Time: Millennials Have Fewer Sex Partners Than Prior Generations

Entire books have been written about the hookup culture of the X and Millennial generations, but that doesn’t mean they’re more promiscuous than prior generations, according to new research published in Time Magazine. The venerable weekly reported that while premarital sex is no longer regarded as taboo, younger generations actually have fewer overall partners than their Baby Boomer parents:


-Number of people surveyed in 2012 who said there was nothing wrong with premarital sex (versus 44% in 2002, 41% in 1982, 38% in 1978 and 28% in 1972)

11 people

-Average number of sexual partners Baby Boomers born in the ’50s and early Generation X’ers born in the ’60s have had as adults

10 people 10

-Average number of sexual partners people born in the 1940s (early Baby Boomers) and 1970s (later Gen X’ers) have had as adults

8 people 8

-Average number of sexual partners members of the Millenial generation (born in the ’80s and ’90s) have had as adults

2 people 2

-Average number of sexual partners members of the Greatest Generation (i.e. parents of Baby Boomers) have had as adults

Thus, as Time succinctly puts it, the surprising take-home for Milennials is, “Your parents probably had more sex than you’re having.”

“Although millennials are more tolerant of these behaviors, they’re not taking that as license to sleep around,” said Generation Me author and Gen Y expert Jean Twenge. “Millennials have never known a world where premarital sex was a taboo.” Twenge noted one possible explanation for the reduced number of overall partners in younger generations was increased awareness about HIV and other STDs.

Naturally, pornstars leave all such (relatively) modest stats far, far behind. Just in case you were wondering, according to Jon Millward’s fascinating study of pornstars, the most prolific female adult stars have had an average of 148 onscreen partners, while the most prolific male performers have had 1,013. (Read Millward’s full study here.)

Read the full Time Magazine web article here.

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