Watch out Brexit — here comes “Sexit.”
British couples are having less sex than they did during the previous two decades, and the busy pace of modern life could be to blame, according to a recent study.
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analyzed data from 34,000 people aged 16 to 44 about their sex lives and found that nearly a third of men and women had no sex in the last month. Fewer than half the men and women in the study have sex at least once a week.
The decline is most prevalent among the over 25 set, as well as married couples or unmarried couples who cohabitate, according to the study published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal BMJ. Both opposite-sex and same-sex couples were included in the research.
The researchers compared surveys from Britain’s National Survey of Sexual Attitudesand Lifestyles from 1991, 2001, and 2012 and found that between the 2001 and 2012 surveys, the percentage of women reporting no sex in the past month increased from 23 percent to 29.3 percent.
The number of men reporting no sex in the same time from went up 26 percent to 29.2 percent. Conversely, more than half of British women and almost two-thirds of men admitted to wanting more sex.
“Several factors are likely to explain this decline, but one may be the sheer pace of modern life,” Kaye Wellings, professor of sexual and reproductive health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the study’s lead author, said in a statement.
“It is interesting that those most affected are in mid-life, the group often referred to as the ‘u-bend’ or ‘sandwich’ generation.”
People are having families later in life than in previous years which could be another factor, Wellings speculated.
“These are the cohorts of men and women who, having started their families at older ages than previous generations, are often juggling childcare, work and responsibilities to parents who are getting older,” she said.
And despite scores of couples reporting having fewer romps, people seem to have the misinformed notion that other couples are having way more sex than they are.
“Most people believe that others have more regular sex than they do themselves. Many people are likely to find it reassuring that they are not out of line,” Wellings said.
Sex isn’t on the decline in the UK alone. The number of adult Americans who reported no sexual activity in the last year reached an all-time high in 2018, according to a study by the General Social Survey published in March.