SOCIAL MEDIA, GAMING & “ROUGH SEX”
Between the years 2009 and 2018 “all forms of partnered sexual activity” have been decreasing in America at an alarming rate, with the lead researchers of recently published findings in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour journal calling the trend not “trivial”, as reported by Scientific American.
The trend was measured using a far reaching self-reported survey of people aged from 14-49 which showed – among a range of other things – that that from 2009 to 2018 period the number of teenagers reporting “no sexual activity, either alone or with partners” increased from 28.8 percent to 44.2 percent among young men and from 49.5 percent to 74 percent among young women.
Similar studies show similar results across a wide variety of countries across the globe including Japan, Germany, Australia and the UK. This has researchers concerned about the decreasing reproduction/baby rates, which could lead to serious negative economic effects in the long run and mental health decline across populations.
Speculation on Causation: Social Media?
Although the study didn’t go into causation, researchers and authors from the study went on to speculate as to the reasoning behind this trend in an interview conducted by Scientific American.
Tsung-chieh (Jane) Fu, research associate and co-author of the paper and Debby Herbenick, a professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health–Bloomington both told SciAm that “computer games, increasing social media use, video games” are what is contributing to the trend among young people.
Professor Herbenick went on to say that increases in “rough-sex” observed amongst the 18-29 year old demographic are also contributing to this trend. This has been a significant observable change in the sexual behaviour of young people throughout the studied period of (2009 – 2018), according to the researchers.
She added “What we see now in studies of thousands of randomly sampled college students is choking or strangling during sex… For many people, it’s consensual and wanted and asked for, but it’s also scary to many people, even if they learn to enjoy it or want it.”
Some other potential contributing factors that were mentioned by the researchers include, but are not limited too:
- Economic status (lower incomes are attributed to less sex apparently)
- Declining alcohol use (leading to less disinhibition globally)
- Increase in sex toy use (leading to more solo sexual acts)