Mating and dating
An important possibility is that while kids these days are waiting longer to get started, they’re catching up during an extended “early adulthood” that lasts until age 30 or so.(Twenge’s core finding is that teens are growing up more slowly than they used to, and Regnerus tells us of a 32-year-old subject who didn’t lose her virginity until age 22 but has had about 20 sexual partners since.) Those born in the ’90s and later — ’s focus — won’t start hitting 30 for a few years yet.It seems that a small share of both men and women participate heavily in the casual-sex scene, though it’s likely still true that more men than women would fail in that scene if they gave it a shot.There most certainly a gender gap, though, when it comes to pornography and masturbation.
Troublingly, it may reduce men’s incentive or ability to find real, live romantic partners (which could help explain why sex-partner counts are more stable than you might expect).After all, sex-partner surveys are notorious for producing the mathematically impossible result that men are having more sex with women than women are having with men.But whatever the case, the difference is far from overwhelming.More broadly, when sifting through Regnerus’s modern stories and data, readers should be careful not to assume that things were all that different a generation ago.
*** That said, Regnerus’s interviews and survey data, both of which involve some incredibly personal questions, offer a remarkably detailed overview of the current mating market.If you’re curious what people are doing with their genitals these days — and let’s be honest, who isn’t — is your guide.