Study: Millennials have More Relaxed Attitudes Regarding Sex, but Have Fewer Partners

According to a study, millennials these days may have casual hookups, but they have less partners than their parents did.

What other relaxed attitudes are there?

Premarital Sex

In the 1970s, 29% of Americans thought premarital sex was acceptable.

By the 1980s, 42% of Americans thought premarital sex was acceptable.

It crossed the 50% mark in 2008 and now 55% of Americans think that premarital sex is acceptable.

This is mainly from the current young generation.  47% of baby boomers think it’s acceptable, 50% of Generation Xers think it is, and 62% of late teens early 20s say that premarital sex is acceptable.

Why the drastic change?  Partially because the later generations are waiting to get married.  On average, the age is around 27 for women, and 29 for me.  That’s approximately ten years without sex if one holds to the traditional views.  Thus, the current generation has a more relaxed view of premarital sex.

Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex relationships are also coming into their own, according to the study. Until the early 1990s, only 11% to 16% of Americans approved of such relationships. But that trajectory changed rapidly beginning in 1993, with 22% approving of gay and lesbian relationships. By 2012, 44% of the public was accepting of same-sex couples.

Once again, millennials led the way — 56% of millennials in their late teens and 20s said they had no problem with same-sex relationships. Only 26% of Gen Xers felt the same way when they were that age, as did a mere 21% of baby boomers, the researchers found.

Casual Sex

45% of millennials said they have had casual sex by their 20s (which the article defines as having sex with someone other than a significant other or spouse).  Only 35% of Gen Xers did by their 20s.  However, don’t assume that millennials have more sexual partners.

Teenage Sex

Americans in general have become more open to the idea of teenagers having sex — 6% of people surveyed in 2012 said they were fine with it, up from 4% in 2006. Meanwhile, they’ve become less tolerant of extramarital sex — only 1% of people accepted it in 2012, down from 4% in 1973.

The social scientist quoted in the report says that when individualism goes up, so does lax attitudes regarding sexuality.

You can read about the summary of the study here.

About shaunmiller

I have just completed a visiting position as an assistant professor at Dalhousie University. My ideas are not associated with my employer; they are expressions of my own thoughts and ideas. Some of them are just musings while others could be serious discussions that could turn into a bigger project. Besides philosophy, I enjoy martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), playing my violin, enjoying coffee around town, and experimenting with new food.
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