It’s official: Americans are not as frisky as we once were. According to the General Social Survey, a growing number of Americans are reporting that they haven’t had sex in the last 12 months.
The study, performed by NORC at the University of Chicago, revealed that 2018 was a record year for Americans — the largest number of people in the history of the study admitted that they didn’t have sex for the entire previous year.
Nicknamed the “Great American Sex Drought” by the Washington Post, the data from the GSS shows that nearly one in four American adults have not had sex recently. And it’s especially true for millennials.
Between 2008 and 2018, the number of adults who did not have sexual intercourse in the year prior doubled. Some experts note that it might all be because younger adults are marrying later in life — and are therefore having less regular sex in their early 20s — and have found entertainment and social engagement in other ways.
Cultural changes — think, social media, most notably — have altered the way younger people communicate and spend time together. Instead of late nights in the bedroom, more and more younger couples are choosing to Netflix and well, literally, chill.
But the news isn’t exactly shocking. Those who have followed the well-respected GSS annual survey have noted that the “sex recession” in the States has been in effect for nearly two decades, though 2018 was a record low.
While hook-up culture has grown over the last several years, in part thanks to the surge of online dating options, it doesn’t necessarily translate into regular sex. And that, in itself, contributes to many other lifestyle factors, the GSS proves.
American fertility rates are also at their lowest point, and the GSS also shows that life satisfaction rates have taken a dip. Since it’s long been known that sex — and especially regular sex — leads to improved happiness and life satisfaction, it should come as no surprise that when one of those factors sees a dip, the rest do too.
Maybe we just need to take steps to revolutionize our sex lives.