According to this recent article in The Atlantic, teenage promiscuity is decreasing. Apparently there is a general “decline in dating” which also “tracks with a decline in sexual activity.” The figures are startling:
The drop is the sharpest for ninth-graders, among whom the number of sexually active teens has been cut by almost 40 percent since 1991. The average teen now has had sex for the first time by the spring of 11th grade, a full year later than the average Gen Xer. Fewer teens having sex has contributed to what many see as one of the most positive youth trends in recent years: The teen birth rate hit an all-time low in 2016, down 67 percent since its modern peak, in 1991.
This might seem like good news. I mean, less sleeping around, fewer teenage pregnancies, fewer lives messed up by intimacy without commitment – sounds like a huge step in the right direction, doesn’t it?
Sadly not. In fact, once we understand the reasons for this decline, and the likely implications of it, it turns out that the drop in sexual promiscuity among teens reflects new patterns of behaviour that are very troubling indeed.