Baby Boomers had more sex than today’s younger generations 47



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The baby boomer has done it again… they’ve taken the prize for the most sexually experienced generation of all time, surprising everyone when compared with the sexual activity levels of millennials and generation X-ers.

It seems that for all the liberalisation of attitudes to sex over the last five decades, the baby boomer is still the person who has taken the most sexual partners in history new research published this week in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour shows. It’s a somewhat surprising insight into modern culture, which has had a light shone on it with this survey of 33,000 people in the USA to understand the shifting sands of sex. And the changing beliefs are astounding.

The study showed that attitudes to sex in society over the decades, at the age of 25 years, had changed dramatically. Back in the early 1970s, the percentage of people who believed premarital sex among adults was “not wrong at all” was just 29%. This rose to 42% in the 1980s and 1990s, then to 49% in the 2000s, and sat at 58 % between 2010 and 2012.

And it has been declared in the report that the shift was generational. Acceptance of non-marital sex started right back in the G.I generation born between 1901-1924 and rose heavily among Boomers born 1946-1964. Sexual permissiveness then dipped slightly among early Generation X-ers born 1965-1981, before rising again among Millennials (also known as Gen Y or Generation Me, born 1982-1999) who were shown to be the most accepting of non-marital sex. But attitude to sex is very different to the data on the number of sexual partners.

Those counted as the G.I. generation slept with an estimated three partners during their adulthood. Then came the baby boomer who has totalled 11 sexual partners on average. The Generation Xers achieved a little lower at 10 partners and the millennials shocked everyone with their average of 8 partners at the age of 25. And the reason it has everyone shocked is aligned to the “Tinder” generation, which people always thought were the most sexually active in modern history.

Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University spoke to the Washington Post on the research and why the changes are so palpable. The research team inferred that the younger generation may be having “sex within a smaller circle of people,” rather than having a large series of relationships. Some call it “friends with benefits”. And they are having sex later in life, a matter that will delight many who have millennial grandchildren. Between 2006 and 2008, 11% of teenage girls and 14% of teenage boys reported having sex before age 15 – compared to 19% and 21% in 1995, when Gen X-ers would be coming of age, said the Guttmacher Institute.

Do you agree with this research anecdotally…?  Do you think the baby boomers did at 25 have more sex than today’s Millennials at the same age?  Are you pleased to see the averages sliding backwards?  

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. True – the availability of the pill, women’s lib, STDs well controlled, AIDS not invented yet. Those were the days my friend….

  2. I don’t believe society has improved because of this lax in morals. STDs and cervical cancer have increased alarmingly and many children don’t know who their fathers are. Self respect has gone out of the window and people can’t seem to commit to a relationship anymore. Nothing positive has come from this promiscuity.

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