If you’ve noticed that you’re getting laid less often, you’re not alone. A new study found that people across the U.S. are having less sex now than they did in the 1990s.
Published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, scientists from San Diego State University analyzed 1989–2014 data from the General Social Survey, which showed that American adults are having sex seven to nine times fewer than they did a quarter-century ago. The decline is seen across gender, religion, education, race, and work status — though the steepest drop was found among married people, the Washington Post reports.
You see, in the 1990s, a magical time when Mark Wahlberg was still Marky Mark, the average person had sex 60 to 62 times per year. But by 2014, that figure dropped to less than 53 times each year overall. However, among married people specifically, the drop was more severe — they went from banging 73 times per year in 1990 to just 55 times in 2014, according to the Post.
On top of that, the study found that, in general, people in the U.S. have become “less coupled.” While 66 percent of U.S. adults were living with a partner back in 1986, only 59 percent of them were doing so in 2014. Additionally, people who aren’t coupled up tend to have sex half as often as those who are in relationships, according to the study. The researchers noted that the overall decline in sex could stem from higher incidence of depression, the use of antidepressants that cause sexual dysfunction, a decline in happiness in people age 30 and over, and more access to entertainment and social media.
“Are they less happy and thus having less sex or are they having less sex and therefore less happy? It’s probably some of both,” lead study author Dr. Jean Twenge, psychology professor at San Diego State University and author of Generation Me, told the Post. “We do know that sexual frequency is linked to marital satisfaction, so overall if you have fewer people having sex you could have people who are less happy and less satisfied with that relationship.”