New York, May 6:
Although youngsters are more open about sex than any previous generation today, they have fewer sexual partners than baby boomers and Generation X born in the 1950s and 1960s, an interesting research has revealed.
According to the study by San Diego State University, baby boomers and early Gen Xers have had the most sexual partners at an average of 11″ followed by those born in the 1940s or 1970s, who averaged about 10 partners.
Meanwhile, millennials born in the 1980s and 1990s have an average of eight partners.
“The changes are primarily due to generation – suggesting people develop their sexual attitudes while young, rather than everyone of all ages changing at the same time,” said lead researchers Jean M. Twenge from the San Diego State University.
Acceptance of premarital sex is at an all-time high along with an acceptance of homosexuality among millennials, the researchers found.
To reach this conclusion, the team analysed data from a nationally representative survey of more than 33,000 US adults taken between 1972 and 2012.
They found substantial generational shifts in attitudes toward non-marital sex and number of sexual partners.
“The changes have caused a large generation gap in both attitudes toward premarital sex and number of sexual partners,” Twenge said.
She found that acceptance of same-sex sexual relations more than tripled from 13 percent in 1990 to 44 percent in 2012.
Number of sexual partners (controlled for age) also shifted substantially, from 2.16 for the Greatest Generation to 11.68 for 1950s-born Boomers and 8.26 for Millennials.
“Millennials are more accepting of premarital sex than any previous generation, yet have had fewer sexual partners than GenX’ers. This is consistent with their image as a tolerant, individualistic generation accepting others’ choices and making their own,” Twenge emphasised.
The shifts in sexual attitudes and behaviour are linked to growing cultural individualism.
“When the culture places more emphasis on the needs of the self and less on social rules, more relaxed attitudes toward sexuality are the almost inevitable result,” Twenge said.
The results were published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. (IANS)