When Young People Aren’t Having Sex, Something’s Wrong

Public Discourse | 12/6/2018 | Josh Herring
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Another year, another write-up about the state of sexuality in modernity.

Of all things to measure, sex provides a source of endlessly fascinating data points. Who is having it, how much, and in what kinds of relationships? Previous generations lacked the technology (or perhaps the interest) to track such data, but we children of late modernity seem to have no qualms seeking answers to the most intimate questions.

Week - November - December - Edition - Atlantic

Released online the week of November 12 and published in the December 2018 edition of Atlantic Magazine, Kate Julian’s article “Why are Young People Having So Little Sex?” collects the latest research on this topic. With an estimated read-time of fifty minutes, this long-form essay merits a brief summary. Julian’s piece clearly advances a certain set of assumptions about sexual intimacy. From a traditional perspective, however, the most interesting components are not what the article includes but what it excludes. In that exclusion lies hope for the truth of traditional Judeo-Christian sexual ethics to provide clear answers in a chaotic world.

“These should be boom times for sex,” Julian reasons. The social barriers to promiscuity have never been lower, and there have never been so many technological mechanisms working to expand sexual opportunities. And yet, when consulting national surveys, Julian notes that Millennials are having significantly less intercourse than Baby Boomers or Xers did. She argues that various scholars have blamed this “sex recession” on nearly every conceivable negative facet of modern living: “Name a modern blight, and someone, somewhere, is ready to blame it for messing with the modern libido.” While Julian does not explore every possibility, she structures her article around five common themes, which surfaced throughout various interviews.

Explanation - Julian - Sex - Rise - Masturbation

The first explanation Julian explores is “Sex for One”: the rise of masturbation in place of relationships. With the easy availability of digital porn, Julian...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Public Discourse
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