Study claims only 3% of 14-year-olds have lost their virginity

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.

What is the difference between Generation X, Y and baby boomers?

Generations are a group of people who were born around the same time and place – though the exact dates for when each generation starts and another ends are uncertain.

They usually have certain characteristics in common.

But who belongs to what generation and what characteristics are associated with each age range?

Generation Z, iGen, or Centennials: 

Born 1996 – present day

Those born after 1996 are growing up in a world that has always been associated with technology for them. They are the most connected, educated and sophisticated. Known as the most open minded generation to date. 

Millennials or Generation Y: 

Born 1977 – 1995

Those aged between 23 and 42 have been described as the Peter Pan or Boomerang Generation as they commonly move back to live with their parents. There has also been a delay in getting married or starting a career. They are thought of as lazy, narcissistic, and prone to switch jobs quickly. But they are also open minded and look for more of a work-life balance. 

Generation X: 

Born 1965 – 1976

Known as the ‘middle child’ of generations they are often forgotten. But those aged between 43 and 54 are more ethically diverse and better educated than the Baby Boomers. More than 60 per cent went to university, according to thebalancecareers. They are independent, resourceful and self-sufficient.

Baby Boomers: 

Born 1946 – 1964

The term ‘baby boom’ was coined after the drastic rise in the number of births after the end of the second world war. Aged between 55 and 73 this generation have a strong work ethic, are self-assured, competitive and goal centred. They often put their career above everything. 

Traditionalists or Silent Generation: 

Born 1945 and before

Those aged 74 and above were expected to be seen and not heard growing up. They were the ‘silent generation’. A strong work ethic, tough, and resilient this group saw work as a luxury and are some of the wealthiest members of society.  Loyal employees they respect authority and work long hours.

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).

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