FAU research shows Americans are having less sex

University psychology professor Ryne Sherman co-authored the study.


Photo courtesy of FAU Department of Psychology.

Joe Pye, News Editor

If you’re feeling bad about your sex life, don’t — you’re not alone.

A new study released by researchers from Florida Atlantic University, San Diego State University and Widener University reveals that Americans are less sexually active than they were 26 years ago. Their research was drawn from the General Social Survey, using data collected from 26,620 Americans from 1989-2014.

The results of the study were published in the journal “Archives of Sexual Behavior.”

“Overall, all American adults are having sex about nine times fewer per year since 1989-1994 and this is particularly driven by an increase in the percentage of unpartnered adults who have sex less often on average,” Ryne Sherman, co-author of the study and an associate professor of psychology said in a release. “However, while the sexual frequency of unpartnered individuals remained unchanged albeit relatively low, the sexual frequency of partnered individuals has dropped the most, about 10 times less per year.”

Similar to a study Sherman released last year, the researchers found that millennials and Generation Z — those born in the 1990s — are having less sex than the Silent Generation born in the 1930s.

Results Broken Down By Age

This may come as no surprise, but the study found that the older we get, the less sex we have.

  • 20-year-olds have sex 80 times per year
  • 45-year-olds have sex 60 times per year
  • 65-year-olds have sex 20 times per year

The research revealed that on average, married people have sex less than those who are not in a committed relationship or living with a significant other.

In 1990, married people were having sex 73 times per year. That number went down to 55 in 2014.

The results also found that Americans are less likely to enter a committed relationship. In 2014, 59 percent of Americans were coupled up compared to 1986 when 66 percent were.

“Overall, two factors seem to be driving declines in sexual frequency,” Sherman said. “First, an increase in the percentage of people who are unpartnered, which is interesting considering the availability of the Internet and Tinder age; and second, a decrease in sexual frequency among those who are partnered.”

Joe Pye is the news editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @jpeg3189.