The average millennial has fewer sexual partners than both Gen Xers and the Boomers. In 1991, 54.1 percent of US high school students had had sexual intercourse. By 2015, that number dropped to 41.2. However, during approximately that same time frame, the rate of regular church attendance by Americans dropped by nearly ten points, while moral acceptance of extramarital sex increased. So a return to Biblical beliefs concerning sexuality is certainly not the cause of millennials’ increased avoidance of promiscuity.
What’s causing millennials to be less sexually active, then? As with any trend, there are numerous explanations. But the two biggest factors seem to be the copious amounts of pornography that millennials, in particular millennial men, have grown up consuming, and the widespread use of socially isolating social networking. Just take a look at this profile of a millennial man, courtesy of Tara Bahrampour:
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.
It’s not that he doesn’t like women. “I enjoy their companionship, but it’s not a significant part of life,” said Patterson, a Web designer in Bellingham, Wash.
He has never had sex, although he likes porn. “I’d rather be watching YouTube videos and making money.” Sex, he said, is “not going to be something people ask you for on your résumé.”