Why millennials are turned off sex
THE classic image of terrifying young hoons drinking, doing drugs and fornicating in the back seat of a second-hand car has well and truly reached its end.
In fact, if you're an adult millennial aged 26 or under, there's a one-in-eight chance you've never had sex.
According to researchers on the Next Steps project, managed by University College London, young people are waiting longer to do the nasty than the generations before them, where just one-in-20 reported still being virgins by the same age.
The study has tracked 16,000 people born in 1989 and 1990 since they were aged 14.
And the number of virgins could be higher. If the survey findings included those participants who refused to answer the virginity question (assuming they were also virgins), the number of millennials not having sex would rise to one in six.
But in the age of Tinder, why aren't millennials as keen on getting between the sheets as their predecessors? Because they're getting all their sexual gratification from smashed avocado on toast? Because they can't afford houses to actually do it in?
Ironically, while social media has people more connected than ever, networks like Facebook may actually be what's keeping them apart.
Susanna Abse, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist at the Balint Consultancy, told the Sunday Times that an overexposure to sex and pornography day-to-day has given people unrealistic expectations of how sex should actually be.
"Millennials have been brought up in a culture of hypersexuality which has bred a fear of intimacy," she said.
"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, plus the fear of exposure in your Facebook group."
Of course, warnings of this have been analysed to death. In a 2014 piece on dating apps for The New York Times, author Teddy Wayne suggested: "More and more technophilic and commitment-phobic millennials are shying away from physical encounters and supplanting them with the emotional gratification of virtual quasi-relationships, flirting via their phones and computers with no intention of ever meeting their romantic quarry: less casual sex than casual text."
Some experts have also suggested the rise of extreme and ubiquitous pornography may be having a detrimental impact on young people's sex lives.
A number of studies in recent years have suggested millennials are moving in a more Victorian direction compared to their ancestors.
A 2016 study by Melbourne's La Trobe University found that young Australians are now drinking around 50 per cent less alcohol than people the same age 10 years ago.
And the trend only looks set to continue.
Results from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's (AIHW) National Drug Strategy Household Survey, released last year, found that nearly 94 per cent of 12 to 15-year-olds and 58 per cent of 16 to 17-year-olds did not drink at all - both increases from the previous survey.
Smoking and illegal drugs also showed a downward trend.