Study Reveals Why Young People Are Having Less Sex

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 16 Jun 2021 16:47
Study Reveals Why Young People Are Having Less SexNetflix/Universal Pictures

According to a recent study by the American Sociological Association (ASA), young adults are having less casual sex than before.

Looking at 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.


Meanwhile, looking at data from 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.

Woman holding condom (Pexels)Pexels

In the same time frames, the number of young women not having sex also increased from 15.1% to 19.1%, retrospectively.

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, including fewer unwanted pregnancies and less sexual diseases being spread, there are also negatives to sexual inactivity. According to the report, it may ‘hinder young adults’ psychosocial development and diminish their physical and emotional gratification.’

Couple's Feet In Bed (PA)PA Images

The answer to why this decline happening is still being investigated, but the study suggests it could be down to a decline in alcohol consumption.

Two researchers to have also looked into this are Scott J. South, from the University of Albany, and Lei Lei, from Rutgers University. Their 2021 report found that one reason for the decline could be down to fewer young people being in romantic relationships, including marriage and nonmartial cohabitation.


As of last year, the average age women in the UK get married is 35, Harper’s Bazaar reported, compared to aged 25 in 1971.

Other things that were looked at were: reflecting trends in employment; earnings; financial debt load; living with parents; use of electronic media; television watching; computer video gaming; and alcohol consumption.

Couple in bed (Pexels)Pexels

Some research suggests that video gaming attitudes of males could be a result of their sexual inactivity, while others identified the fact that drinking alcohol can often increase the chances of engaging in casual sex, and since alcohol consumption has declined, so has the number of people having sex.


The report also noted that young people living with their parents limit their opportunities for sexual encounters, as well as financial stability being ‘a force of attraction even for casual encounters’ – something not many young people have.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, Relationships, Sex, Study


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    Why Are Fewer Young Adults Having Casual Sex?