A recent study has shown that despite modern society’s changing attitudes towards premarital sex, millennials are not having very much of it. While the Baby Boomers were the generation of free love, the kids these days are a little more stingy with their love. This brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “Netflix and chill” — apparently, the youngest millennials really are just chilling.
It sounds surprising initially, when you think about the proliferation of apps like Tinder and Grindr, which are primarily designed with casual sex in mind. Millennials are often considered the “hookup” generation, thought to be using their 24/7 mobile internet access for nothing but sexts and booty calls. As it turns out, the kids aren’t alright. They’re more socially awkward and stunted than anyone could have imagined. Growing up with the internet has made younger millennials dependent on screens for pleasure. Whether they’re watching porn or Game of Thrones, it seems that most of them would rather be at home than out mingling with potential sexual partners.
Not to throw the entirety of the Millennial generation under the bus, this study specified that it’s those between the ages of 20 and 24 that aren’t getting it. The study concluded that 15 percent of people born in the 1990s had no sexual partners after the age of 18, compared to just 6 percent of people born in the 1960s. This makes people in their early 20s now the least sexually active generation since the 1920s. The older millennials, those born in the ’80s, are getting laid more than the younger ones — but still not as much as their parents did back in the day.
In the most depressing article you’ll read this week, the Washington Post spoke to some of these lonely wayward youths to get some insight about their lack of sexual activity. One troubled soul, who will hopefully soon look back and cringe at his younger self, gave the best argument against technology that I’ve ever heard,
Noah Patterson, 18, likes to sit in front of several screens simultaneously: a work project, a YouTube clip, a video game. To shut it all down for a date or even a one-night stand seems like a waste. “For an average date, you’re going to spend at least two hours, and in that two hours I won’t be doing something I enjoy,” he said.
The article goes on to state that he has never had sex, but enjoys watching porn. As if that needed to be pointed out.
There are surely a number of reasons for this phenomenon, easy on-demand access to any form of entertainment being one of them. This is also the first generation raised in a virtual plastic bubble, the children of overly cautious helicopter parents, unable to play unsupervised in the streets or sneeze without a bike helmet on. Sex is seen as something dangerous, especially to those raised on a strict diet of mid-90s AIDS paranoia. It shouldn’t come as too big of a shock that hundreds of hours of educational health class videos about the terrible consequences of sex before marriage has scarred a lot of kids for life.
But more than anything, it looks like screens are consistently winning out over actual human interactions. The aforementioned Washington Post article is an absolute goldmine for cringe-worthy quotes by chaste 20-somethings, like this one from a 25-year old virgin about why he isn’t interested in pursuing sex, “I’m curious on a physical level, like I’m curious about how a new sandwich would taste, but it’s not like a driving curiosity.”
Seriously, you cannot even make this kind of stuff up.