An alternative explanation

Apparently young Americans are having less sex. Or, possibly, fewer of them are having it. This paper looks at religion, late marriage, porn, etc.

The pandemic disrupted American life in many ways, but one trend remained the same: rising sexlessness. A growing share of younger Americans are living without sex. The new 2021 General Social Survey can be used to track these trends over time. As Figure 1 below shows, since 2010, there has been a sharp rise in the share of males and females ages 18 to 35 who report not having sex in the prior year.

Any number of possible explanations of course. But let us now be Worstallian here. Has the definition of sex changed?

This is self-reporting after all. So, we have to at least consider what people doing the self-reporting are considering to be sex. I don’t know whether that general societal definition has changed. I can imagine it going either way – fnarr, fnarr – of course. “He looked at me funny” might now be sex because it appears to be sexual assault to some people. Equally, as Bill C pointed out, a blow job isn’t actually sex.

But before I made any conclusions that’s something I’d insist is explored. Is the incidence of sex changing because the definition is?

31 thoughts on “An alternative explanation”

  1. I don’t think so. The best explanation, and based on what happens in class divides in the UK, is that women with other options (e.g. studying, careers) don’t hook up so easily. Teenage pregnancy is mostly the chavs with few prospects so no risking much getting knocked up, or hoping that Dazza is actually a good one.

    Also, I really do believe that a lot of young men are absolutely fucking hopeless. Moping, antiwork narcissistic twats. London is full of these manchildren. They’ll spend hundreds on game consoles and Macbooks but not take girls out on good dates.

  2. Also, I really do believe that a lot of young men are absolutely fucking hopeless. Moping, antiwork narcissistic twats. London is full of these manchildren. They’ll spend hundreds on game consoles and Macbooks but not take girls out on good dates.

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a wimp.

  3. Fucked social skills, caused by a number of factors such as shit schools (thanks teachers unions), an average rising age in mothers meaning more ASD in boys mainly, and the increasing prevalence of friendships only being available online. Otherwise with regards to dating, it’s now moved entirely online and dating apps are not good places to find good people for long term relationships. Clubs have mostly all shut down because of this, and nobody talks to strangers in pubs anymore. Even if pubs are still open, most are too bloody expensive (£6 for a bloody Carling?), and filled pretty much only with retirees and near-retirees. The lack of alcohol involved in forming relationships is a major detriment for the average awkward Joe or the average plain Jane. In-work relationships are frowned or forbidden upon even though most people still meet in the workplace.
    A large number of young men with good education and a good salary are absolutely fucking useless at socialising. They have close to no clue how to approach men for friendships or women for relationships, so they spend their money on other things.

  4. S’pose it’s because they have all these genders, these days. It’s up into 3 figures now, isn’t it? The chances of meeting one’s corresponding partner must be remote. Some of the smaller states you could be the only one.

  5. “They’ll spend hundreds on game consoles and Macbooks but not take girls out on good dates.”

    Maybe because a good game console is much more preferable for company than having an attempt at the spoiled overly-entitled bitching harridans that pass for “ladies” nowadays?

  6. “Is the incidence of sex changing because the definition is?”

    Given the vagaries of Wokery, there should actually be more incidences of sex, including the “unwanted” Woke varieties of “assault”. You’re expanding the definition, after all.

    Whether that loud 1% definition-strectching would have a significant impact on the incidence of sex in the 95+% bracket of the population where the Patriarchic Evil Heteronomative definition and practice is the norm…
    Very much doubt it.

  7. I think societal changes make it difficult for young awkward men, who used to get funnelled into marriage by society and didn’t need to do a fat lot about it. They have much better porn now too!

    Also, the same societal changes have convinced plain Janes that a) they deserve (literally) Colin Firth and b) a ‘career’ in PR or HR or some other worthless bollocks is better than ‘settling’ for someone who might actually make them happy. And of course, even the plainest Jane can still get the odd shag off someone she (delusionally) thinks she deserves. Memories of that night with Dangerous Dave prevent her from realising that Skinny Colin in IT is actually the man to give her babies and contentment.

    Western Civilisation is dying on its arse; the US is merely the most extreme example.

  8. Teachers teach “toxic masculinity”, the “population problem” and “climate armageddon”.
    Unis are a minefield of potential misunderstanding and career ending cancellation.
    Workplace relations are never equal because all women are victims.

    And you are surprised, Worstall?

  9. Moping, antiwork narcissistic twats. London is full of these manchildren. They’ll spend hundreds on game consoles and Macbooks but not take girls out on good dates.

    You’d need hundreds to take one girl out on a good date in London. And for what? The privilege of taking her on another date? Probably getting ghosted, maybe accused of rape. Or maybe she will just sit there explaining how women are so oppressed by men while you’re paying for her dinner.

