Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links! And thanks also to our blogger pals over at The Daley Gator for the referral to last week’s Wednesday links compendium.
Seems like young adults are having less sex. Like most things, there are pros and cons here. Excerpt:
PSID gathered in-depth demographic data from participants, along with information about daily habits, living situations, and income, among many other personal details. This allowed South and Lei to explore how the decline in casual sex correlated with broad changes in other habits and life factors, as well as to compare the characteristics of sexually active young adults with their less sexually active cohorts.
Here’s what the researchers discovered:
We find that about one quarter of the drop in young women’s propensity to have casual sex is attributable to a decline in their frequency of drinking alcohol. Of the various sources of the decline in sexual activity considered in this analysis, the decline in alcohol consumption is the only factor that explains a significant portion of the decline.
A slightly different story emerged for young men.
As with young women, a decline in the frequency of drinking alcohol is an important source of young men’s diminished likelihood of having casual sex. But unlike for young women, among young men increases in the frequency of playing computer games and in the tendency to reside in the parental home also play important roles.
Times change, of course. I was a young man in the late Seventies and early Eighties, when the social mores were different. I could drink legally at eighteen (which, honestly, should be the case now) and was… active from fourteen on, although not with any regularity until I was, again, about eighteen.
The linked article notes:
This new trend is neither inherently good nor bad. A decline in casual sex among young adults likely means fewer cases of sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies. On the other hand, the dearth could inhibit young adults’ psychosocial development at a tender time. Plus, you know, less sex.
I’d accept that statement, honestly. The development referenced, of course, goes well beyond just sex, though, and the article sort of misses that. Sex is a (fun!) part of ‘adulting’ in general. It’s something to be learned, experienced and indulged in responsibly, as are so many other things.
Young people not having much sex today is a symptom. It’s a symptom of a generation growing isolated and disfunctional. It’s not just a problem in the West; in Japan, a fair number of young people are classed as “Hikikomori” (ひきこもり or 引きこもり) or “Shut-ins,” young people who rarely if ever leave their homes and have poorly developed social skills.
Unlike lots of issues I comment on, I don’t really have a good solution for this one. While the lockdowns of the last twelve months have greatly exacerbated this problem, it was already becoming an issue. How does one get the younger generation out and about, interacting, and developing into healthy, productive adults? Well, parenting is the primary answer, I think, and indeed, all four of our kids are doing pretty well. But you can’t enforce good parenting.