Researchers from the Department for Education and University College London studied 16,000 millennials born in either 1989 or 1990, and found that by the age of 26, one in eight still had not had sex. While the reasons behind the trend were not identified by the researchers, the findings were extremely surprising given the ease of access to explicit content that young people experience these days.
The results show that over double the amount of 26 year-olds are holding onto their virginity when compared to other generations, with one in twenty being the average rate before this study.
When looking for explanation of the trend, psychotherapists have weighed in, suggesting that over exposure to explicit material may in fact have an adverse affect on sex drive, and created a fear of intimacy. "Millenials have been brought up in a culture of hypersexuality which has bred a fear of intimacy," says Susanna Abse, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist at the Balint Consultancy, when talking to the Sunday Times.
According to Abse, porn and social media have created unrealistic expectations of sex and intimacy. "The women are always up for it with beautiful hard bodies and the men have permanent erections. That is daunting to young people. The fear for young men is of being humiliated that they can’t live up to that."