Generation Z is ‘too busy trying to get into university to experiment with sex’ as study claims only THREE PER CENT of 14-year-olds have lost their virginity
- Researchers say Generation Z have fewer opportunities to ‘experiment’ with sex
- They spend more time studying and attending after school clubs, scientists say
- It means youngsters go to parties less, where alcohol and sex go hand in hand
Only three per cent of 14-year-olds have lost their virginity or had oral sex, a study has claimed.
In comparison, studies have suggested 30 per cent of those born in the 1980s and 1990s had sex before the age of 16.
Researchers say Generation Z teenagers are too concerned about their grades in hope of going to university to have sex.
They claimed youngsters today have fewer opportunities to ‘experiment’ with sex because they spend more time studying.
As a result, scientists said younger teenagers attend fewer parties where alcohol often goes ‘hand-in-hand’ with sexual encounters.
Generation Z are having less sex than ever because they’re too stressed out with school work, according to a new study
Academics also claimed those of Generation Z have less face-to-face contact with their friends and instead opt to socialise online.
The findings fit in with an overall trend which has seen teenage pregnancies and underage drinking plummet.
University College London and the University of Glasgow experts used data from 11,000 children born in the UK between 2000 and 2002.
All of the teenagers were asked about a range of ‘light’, ‘moderate,’ and ‘heavy’ intimate activities.
Hand-holding, kissing and cuddling were classed as ‘light’, touching and fondling under clothes as ‘moderate’ and oral sex or sexual intercourse as ‘heavy.’
Scientists found 58 per cent of 14-year-olds had engaged in ‘light’ activity, while 7.5 per cent had been engaged in ‘moderate’ activity.
However, in contrast to other studies, only a very small proportion, one in 30 (3.2 per cent), had been involved in ‘heavy’ activities.
Lead author Professor Yvonne Kelly said: ‘Previous studies have shown us 30 per cent of those born in the 1980s and 1990s had sex before the age of 16.
‘And among those born in the early 1990s a little under one in five had done so by age 15.
‘But this study of slightly younger teenagers, based on 14-year-olds born during or just after the year 2000, paints a rather different picture of this latest generation.’
Professor Kelly, whose team’s findings were published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, said: ‘Young people face different pressures today.
‘They have more timetabled time designated to studying, afters school clubs, tutors and various activities.
‘There’s more focus on going to university so young people are spending more time trying to get the grades to go.
‘They also see each other less, have less face to face contact and more virtual contact.’
She added: ‘You need to be physically be with someone to get intimate, and they’re doing that less.
‘It means there is fewer opportunities [to get intimate]. Drinking and sex go hand in hand.
‘It fits in with the overall trend. We know there are far fewer teenage pregnancies and the rate of smoking and drinking has fallen in the last 20 years.’
The study also found that teenagers who were less open with their parents and who stayed out later at night were more sexually active.
Professor Kelly added: ‘Experimentation and pushing boundaries is all part and parcel of growing up.
‘Young people who push many boundaries at once – those who drink, smoke or stay out late, for instance, are more likely to engage in early sexual activity.
‘Intimacy is common among teenagers and young people need to know how to ensure their experiences are mutually wanted, protected, and pleasurable.
‘A positive or negative first experience could affect them for the rest of their lives.’
The study was funded by the The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).