Why are Americans having less sex? Blame eggplant emojis - or Paul Ryan

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They also come as young people are regularly accessing sexual information online, and pornography use has become more commonplace and accepted, according to the study.

The report, which was published Tuesday, analyzed data collected from 1989 to 2014 and found adults living in the USA had sex seven to nine times fewer than what they did in the 1990s.

A critical factor appears to be birth cohort, with later-born generations having sex less often than those born earlier in the 20th century, Twenge said.

The study found that American adults have sex seven to nine fewer times per year than in the 1990s, according to data from the General Social Survey from 1984-2014. Married couples in the United States report having sex an average of 16 fewer times a year in 2010-14 compared with 2000-04.

The decline in marriage doesn't explain the entire drop in sexual activity, however, since married and partnered people are also having less sex than they once were, across age groups. But now more Americans, particularly more educated or affluent ones, don't get married until they are 30 or older.

Estimated times per year American adults had sex, by marital status, 1989-2014. "However, the study did not examine time spent connected to work outside of work hours, or screen time, both of which may negatively impact sexual frequency".

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"Relatedly", they continue, "employees who seek advancement within their organizations or who rely upon their own work engagement to generate income should be especially mindful of tending to their sex lives". This has included the question: "About how often did you have sex during the last 12 months?"

In a 2016 study, Sherman and his co-authors Jean M. Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, and Brooke Wells at the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University, found that millennials and the generation after them (Generation Z) had fewer sexual partners than their Generation X predecessors.

There's some evidence to suggest that sex frequency can be a be a proxy for happiness, meaning it's a trend public health and policy experts should consider examining.

Still, Americans haven't uniformly experienced recovery since the recession has ended, and not everyone has recovered psychologically and emotionally from the 2008 fallout. "The unemployment rate is very low. Those are two things that tend to covary a lot with people's happiness".

People don't feel comfortable committing to someone during hardships.

The study found a steady drop in sexual activity as people aged, but when comparing the same time period in each generation, it turns out that those born in the 1930s had sex the most often, while those born in the 1990s had sex the least.

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