowledgment and normalizing of sexuality has actually encouraged young people to be more cautious and intentional about their sexual choices.
Now that young people are more educated, confident, and comfortable with their sexual needs, maybe they don’t need to go straight for meaningless sexual connection and instead are more intentional and cautious about their choices.
The coronavirus pandemic may also alter the way young people approach sex. This is a huge formative event that could change the way younger generations think about sexual activity and potential risk. It could be an invitation to think deeper about intimacy and whether one-night-stands are worth the risk.
In this unprecedented time, people are spending more time alone than ever before, and avoiding large public gatherings like going to bars and concerts. We are learning new ways to socialize, and this could impact the way young people make decisions about their sex lives in the future.
But continued efforts to educate and empower younger generations about safe sex is still a primary concern.
The conversations need to keep happening. Sex is everywhere, all the time, and accurate, nonjudgmental information is the best way to keep everyone safe and healthy.