The share of U.S. adults reporting no sex in the past year reached an all-time high in 2018, underscoring a three-decade trend line marked by an aging population and higher numbers of unattached people.
At first glance, it looks like simple demography; in an aging country, aged people simply have less sex, for the usual reasons. Here’s the interesting part:
But changes at the other end of the age spectrum may be playing an even bigger role. The portion of Americans 18 to 29 reporting no sex in the past year more than doubled between 2008 and 2018, to 23 percent.
It’s because they’re not partnered:
For most of the past three decades, 20-something men and women reported similar rates of sexlessness. But that has changed in recent years. Since 2008, the share of men younger than 30 reporting no sex has nearly tripled, to 28 percent. That’s a much steeper increase than the 8 percentage point increase reported among their female peers.
There are several potential explanations for this, Twenge said. Labor force participation among young men has fallen, particularly in the aftermath of the last recession. Researchers also see a “connection between labor force participation and stable relationships,” she said.
I don’t know about you, but I find this worrisome. Not only for economic reasons, but because sexually frustrated young men are dangerous. Men with no prospects, sexual or otherwise, have been the engine of social upheaval throughout human history. Times change, people don’t. A man who can’t find a human partner is not going to be happy with masturbation forever.
It’s an interesting story. I recommend it.
Have you been following the great Leggings War? I know the Notre Dame skirmish was a topic here last week, but this is nothing new. Ruth Graham explains in Slate:
It’s fitting that Maryann White’s jeremiad against the troublesome trousers sprang from an encounter in a church. The leggings debate takes on a special urgency in Christian circles, where the stakes are not just which pants are flattering, but which pants are godly. Modesty is a virtue named in the New Testament, and lust is a sin. But the Bible unhelpfully does not include original illustrations. Does modesty require covered shoulders? Long skirts? Or just a spirit of not “trying so very hard to look good in all the ways that are so relatively unimportant,” while also, of course, looking traditionally feminine? Meanwhile, huge swaths of mainstream Christian culture are almost indistinguishable aesthetically with mainstream American culture, and even take pains to imitate it. The result is that many young Christian women feel perfectly comfortable wearing leggings, while others see them as not just unflattering but immoral.
The result is seemingly endless cycles of debates within the Christian community about the communal ethics of spandex, a hothouse version of the broader cultural debate. “Modesty, Yoga Pants and 5 Myths You Need to Know”; “To the Christian Men and Women Debating Yoga Pants”; “Yoga Pants and What the Bible Really Says About Modesty”; “Should Christian Women Wear Leggings?”; “Why I Chose to No Longer Wear Leggings”; and my personal favorite, “Leggings: A Catholic Man’s Perspective.” For what it’s worth, America is doing pretty well right now by traditional measures of Christian morality: Teen abstinence is up; teen pregnancy is down; divorce is down. The visible-butt revolution has not ruined us yet.
That second graf, in the original, is full of links. Follow a few; this is a topic some people are simply obsessed with. From the Catholic man’s perspective:
Many of my brothers struggle with pornography and are trying to rewire their brains to be clean from all the horrible things they’ve seen in porn. When a woman in real life walks by in an immodest outfit – say, a crop top, something low-cut, something sheer, or something very tight (like leggings), the visual of those body parts can recall images from porn to the front of their brains. It’s extremely hard to purify the brain, and we desperately need your help.
My goal is to get men to treat you more respectfully, and I’m simply asking you to treat us that way, too. Not only does dressing modestly help protect you, it helps protect us, too.
Got that? You must dress “modestly,” whatever that is, because your butt might recall images from porn.
Here’s what I don’t get: Why are leggings bad, but jeans, almost all of which are tight, are not? Don’t they both trace the curve of one’s bum?
Everybody is crazy.
It’s a great midweek blog, isn’t it? Mostly others’ work. But we have the demise of World Net Daily to celebrate, so that’s a good thing.