SSN Commentary

Why Are So Many Young People Having Less Sex and Fewer Friendships?

Policy field

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University of Missouri, Columbia

Originally published in Salon on November 6, 2022.

The right-wing media ecosystem wants more sex.

Specifically, conservative and far-right pundits are worried that young men specifically aren't having enough of it. That's their take on an analysis of the General Social Survey, a bi-annual survey conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago, which shows that since 2010 the rate at which both men and women (18-34) are having sex has declined dramatically since 2008. In 2021, the survey found over 20 percent of males under 35 reported not having had sex in the past year, and 19 percent of females of the same age group; in 2008, those groups' numbers were 8 and 7 percent, respectively.