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Article - University Students Aren't Having Sex (and corresponding study)


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BeakLove

Here is an article that may be of interest to some people on this forum, particularly younger.

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/parenting/university-students-arent-having-sex-parents-dont-know-whether/

 

This is paywalled but some relevant excerpts:

 

Quote

The truth, according to a new report, "Sex and Relationships Among Students", is that they don’t want to have sex particularly - nearly six in ten (58 per cent) say making friends at university is more important than finding a sexual partner.

 

Just 16 per cent declared themselves excited at the prospect of having sex when they became a student. And male students are less sexually active than their female counterparts, with just a over a third (34 per cent) saying they’ve had sex during their time at university, compared to nearly half (47 per cent) of women, and more than one in ten (11 per cent) say they are celibate because they want to be.

 

Men are more likely than women to report they’ve had more sexual partners. And nearly one in ten of sexual encounters occur during university welcome weeks.

 

Undergraduate students enter higher education with a range of prior experiences: 43% ‘had never had sex with anyone’, one-quarter (25%) had not ‘intimately kissed anyone’ and 18% were ‘in a long-distance relationship’. 

The report and the corresponding data are here: https://www.hepi.ac.uk/2021/04/29/sex-and-relationships-among-students-summary-report/

 

If these findings are correct and sufficiently general, then it (a) agrees with the data trend that people are generally having less sex and having it later and, (b) suggests a significant minority of young people have no sexual (or even romantic) experience in school. The author of the paper suggests that this is really a baby boomer (and male) hangover and people are getting needless FOMO. There are clearly many students who are "so-so" about sex and it isn't the be-all and end-all. Whether that's a good thing or bad thing (e.g. are people who would like intimacy denied the chance because of financial constraints) is another question, but it demonstrates that many younger people's experiences described on this forum - people who feel weird or broken or like there's something misconfigured because they have not pursued sex or romance in school or early college - are not outside the norm.

 

I would encourage anyone interested in a deeper dive to not just skim the report but to look at the excel dataset as there are some suspect data points in there. But even with the usual caveats with self-reported data, and the likelihood there is non-response and social desirability bias infecting the findings, it certainly doesn't paint a picture of a sex-obsessed youth.

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MarRister

It would be interesting to see what the same data would look like when it wasn't asked during a pandemic lol.

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Comrade Jade Cross

-Waiting for the "report" of how having less sex means less children, and therefore less workforce volume in the next 20 years and oh no! The economy!!! We are all doomed!!! Whatever will we do?!!!!!-

 

*Sips coffee*

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BeakLove
1 hour ago, MarRister said:

It would be interesting to see what the same data would look like when it wasn't asked during a pandemic lol.

That could definitely be a factor influencing it, but it does align with some other surveys showing less sex amongst adolescents and young adults. And generally less "risky" or so-called "adult" behaviours: learning to drive, drinking alcohol, moving out, coupling up. 

 

Still we should always be cautious with self-reported data. I was struck by a particular data point, 55% of both males and females asked said they had ever masturbated before. This strikes me as both an unlikely figure and an unlikely gender split. And clearly it struck the authors as unlikely too since it isn't mentioned anywhere in their summary report.

1 hour ago, Comrade Jade Cross said:

-Waiting for the "report" of how having less sex means less children, and therefore less workforce volume in the next 20 years and oh no! The economy!!! We are all doomed!!! Whatever will we do?!!!!!-

 

*Sips coffee*

You can find plenty of those. South Korea, Bulgaria, Japan and other countries have looming demographic crises. 

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Destranix
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nearly six in ten (58 per cent) say making friends at university is more important than finding a sexual partner.

 

Yeah, that's not supprising. Friends are usually way more worth than sex for most people. Not just emotional, but also rational. They can help you with your studies.

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excessive student drinking is abating

Sure?

 

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If students have any free time, says the lecturer, many spend it earning cash rather than having sex. 

Yeah, that sound more logical. No time for sex. Oh and no need to go outside for social contact or whatever.

 

But to be honest, it wouzlnd't be a supprise. Actually most of the students I know do not look like persons who need sex.

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Catserole

It makes sense. When you head off to uni it may well be the first time you've lived somewhat independently and you often know no-one at first. Most are trying to build friendships and figure out how they fit in to it all. For some romantic and sexual relationships may happen quickly, because it just pans out like that, and for others it just happens with time.

 

If anything I'm more surprised that people think students are prioritising having sex other all the other crap they're trying to figure out in their lives. 

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HikaruBG

That's not surprising.

This is how the majority of people in universities across Europe are.

People who are in universities usually come from small villages/towns/other cities, so they often times travel back and forward during holidays.

Sometimes, they will live in a rented apartment with other 2-3 students, each of whom will have a full-time job in order to pay rent, costs, semester's taxes, ect. Some of them might have a bf/gf, yes, and they will usually live in a rented apartment too (with roommates sometimes), which I guess gives them more opportunities for sex but that's about it.

When I was in university (I graduated last year so it's not that far), there were plenty of students in my group who were like that.

 

Also, speaking from experience, studying and working at the same time is very difficult (I attempted that in my first 2 years in university), not to mention that employers often times doesn't like students.

But I was lucky because I moved in the city with my family (even bought a house) a few years prior, so we didn't have to pay for a rent.

 

IMO, the whole "hook-up culture within college spaces" and such is kind of U.S.A. specific thing/phenomenon.

Although, I don't deny that there are probably people (in universities) who like that in Europe as well, who somehow find time to hook-up and partying but I think that they are a minority.

The majority here are way too busy for near constant partying and hook-ups, either because the universities are giving them tons of material for the exams or are working and studying at the same time.

 

Also...

On 5/2/2021 at 3:44 AM, BeakLove said:

You can find plenty of those. South Korea, Bulgaria, Japan and other countries have looming demographic crises. 

Each of these countries have unique problems that plays some role when it comes to their demographic crisis.

 

In Bulgaria (where I'm from), there are plenty of socio-political-economical issues.

It's not that people aren't having sex and thus children (they do). It's that the country can't sustain it's population because people (especially young people) are moving aboard in search for better paying jobs and better life which is the main problem here.

Spoiler

Also, urbanisation - people moving to the big cities in search of better jobs and lives, which just leads to the ageing of the population.

If I remember correctly, currently around 70% of the bulgarian population are living in the cities, 20% of whom are in the capital city, Sofia.

This happened to me too, like I stated earlier in my comment.

Sometimes, they will move with their entire families anyway, so it really doesn't matter if they will be having children or not, Bulgaria is loosing them either way.

This issue is so severe, some people have turned it into an issue of national identity - basically calling bulgarians who are living aboard "traitors"... and there are around 2 million bulgarians aboard which isn't a small number, considering the size of Bulgaria.

This process has been happening for decades now, since the beginning of early 90s when Bulgaria dropped out of Socialism and accepted Democracy (and it actually increased in speed because of the financial crisis in 2009).

Spoiler

Also, side note. I have seen some people actually blaming the LGBT+ people for the low birth rate and the demographic crisis. This not only is stupid but also far from the truth.

The LGBT+ people are a minority and are treated pretty badly here, so they leave the country the moment the opportunity is presented anyway, so....

 

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Interesting... when I was in college some people "did"and some people "didn't."  And nobody really cared.  But it was a small college and not a major university in the city.  If it was a university in a big city, I wonder if things would have been different - i.e. more people being crazy and so on.

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