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I found this study quite interesting.

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Millennials aren't pairing off with as many sex partners as Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, but they're more accepting of premarital sex and same-sex relationships.

That's the conclusion of a new review that charted Americans' evolving views on sex, relationships and behavior.

"We found a really profound shift in sexual attitudes and behavior," said study lead author Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University. "In the 1970s, it was much more common to say that sex before marriage was wrong or sometimes wrong. And it was by far the majority view to say sex between two adults of the same sex was wrong.

"That has changed a huge amount," she added.

Twenge and her colleagues launched their study to gain a better understanding of how generational attitudes about sex and sexuality have shifted over the past four decades.

The researchers looked at results of a national survey conducted most years between 1972 and 2012. Nearly 57,000 people took part in the survey, and the study authors said they adjusted the statistics to reflect the American population as a whole.

The researchers found that the sexual revolution of the 1960s made a huge difference in Americans' lives. People born in the first decades of the 20th century -- the so-called "Greatest Generation" -- had an average of 3 sex partners in a lifetime, while the "Silent Generation" -- those born in the 1930s and 1940s -- had 5 partners.

But things changed dramatically with the arrival of Baby Boomers in the late 1940s, 1950s and early '60s, who have averaged 12 sex partners. Generation Xers -- those born in the late '60s and '70s -- will average 10 sex partners, while Millennials -- those born in the '80s and '90s -- will average 8 partners. (The researchers said they extrapolated how many partners Gen Xers and Millennials would have over their lifetimes.)

"I was surprised that there was a little bit of a decrease," Twenge said. But, she added, "It has to be taken into context: 8 is still a lot higher than 3, and it's higher than 4. But yes, it's less than the Boomers."

HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases might play a role in the declining number of sex partners, Twenge said. So could the rise of the "friends with benefits" trend -- with many younger Americans having sex with a friend instead of going out and looking for more "hook-ups."

Overall, the percentage of people who said premarital sex is "not wrong at all" grew steadily over the years, from 29 percent in the early 1970s to 58 percent by 2012.

And the acceptance of same-sex sexual relations rose from 13 percent in 1990 to 44 percent in 2012. By the 2010-12 surveys, 56 percent of Millennials said same-sex pairings were OK. (The study authors noted that these surveys were conducted before many states approved the legality of same-sex marriage.)

The study also revealed a gender divide. "Women are more accepting of homosexuality," Twenge said. "Perhaps they see it as less threatening than men do. But they're more conservative about premarital sex."

Twenge said the big-picture message from the study points to a rise in individualism, with a "cultural system that places more on the needs of the self and less on social rules."

"You get more tolerance and acceptance: I'm going to do my thing and you can do your thing," she said.

The study was published in the May 5 issue of the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

SOURCES: Jean Twenge, Ph.D., professor of psychology, San Diego State University; May 5, 2015, Archives of Sexual Behavior
I think it's really good that Generation Y has become more tolerant, but I'm not too sure I agree with the numbers saying they have approximately eight sexual partners. I realize it's an average, but I know some people who are up past twenty partners if not more.

Any thoughts on the matter?
 

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i view this as a negative thing. i think people are giving up on relationships because economically and emotionally/socially they don't make sense today.

statistics show that adults are also leaving their parent's home later than previous generations. correlation?
 

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Honestly I have a lot of pride in our generation. I know a lot of people like to insult our generation and call us the Peter Pan generation but looking back in history we really aren't that bad. We didn't perpetuate a cold war and nuclear holocaust so there's that.

I think us being less promiscuous is pretty plausible. Especially since Gen X had a lot of the counter culturism and hippy generation to grow up on where there was a lot of acceptance of sex. I'll have to look into it more though.
 

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i view this as a negative thing. i think people are giving up on relationships because economically and emotionally/socially they don't make sense today.

statistics show that adults are also leaving their parent's home later than previous generations. correlation?
I think economics has a lot to do with the number of Millennials still at home. Unfortunately, the Baby Boomers aren't retiring as hoped for many reasons including some bad investments made in years past and paying for their children's overpriced college tuition. Salaries haven't kept pace with inflation, either and real estate prices in a lot of places are much higher than they should be. So, less positions with less pay and nowhere affordable to live would make me think that Generation Y is staying home longer for those reasons, but it also makes me wonder why some aren't cohabiting and sharing expenses as the expected rate. Independence?
 

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I still have a hard time believing just 58% believe premarital sex is not wrong at all and 56% believe there is no issue with homosexuality. Then again, I'm from a very liberal state.
 
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i view this as a negative thing. i think people are giving up on relationships because economically and emotionally/socially they don't make sense today.

statistics show that adults are also leaving their parent's home later than previous generations. correlation?
That's probably because financially, younger generations now are screwed.
 
