New research by The Next Steps project found that millennials are waiting longer to engage in sexual activities than previous generations.
The project is a University College London study that followed 16,000 people born in 1989 and 1990 since they were 14 years old. One in eight millennials reported they were still virgins at 26 during interviews carried out in 2016.
The study also shows that young people maintain personal independence later into adulthood and are less likely to have sexual partners than older generations, as they grow older.
Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University, blames it on millennials being ambitious and motivated. She told The Washington Post: “a lot of them are afraid that they’ll get into something they can’t get out of and they won’t be able to get back to their desk and keep studying.” London is certainly a city where young people are focused on thriving.
The results support the common myth of fear of intimacy and commitment amongst young people. Susanna Abse, psychoanalytic psychotherapist of the Balint Consultance, told the Sunday Times “millennials have been brought up in a culture of hypersexuality, which has bred a fear of intimacy”.
Student health nurse at the University of Westminster, Martin Jones, says he is surprised with the results, as his own experience proves otherwise. He points out that the sample of the study is very early on in an entire generation and that “there are certainly more partners now than their parents”.