Counterculture movements, typically with origins among the youth, are often accompanied by a great deal of fearmongering and anxiety on the part of worried parents and overreacting family values specialists. In the late 1960’s, reactions to the “summer of love” caused a backlash against the idea of unclean promiscuity, and it seems modern college culture is suffering the same fate.
Whether you attended college yourself or just watched Animal House, the notion that young people are having intimacy-free relations is hardly a recent one.
Thankfully, a new study has come out to put most of these wild and baseless claims to bed. Presented to the American Sociological association, a paper from the University of Portland finds that college students are having no more sex than their predecessors.
Time.com reported that today’s college students are apparently choosing to have less sex with people they’re more unlikely to maintain a full relationship with; ironically, the members of Generation X are more likely to have the frequent sex that Millennials are accused of having.
The numbers tell the tale: comparing students who attended college between 2002 and 2010 (the “hook-up” kids) with those who attended in 1988 through 1996. The Millennials claimed weekly sex at a rate of 59.3 percent, where the earlier generation reported 65.2 percent, and the percentage of multiple sex partners was almost equal between the two generations.
The only noteworthy change Yahoo News observed: Millennials are less likely to report that they had a regular partner by a small margin, and are slightly more likely to say they had sex with a friend, casual date, or non-regular partner. As to the significance of the finding, Sociology professor Martin Mondo of the University of Portland believes that the numbers are statistically insignificant to make any conclusions about an increase in sexual promiscuity.
Mondo concluded that “college students today are not having more sexual partners [after] age 18, more sexual partners over the last year or more sex than their parents,” shattering the claim that college students today participate in an emotionless, yet appealing, cycle of non-intimate sex.