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I think the internet and video games have made us more isolated . Back in the 80s people had nothing else to do than to mess around with the opposite gender .
 
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Generation Y is more tolerant with many things I would agree.

I would guess the average number is probably based more on polarized extremes. Guessing that average comes from extremes of those with like 1-3 partners to then those with 20 plus, and then teas off there in the low middle. I would guess its more of a somewhat bias report written by a Gen Y. "look we're moderate"

Really tho there is more to it. Many people are on parental insurance til 26, stay in college with reliance on their parents. So I would say that generations longer reliance on their parents plays a role in those numbers. There are alot of social enabling where adults in their twenties have parents that treat and view them as kids. Generation X raised alot of co-dependent children in or to spite their strict Baby Boomer parents overall. Things like technology in over exposure not in moderation, over diagnosed, over excused people is where many socially inept people are bred based on lack of force in hands on experience and excuses made. So that alone would explain why a big chunk are not actively out having sex, then of course theres the traditional folks that marry and are monogamous in that stat. So if you kinda guesstimate in thirds there. 1/3 being socially inept or socially/emotionally stunted (where its not an option based on tools or availability), 1/3 being traditional monogamous types, and a 1/3 being people more actively being apart of sexual behavior.
 

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I've long suspected that Baby Boomers and Gen X had more partners when they were younger than Gen Y's have. AIDS came about years before I was born. While some people sleep around anyway, most people have more self-preservation instincts than that. STD's were always a deadly affair in Millenials life times. Plus we came of age after 9/11. I think we're more risk averse than Gen X and Baby Boomers and I think the younger in the group we are, the less partners we're likely to have. Gen Z will probably have even less partners as they seem to be even more risk averse.

I just don't think we're as sexually risqué as our parents.
 

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While @Twitchie does have a point -- there was only a brief window between the development of The Pill and the rise of AIDS when true "no frills attached" sex approached the realm of possibility -- I would also note that Boomers, by and large, seem to have had the greatest disparity between partner counts of all. There is a difference between "averages-of-extremes" and classic Bell curve averages, after all.

So essentially the average Boomer would have either a partner or 15+, while the average Millennial will probably have 5-10 partners over their lifetimes.

And of course studies like that don't take into account other changes in sexuality, the rise of sexting, etc. For instance, does a partner you sext count as a "real" partner? If yes, then I bet Gen Z's averages (especially) will skyrocket.
 
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While @Twitchie does have a point -- there was only a brief window between the development of The Pill and the rise of AIDS when true "no frills attached" sex approached the realm of possibility
I was told that it took years for AIDS myths to be dispelled by the general public. A lot of people thought it was a gay disease and figured they were fine. Plus a lot of older people still fail to use condoms and contract diseases because they think the person doesn't look like they have any diseases. As though you can look at someone and tell if they have an STI. Or have I been fed bad info from a gen Xer? They seemed to think it was well into the 90's before it was well established among gen xer's and baby boomers how AIDS was transmitted.
 

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I was told that it took years for AIDS myths to be dispelled by the general public. A lot of people thought it was a gay disease and figured they were fine. Plus a lot of older people still fail to use condoms and contract diseases because they think the person doesn't look like they have any diseases. As though you can look at someone and tell if they have an STI. Or have I been fed bad info from a gen Xer? They seemed to think it was well into the 90's before it was well established among gen xer's and baby boomers how AIDS was transmitted.
Whether it was 20 years or 40, the window was brief when you consider that prior to the pill there was no safe contraception, period, and so most people (especially women) would have been very wary of putting out. IOW only Boomers and some older X'ers had the benefit of a short era of free-for-all promiscuity.
 

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Whether it was 20 years or 40, the window was brief when you consider that prior to the pill there was no safe contraception, period, and so most people (especially women) would have been very wary of putting out. IOW only Boomers and some older X'ers had the benefit of a short era of free-for-all promiscuity.
The window would have been at a very significant point in their development.
 

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The window would have been at a very significant point in their development.
Right, but largely unique to their generation.

The sexual revolution did have important long-lasting effects: condoms, which had been around since the 1600s, only really entered the public consciousness then; birth control became widely available; this was when homosexuals laid claim to their sexual identity, and in their wake all sorts of genderqueers; STD testing became standardized and widely available; and so on. The net effect of this is that it's now significantly easier to be sexually active with prospective partners than it was back in 1910. So while sexually active Boomers would have had aberrantly high partner counts, the mean we're settling back towards seems to be having more partners than anyone would have had (or dared report) before the sexual revolution.

That was the paradigm shift.
 

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Gen Y has better porn too. Before, porn was hard to come by. These days you couldnt watch all the porn online in 10 lifetimes. Maybe 100. Plus, its all specialized to your liking...so, people might rather fap cuz of convenience.
 
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