Open relationships, aka “polyamory,” may sound like a lot of fun to people who feel bored by the prospects of marriage and “till death do us part,” but a new study has found the exact opposite to be true.
Quartz reports on a study of more than 11,000 people in the European Union that was conducted in March 2017. According to the site, Europeans found monogamous sex to be satisfying to 82 percent of respondents. Only 11 percent said they were unsatisfied.
Compare this to open relationships, where 71 percent of respondents said they were satisfied and 22 percent said they were unsatisfied.
In other words, people in open relationships were twice as likely to be unsatisfied with their sexual situation than those who were “tied down” to one person.
The real losers in the survey were single people, who trailed those in open relationships considerably. According to the findings, only 48 percent of “single, not looking” people were happy with their sex lives while 21 percent were unhappy.
Unsurprisingly, the “single, looking” group had it worst of all with a 40 percent satisfaction score and 41 percent saying they were unsatisfied.
Dalia, a Berlin-based research company, conducted the survey on more than 11,000 people from the 28 countries in the European Union.
Ages of respondents were between 14 and 65, “though for the purposes of reporting they then excluded those aged under 18,” Quartz notes.
— VICE (@VICE) June 10, 2017
The Vice article embedded above notes that the U.S. was excluded from the mix, but points to another interesting find. That, forget open relationships, younger millennials in the United States are having less sex than previous generations.
According to a study conducted by Dr. Jean Twenge, a professor and researcher at San Diego State University, millennials “reported fewer sexual partners than Gen-Xers and even baby boomers did at the same age,” Vice notes.
According to the same study, “The percentage who believed premarital sex among adults was ‘not wrong at all’ was 29 [percent] in the early 1970s, 42 [percent] in the 1980s and 1990s, 49 [percent] in the 2000s, and 58 [percent] between 2010 and 2012.”
Vice writer Dave Simpson, a self-described older millennial, posed the theory that perhaps his generation felt more self-assured and prepared for the pressures of early adulthood.
“Are we in an era… where young men and women think of sex without judgment but don’t feel pressure to have it?” Simpson writes.
— News Palace (@Politic_DR) May 3, 2017
While all this talk of less sex and greater dissatisfaction over open relationships may sound like great news if you are a parent concerned about your child’s relationship future, there is a downside to all of it.
The U.S. birth rate is declining considerably. In a 2016 report from ATTN, it was noted that the birth rate among U.S.-born women “fell by 6 percent in the first years of the recession — but among immigrants it fell by 14 percent.”
Furthermore, birth rates in origin countries have been falling for years and teen pregnancies have trended downward sharply since 1990.
The downside to this development, as the ATTN piece linked above notes, is that the U.S. is a country with a diminishing Social Security system, which requires younger generations to pay for older generations. As life expectancies increase and birth rates decrease, there will be more people in need of a social safety net and fewer around to pay for it.
That said, what is your take on the whole open relationships finding? Do you find monogamy to be the best route to go for a relationship? Sound off in the comments section below.