News and Noteworthy

Chaste—and happier—Millennials

Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The idea that you can enjoy life without having sex is catching on.

by Nicole M. King

This article was first published September 13, 2016, at


The News Story: Less Sex Please, We’re Millennials—Study

The British Guardian reported recently on an American study revealing—to the surprise of everyone involved—that millennials are having less sex than previous generations.

The study found that “the percentage of young adults aged between 20 and 24 who reported having no sexual partner after the age of 18 increased from 6% among those born in the 1960s, to 15% of young adults born in the 1990s.” The Guardian reports that in Britain, data is hinting at similar changes. According to Cath Mercer of University College, London, “In Britain we have seen a decline in the age at first sex between those born in the 1950s and 1990s but around one in five 16-24 year olds don’t report a sexual partner, challenging the stereotype that all young people are sexually active and from a young age.”





And given new research out of Sweden, this is good news for more reasons than one.

(Source: Nocola Davis, “Less Sex Please, We’re Millennials”—BBC, July 29, 2016)

The New Research: Saying No to the Sexual Revolution in Sweden

In the mid-twentieth century, Swinging Sweden commanded the global spotlight as a leader in sexual daring. But in the second decade of the twenty-first century, researchers are finding evidence that the young Swedes now responding to the Sexual Revolution with a firm No (Nej in Swedish) enjoy decided advantages over those who say Yes.

Assessing how sexual abstinence affects young Swedes was the purpose of a study recently completed by a team of researchers from three Swedish Universities: Lund University, Linnæus University, and Linköping University. In carrying out their investigation, the researchers parse data collected from 3,380 Swedish 18-year-olds, focusing their attention on those who were still virgins.

After carefully weighing their data, the researchers conclude that sexual abstinence comes linked to social and psychological benefits. The data indeed indicate that when compared to peers who have engaged in sexual activity, chaste young Swedes manifest “lower pornography consumption, lower alcohol and tobacco consumption, less antisocial behavior . . . lower sexual desire . . . and fewer experiences of sexual abuse.” All of these contrasts satisfy the analytical tests for statistical significance, but the disparity in reports of sexual abuse is truly striking (adjusted Odds Ratio of 25.5). Though it is the gap in vulnerability to sexual abuse that is particularly remarkable, the researchers calculate “increased O[dds]R[atio]s for sexual abuse and physical abuse” for the sexually experienced compared to the sexually continent.

Though the authors of the new study do not identify it as such, exposure to pornography understandably looks like a kind of psychological sexual abuse to many conservative thinkers. So it is perhaps not surprising that the Swedish scholars find that the sexually abstinent 18-year-olds in their study were decidedly less likely to have viewed pornography than were their sexually experienced peers. The researchers report that “the O[dds]R[atio] for never having watched pornography was more than double for the males in the [abstinent] group and six times higher for the females.”

Read the rest of this article here.



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