    And maybe the men are looking for dates online. But unless you’re in the top 1% of attractive men, you aren’t going to stand much of a chance. It’s pointless and depressing. So why bother? I think it was okCupid did a survey that found women rated 90% of men on dating sites below average attractiveness (number remembered off top of my head). There’s plenty of YouTube vids about it. There’s also vids about a guy who posted up profiles using male models for his pics, but pretended to be a nonce. He still had women throwing themselves at him.

    I guess the point I’m trying to make is that dating is broken. Not sure how we can fix it either. Maybe get rid of all this “you’re special and deserve everything you want” crap we teach kids in school.

    I’m so glad I’m out of the dating game.

  10. Once you abandon monogamy the top blokes hoover up all the birds and everybody else amuses themselves or gets a professional. Except the government pays birds not to go on the game so that’s prohibitively expensive. That’s why blokes come here.

  11. Grikath/Chernny,

    “Maybe because a good game console is much more preferable for company than having an attempt at the spoiled overly-entitled bitching harridans that pass for “ladies” nowadays?”

    Even a bitchy harridan giving a crap handjob is better than slightly better raytracing.

  12. Even a bitchy harridan giving a crap handjob is better than slightly better raytracing.

    But you can turn the console off when you’re done.

  13. @BoM4 Maybe for you. For most the bitchy harridan bit is enough of a downer to not even get to the stage where a handjob is needed.

    But diff’rent stokes for etc… It seems femdom use-and-abuse is a thing in fetish circles.

  14. Chernny,

    “You’d need hundreds to take one girl out on a good date in London. And for what? The privilege of taking her on another date? Probably getting ghosted, maybe accused of rape. Or maybe she will just sit there explaining how women are so oppressed by men while you’re paying for her dinner.”

    Well, start by getting out of London, which is full of the worst self-selection of women who left their home towns because they resented the imperfect men they could get there, and moved to the city thinking they’d find a perfect one. And search endlessly until their body clock starts ticking at which point they marry a beta that they resent.

    Plenty of nice, friendly girls out in the provinces who don’t use pronouns, read Take a Break instead of The Guardian and want a hard-working guy who isn’t too ugly.

  15. Plenty of nice, friendly girls out in the provinces who don’t use pronouns, read Take a Break instead of The Guardian and want a hard-working guy who isn’t too ugly.

    True. A nice working class girl who didn’t go to “uni” is just the job.

  16. Perhaps we should bring back those old dances like the Young Conservative balls or the works canteen Xmas do. And maybe do waltzes and foxtrots and the like where the guy holds on to the girl and leads her round the floor.

    Maybe better for initiating the mating ritual than clubbing where everyone stands as far apart as possible with the boys moving from one foot to the other while the girls show of their twerking, (to each other).

  17. Girls these days start taking hormonal contraception from an early age, often from 16. My theory is that it messes with their hormones to the point where they don’t particularly want sex any more.

    (My wife was on contraception between children, and every time she stopped taking it her sex drive increased massively.)

  18. @BoM4

    I live in North Wales. Grew up in rural Yorkshire.
    Don’t particularly like London or cities in general.
    Also happily married for 7 years now. Though my wife is from a country where woman still act like ladies.

  19. “Kono is one more example of what in Japanese is called ‘kodokushi’ — a lonely death — an increasing feature of an ageing, urbanised society in which more and more people live and die alone and unnoticed, strangers even to their closest neighbours. The situation has been made all the more extreme by the pandemic, which has reduced contact even between people who were formerly close.”

  20. Chris: there’s more than two unis in Denmark. Has been for more than fifty years. Aarhus has nothing left except it’s uni. In business and finance terms, it’s rural alright

  21. Kevin B: Societal systems that guide young people into interaction with the opposite sex and beat the sharp corners off them to mold them into human beings? YOU BIGOT!!!!! How patriarcially impositional chauvanism!

  22. The decline in sexual intercourse is directly correlated with consumption of Marvel films and John Oliver rants. Chart it, Tim!

  23. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    “You’d need hundreds to take one girl out on a good date in London. ”

    Surely it can’t be that expensive. Probably depends on your idea of a “good date”. I used to take first dates to the Stockport Odeon (because Stockport was exotic to Manchester sweaties) followed by Pizza Hut (because they were owned by Whitbread and I had a staff discount card). The last one married me so it wasn’t an entirely unsuccessful strategy.

    And while my standards have risen in line with income, given the deep shit the world is in now, I think that would once again count as a “good date”.

    “And maybe do waltzes and foxtrots and the like where the guy holds on to the girl and leads her round the floor.

    Maybe better for initiating the mating ritual than clubbing where everyone stands as far apart as possible with the boys moving from one foot to the other while the girls show of their twerking, (to each other).”

    But people might get viral diseases that way!!!

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