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Scientists Say Married Couples Are Having Less Sex

Photograph by Twenty20

Despite the fact that married couples typically have more sex than single people, they're having a whole lot less of it than they used to, says new research published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. And it doesn't matter what your gender or race is, either. In fact, Americans across the board are doing the deed less than they used to.

In 2014, researchers say married couples had sex an average of 56 times per year. That's slightly more than a 16 percent drop from the average in 1989. (Side note: Who ARE these people having so much sex?)

But for parents, the good news is that it's probably got nothing to do with the fact that you might be co-sleeping.

Although there's not a clear reason why all us married people are having less sex, researchers say there are two things that definitely aren't the problem: working late and pornography. In fact, they found Americans who work longer hours, as well as those who consume pornography, were both indicators of having a busier sex life.

So, what gives? It turns out that how old you are is likely a factor. Millennials are actually the generation having the least sex than any other generation before them, and the reason why totally makes sense. With the advent of portable technology and the presence of electronics everywhere (i.e., TV in the bedroom, smartphones with all kinds of social networking apps to distract us, iPads with Netflix, and so on), we're getting pleasure from those sources instead of ... well, from each other.

That is, we'd rather literally binge-watch Netflix and chill while scrolling through Facebook than use that time to "Netflix and chill" the way the kids mean it.

Whereas our grandparents didn't have much else to do once the kids went to bed, we've got all kinds of options. And interestingly, this research coincides with the fact that the U.S. population has declined every year since 1990, according to the CDC. Less sex equals less births, and less births equal a smaller population.

Also probably at fault for less sex and the lower birth rate? The economy. The birth rate fell 12 percent from 2007 to 2014—exactly as we went into a recession, and the years following as we tried to get out of it. With lots of families struggling to pay mortgages or rent, hanging onto jobs and other financial collateral damage from a recession that affects the choices we make to grow our families, more people got married, but decided to have less children overall. The lesson here: When the economy does well, so does our sex lives.

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