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Americans are having less sex — here's why

Nine fewer times a year, to be exact.
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Parenting, technology and women's rights could be to blame for less sex in America. Photo: Pixabay

From internet porn to Tinder, sex is more available in society than ever before so why are Americans having less of it?

A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found Americans are having less sex than they were 20 years ago. Why? Scientists aren’t sure, but pointed to parenting, Tinder and women’s rights. According to the study, people in the U.S. had sex about nine fewer times per year in the early 2010s than they did in the early 1990s.

Sex and parenting

Americans are getting married older and starting their families later, recent studies show and less sex could be a side affect of tired parents, psychologist Samantha Lutz said.

The age of helicopter parenting probably isn’t helping either — parents are much more involved in their children’s lives than ever before, ferrying them back and forth to activities and leaving little time for themselves.

Married people were once thought to have the benefit of a "marriage advantage" to daily sex.

"We don't know if indeed the 'marriage advantage' is now a 'disadvantage,'” Debby Herbenick, president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists told CNN.

Sex in the age of technology

Technology is a major distraction in relationships, which could be making couples less likely to do it.

"Whether they're at dinner or walking their dog, I see more and more couples looking at their respective phones while they're together," said Marty Klein, author and certified sex therapist told CNN. "This reduced conversation and attention for each other can't be good, as it reduces the 'simmering' feeling that so many people want as the context for sex."

Instead of looking at each other and talking, people are looking at their devices.

But technology is actually cutting into single people’s sex lives as well, Klein explained. In the Tinder age, where other singles are just a swipe away, Klein said people are having more cybersex and less of the real thing.

Women’s rights and sex

As culture shifts to female empowerment, the drop in sex could mean women feel less pressure to perform.

Amanda Pasciucco, a licensed marriage and family therapist told CNN women are less likely to view sex as a duty to their husbands and more as a personal choice.

Is less sex a bad thing?

"As a certified sex therapist, I am more concerned with the type of sex — is it intense on an emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual level? — than I am on the number of times per week," Pasciucco told CNN.

Herbenick said even though people are having less sex, it’s probably better sex thanks to all the choices people have today.

"We may be having less sex, but I would argue it's better sex. We actually don't know if singles are having 'less sex' since the (survey) never defined sex and doesn't ask about the many kinds of sex play that people engage in (including masturbation, oral sex and sex toy play), especially during hookups. It is possible that singles are having less frequent intercourse but about the same (or more or less) of other kinds of sex, such as oral sex or hand stimulation or sex toy play," she said.

 
 
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