More Americans aged 35 and younger, especially those who are religious, are reportedly choosing to have less sex than those of their age in past generations.
The Christian Headlines said the 2021 General Society Survey showed that the number of young Americans refraining from sex have increased from 8% to 21% from 2008 to 2021. The findings of the said research were featured in the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) brief.
"There has been a sharp rise in the share of males and females ages 18 to 35 who report not having sex in the prior year," the IFS said.
IFS Research Fellow Lyman Stone pointed out in the research brief that despite the disruption bought by the pandemic in American lives, the findings in the 2021 General Society Survey showed that sexlessness remains constantly on the rise in the past decade since 2010. Lyman highlighted that the sharp increase is consistent among genders of the same age, but the initiative was begun by males.
"The trends certainly have some statistical noise, and the trend began earlier for males than females, but the overall change is evident for both cases. The share of under 35-year-olds going without sex more than doubled from 2008 to 2021, from around 8% to around 21%," Lymann elaborated.
Stone explained that this phenomenon is a consequent effect of young American adults delaying marriage. Stone compared data of "ever-married people" versus "never married" and pointed an increase in the incidence of the latter's reported lesser sexual activity for the present year.
"Married people are more likely to be sexually active than unmarried people: in 2021, only about 5 percent of ever-married people under 35 reported no sex in the past year, versus about 29 percent of the never-married. As a result, declining marriage tends to reduce sexual activity as married people make up a shrinking share of the population of people under 35," Stone explained.
Stone disclosed that young adults' attitudes on premarital sex, pornographic use, and religious behavior were checked if it was a reason for the increase in sexual abstinence. Findings on the first two factors proved otherwise.
The study showed that the increase in abstinence from sex among young American adults is not affected by attitudes about premarital sex, which has remained "fairly stable over the last 15 years" for those who have never been married. The data show that 70"% still approve premarital sex and 30% disapprove of it, of which "two or three times" are "as likely to be sexually abstinent for several decades."
Pornography use among those who never married similarly convey the same range of data as those with the results on views for premarital sex. The study showed that pornographic use has no relation to the person's sexual activity, despite the increase in pornographic activity in 2021.
"In 2021, about 23% of never-married under 35-year-olds who reported watching pornography had not had sex in the past year, versus 38% of those who did not watch pornography. So rising sexlessness is probably not closely related to pornography use, although it is the case that self-reported pornography usage has risen: the share of never-married under 35-year-olds who reported viewing porn rose from around 40% in the early 1990s, to 50% in the 2000s, to almost 60% in 2021," Stone stressed.
The study showed that attendance in religious service and holding religious worldviews and attitudes do correlate with abstaining from sex. Those who actually attend religious services more than once monthly showed lesser incidence of having sex at 20% in 2008 to 60% in 2021. While the non-religious peers showed a slight increase from 10% to 20% in sexlessness for the same time period.