Contrary to popular belief and a number of other studies, young people may not be having all that much fun having sex, new research argues.
Researchers at the Canadian University of New Brunswick found more than three quarters of young men and women struggle with some form of “persistent and distressing” problems of a sexual nature.
Psychology professor Lucia O’Sullivan surveyed approximately 400 men and women aged between 16 and 21, looking in particular at how they got intimidate.
O’Sullivan undertook the survey after discovering that a high proportion of young university students were visiting the health centre, with erectile issues and vulvar tearing.
Results were apparently abysmal - with 79 per cent of men and 84 per cent of women reporting sexual problems over the course of two years.
Common problems included low sexual satisfaction, a low sex drive, erectile dysfunction for men, and pain, low satisfaction and being unable to reach orgasm for women.
Speaking to Atlantic, she said:
We have this image that partnered sexual life for young people, particularly at the beginning, is fun, pleasurable and really hedonistic.
But what we found once we started tracking them over time is that many young people have sexual problems they are dealing with.
And while some things like orgasm and sexual satisfaction can be developed over time, says Dr O’Sullivan, elements such as a disinterest in sex, and pain are cause for concern.
We have always educated young people about the problems of sex. We think about it in terms of 'Don't have it and if you do have it, make sure you prevent this calamity'.
We never say 'By the way, this should be a fun part of your life'.
But it isn't just a need for education about the fulfilling elements of sex - the prevalence of pornography is also thought to be to blame for the issues facing young people.
O’Sullivan added to Atlantic:
You don't just rely on your dad's porn magazines anymore.
We're beginning to worry that it's actually shifting what they think is normal.