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No sex please, we’re French

Gen Zs in the bedroom… too much browsing? Getty

Something “disturbing” is happening among the French youth, says Clément Pétreault in Le Point. They are no longer interested in sex. A recent study found that an incredible 43% of 18- to 25-year-olds in France had not “known any sexual partner” in the past year – up from only 25% eight years ago. This is clearly an age thing: nearly a quarter of over-75s say they’ve got down to it within the past week. And in fairness, we’re not alone. In America, sexual activity among the youth has been steadily falling since 2008. What’s behind this new fad for celibacy?

The simple answer is that “sexuality follows the movements of the time”, and today there are “a thousand factors” working against the young libido. It’s not just Netflix on the sofa and iPhones in the bedroom that come between couples – although a shocking 36% of young Americans say they prefer to watch a series than make love. There is also a cultural dimension. Among the young, infidelity is “less admissible” than in the past, undoubtedly thanks to the “soft American puritanism” conveyed on TV and in movies. Other factors include “eco-anxiety” – which inspires a kind of sobriety, “even in bed” – and of course the prevalence of online pornography: the French come third in the global ranking of Pornhub users. It’s funny. The Catholic Church has been trying and failing to push chastity on the young for centuries. American Big Tech has managed it in a couple of decades.