A new study finds Americans are having less sex, even if they are married or “partnered.” This won’t end well.
I’ve written before about how the Japanese are having less sex… than, possibly, ever before in their history. It is such a widely-recognized phenomenon in Japan that they have a term for the male side of the problem. A “herbivore” is now a name of a young man who is not interested in sex. At the end of the video below about the problem in Japan, a Japanese expert predicts that the problem will cross the Pacific and soon Americans will have less sex.
To an extent, there was already evidence of less sex in America at the time. At least, there have been fewer babies. I wrote about this demographic news:
The term, “baby bust,” should clue you in to the ramifications. The baby boom accompanied a post-World War II economic surge in the United States. The restoration of normalcy made a generation optimistic about the future. They started having babies and ensured their economic expectations came true.
But since the financial crisis the young aren’t just putting off babies; they are delaying household formation. Many are living with their parents after college. So low expectations and financial hardship may mean a dismal economy for the next generation.
George Bush’s financial crisis and Barack Obama’s “recovery” may cast a shadow over the entire century. The bubble that started with Bill Clinton’s administration is going to leave us with a demographic winter that lasts decades.
Japan, remember, has been going through economic difficulties for a while.
Now, there’s more evidence than a decline in births. Americans are, indeed, having less sex. The Washington Post reports,
It used to be that, along with certain tax benefits, one advantage to being married was having more sex than singletons.
That benefit is steadily diminishing, according to a new study released Tuesday. Overall, American adults are having less sex than they did a quarter century ago, with married people showing the most dramatic decline of all.
The paper, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, showed a drop across gender, race, region, education level, and work status. One factor is the higher percentage now of unpartnered people, who tend to have less sex than partnered ones. But a major driver is a steady fall in the rate of sexual activity for people who are married or living with partners, which reduces what had been known as the “marriage advantage.”
Using 1989-2014 data from the General Social Survey, the study found that American adults have sex seven to nine fewer times per year than in the 1990s. Back then, the average person had sex 60 to 62 times a year, but in the early 2000s the frequency began to slip, and by 2014 it had declined to less than 53 times a year.
When looking only at married people, the drop was even sharper – from around 73 times a year in 1990 to around 55 in 2014 – bringing their frequency of sexual activity below that of never-married people. People in that group have sex an average of 59 times a year.
The article puzzles over how to account for this change. The story doesn’t mention the economy but it does mention “access to entertainment and social media; a decline in happiness among people 30 and over; higher incidence of depression; and use of anti-depressants associated with sexual dysfunction.” The happiness factor is hard to calculate because if could be the cause of the effect. Electronic entertainment might be feeding the problem.
But the bottom line is that if Americans don’t change their attitudes and practices, there could be real problems resulting from Americans having less sex.