Research Suggests Your Parents Probably Slept With More People Than You Have

If you’re a millennial, your parents may surpass you when it comes to your “number.”

A new study analyzed 40 years of survey data that compared sexual attitudes between generations. Surprisingly, given our supposed age of “hook-up culture,”millennials actually tended to have had fewer sexual partners than those who belong to Generation X (those born between the mid-1960s and early 1980s).

Unless, of course, Generation Xers are just more honest.

Millennials reported a mean average of about eight sexual partners, while Gen Xers reported roughly 10, according to the Archives of Sexual Behavior study published Tuesday.

Furthermore, the Baby Boomers are apparently the friskiest; that demo reported an average of almost 12 sexual partners.

According to the authors, the results indicate that millennials might be more cautious about sex than Gen Xers and Boomers, still having sex out of committed relationships, but doing so with fewer partners. They point to the fact that this demo was exposed to the HIV and AIDS epidemic of the 80s and early 90s (and no, it’s not over yet), and the fact that millennials are the first to be raised by overprotective “helicopter parents.”

“It’s the first generation to always ride in a car seat, have safer playgrounds, and have parents who won’t let them walk to the playground,” says study co-author Jean M. Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University.

The study examined survey results from a national sample of 33,000 adults across the US, and controlled for age, meaning millennials aren’t simply reporting fewer partners because they’re not as old as Gen Xers and Boomers.

Not surprisingly, the study also found that millennials are more accepting of pre-marital sex than any previous generation, and that acceptance of same-sex couples is at an all-time high. So not only are millenials less sexually promiscuous (not that there’s anything wrong with a little promiscuity here and there), they are also more tolerant.

So yeah, we’re doing all right. But we’d rather not know our parents’ “number.”



Photo from The Getaway

Want more updates on the most Notable things happening so you know before your colleagues do? Get our exclusive newsletter here and follow us on Twitter for all the latest.