Britons 'having less sex' than in previous years

Data showed a general decline in sexual activity in Britain between 2001 and 2012

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Britons are having less sex than in previous years, a new study has suggested.

Data collected in a large-scale national survey showed a general decline in sexual activity in Britain between 2001 and 2012, with the steepest declines among the over 25s and those who were married or living together.

The data was gathered from more than 34,000 men and women aged 16 to 44 who completed the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles in 1991, 2001 and 2012.

Overall, the proportion reporting no sex in the past month fell between the first and second surveys, but increased significantly in the final 2012 survey (to 29.3 per cent in women and 29.2 per cent in men).

The proportion reporting sex 10 times or more in the past month increased between the first two surveys in women, but fell in the final survey.

Overall, 41 per cent of men and women had sex once a week or more in the last month, the most recent survey showed.

The three surveys asked people about vaginal, anal or oral sex with opposite or same-sex partners.

Lead author Professor Kaye Wellings said: "Several factors are likely to explain this decline, but one may be the sheer pace of modern life.

"Life in the digital age is considerably more complex than in previous eras, the boundary between the private space of home and the public world outside is blurred, and the internet offers considerable scope for diversion."

Relationship expert Dr Pam Spurr told talkRADIO that box sets could also be to blame for the decline.

"There are so many distractions, all of which bash your brain. If you've been online gaming as a lot of younger people do, watching episode after episode of a box set, your brain just can't cope dealing with face-to-face relationships, which means you're going to have less sex."

The findings have been published in the British Medical Journal.

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