Millennials are a highly misunderstood generation. We’ve been branded as lazy, tech-obsessed Netflix bingers who can’t speak unless it’s through a phone and who can’t eat without first taking a picture of our food. But perhaps most of all, there is a stereotype that the only time we put our screens down is when we’re organizing orgies through Tinder and banging everyone within a 10-mile radius.
Statistics paint a different picture. Here I present to you the characteristics of a millennial sex life and how some compare to previous generations, with some surprisingly different conclusions than you may expect.
The baby boomers banged more broadly
The average number of sexual partners for those born in the 1950s was 11.68, while millennials’ average is 8.26, according to the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. How did all those old people used to meet up without cell phones?
We have more important stuff to do
The same study found that one in three 20-somethings have never even had sex before. You know why? We have too much work to do in college, we have too much debt when we finally get out, we have climate change to deal with and we have “Game of Thrones” to watch.
We think the Internet is sexier than sex
37 percent of millennials would rather give up sex for a year than Internet, according to the same study. We love our WiFi.
But we don’t care about sex before the ring
This one isn’t as surprising, but the Archives of Sexual Behavior also proved millennial indifference when it comes to premarital sex. 47 percent of baby boomers approved of premarital sex when they were aged 18-29. That number rose to 50 percent for those in Generation X in the same age range and up further to 62 percent for millennials.
Our ladies aren’t making babies
The Urban Institute, an economic and social policy research think-tank, says that millennials have the lowest birthrate of any generation ever. In 2007, the birthrate for women in their 20s was 1,118 births for every 1,000 women. Just five years later, the birthrate dropped to 948 babies for every 1,000 women. From my sociological expertise, I think we’ll see the birthrate tick back up after Donald Trump loses his White House run, as nothing gets a woman more revved up than knowing her country isn’t going to Hell.
We really like our friends
Professor Jean M. Twenge of San Diego State University, author of “Generation Me,” a book about today’s young Americans, found that millennials are quite sexual with their friends. From 1995-1999, the percentage of American adults who had sex with a friend was 52.2 percent. That jumped to 70.8 percent for those between the years 2000-2004 and has hovered just below that ever since.
And we really like our gay brethren as well
Score another point for millennial tolerance. 69 percent of millennials favor same-sex marriage, compared to 37 percent of members of the Silent Generation (those born between the mid-1920s and mid-1940s), according to a 2014 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute.
Not surprisingly, we’re waiting to tie the knot
The median age for a woman and man to get married for the first time was 21 and 23 respectively back in 1970. In 2010, it was 27 and 29, according to the Archives of Sexual Behavior. We like it, but we’re not putting a ring on it until we’re done sexting.
Our phones are in on the fun
Sorry, pretty much every other generation, but we’re the generation of Snapchat, so we dominate the realm of sexting. Last year, the SKYN Condoms Millennial Sex Survey found that 57 percent of us have sexted before, with apparently seven percent doing it every day. So baby boomers, be respectful when you bump into us on the street because we have our heads in our phones—we’re swapping sensitive material.