New study claims young men are having less sex due to video games

New study claims young men are having less sex due to video games

More and more young people are getting into video games these days.

I myself have been gaming since a young age, and some of my happiest childhood memories involve me glued to the screen with a controller in hand, leaping over turtles as Mario or exploring strange dungeons in Zelda. But, like anything, too much at the expense of one's health is a bad thing, and now new data from a major scientific study seems to suggest that video games might be to blame for young men having less sex.

According to the latest statistics from the University of Chicago's biennial General Social Survey (GSS) reveal that young men are spending more time streaming stuff, playing on games consoles, and on social media.

The report found that 23 per cent of adults said they had not had sex in the past year or longer, with most of these being men in their twenties. Not only that, but the number of men who had been celibate for more than a year has doubled over the last decade, and the number of men under the age of 30 who have never had sex has rocketed from eight per cent in 2008 to 27 per cent in 2018.

Two men playing video games. Credit: Getty

Speaking to The Washington Post, San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge commented on the findings, explaining that while video games and other forms of entertainment are partially to blame, the fact that less people are getting married young, and entering committed and long-term relationships, is also a significant factor.

She also believes that, since more and more millennials are living with parents, it's become harder and harder for them to have sexual encounters. Twenge stated:

"There are more people in their twenties who don't have a live-in partner. So under those circumstances, I think less sex is going to happen ... When you're living at home it's probably harder to bring sexual partners into your bedroom."

However, she did admit that the attraction of new tech, and all the entertainment it provides, seems to be steering men away from sex and towards screens. Twenge stated:

"[There are] more things to do at 10 o'clock at night than there were 20 years ago ... streaming video, social media, console games, and everything else." 

A couple having sex in bed. Credit: Getty

René Bautista, a senior research scientist in the Statistics and Methodology department at NORC and co-director of the GSS, has added that the study examines many aspects of modern life, and that video games were just one of many factors researchers examined. "Other special topics addressed in the 2018 data include mental health stigma, the quality of working life, attitudes regarding abortions, self-assessments of physical and psychological health, and the role of the natural environment in people's lives," she said.