Over the past few years, there’s been a growing body of research that suggests parents are too busy looking at their phones to have sex. And technology is the most frequently cited culprit for why people aren’t getting it on like they used to. Which raises the question: Have they even met your kid? A new study suggests the nation’s dry spell is slightly more nuanced than Netflix and no chill.
The study was published in the journal Archives Of Sexual Behavior, and it looked at a large dataset of 26,620 adults — 9,776 of them parents. Their self-reports revealed that people are having sex 9 fewer times per year than they were a decade ago. Not only that, but married people lost what researchers refer to as the “marriage advantage,” or the increased likelihood of having sex because, well, you’re both right there. Alas, married people’s stats sunk to 55 sessions a year, compared to single people’s 59 — 10 less than a very obvious joke.
But is your awesome iPhone really to blame? Ryne Sherman, co-author of the research (and fellow father) isn’t so sure: “Most of what we can say about technology is speculation.” In fact, technology was simply one of the variables that they weren’t able to rule out. Unlike others, like working too much and looking at porn, that were. Fun fact, both of those habits were found to help people get in the bone zone, so have at it.
Also, great news for busy parents with young children: Sherman noted that people with kids under 6 had sex as much as married people without kids. It was parents with kids 6-12 who saw the sharpest dip. Why the decline in doing it when your kid is finally old enough to leave you alone? Because you’re old. Sherman suspects that’s why married people have lost their advantage.”Being married is correlated with age. Age plays a big role in sexual frequency, it has one of the biggest effects.” People are getting married and having kids later in life, which means they also have lower sex drives. Because that’s, unfortunately, how the human body works. So don’t blame your smartphone (or your kid) — blame biology. And of course, father time.