How the way we think about sex has changed in the last 40 years

Acceptance of homosexual sex and premarital sex is at an all-time high according to a new study.

The researchers analysed data from the American General Social Survey, a nationally representative survey of more than 33,000 adults taken between 1972-2012, and found significant changes in generations.

Essentially over time, higher percentages of adults agreed that types of pre-marital sex were not wrong at all although they did not feel the same way about adultery and sex between teenagers. While millennials were more accepting of pre-marital sex, they reported fewer sexual partners than those in “Generation X”.

In the 22 years from 1990 to 2012, acceptance of same-sex relationships more than tripled from 13 per cent to 44 per cent.

"The changes are primarily due to generation - suggesting people develop their sexual attitudes while young, rather than everyone of all ages changing at the same time," said lead author Jean Twenge.

The study obviously uses data from America, but the softening of attitudes towards pre-marital sex in millenials is reflected in the UK, as data from the British Social Attitudes survey shows.

Percentage of American adults agreeing that types of non-marital sex are "not wrong at all"

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