Posts Tagged ‘youth’

Now for Something Different: Is Sex Wilting?

While we have all been distracted, some researchers have noticed another thing to worry about: Americans these days report having sex less often than Americans did a couple of decades ago. What?! Is this not supposed to be the age of hookups, Tinder swiping, the pornography web, Viagra, and all that? Yet, the drop-off in sexual activity, though modest in size, is real–for teens, for young adults, for middle-aged people. (All this even before Covid.) For some observers, this decline has become the next social problem.

What’s happening–er, not happening?



Read Full Post »

Back Home


Studio (source)

One of the major lifestyle changes of the twentieth century was the dramatic increase in the proportion of Americans who lived alone. [1] Virtually outlawed in Early America, rarely done in the early twentieth century, it became a stage of life for many Americans, especially for elderly women, by the end of the century. (In 2000, about one-third of American women 65 and older were living alone.) The question of whether this trend is a good or bad thing has been a matter of concern. Eric Klinenberg’s recent best-seller, Going Solo, conveys the positive side of the discussion (see also this earlier post).

Another side of the discussion is trying to make sense of why Americans increasingly chose to live alone. Is it because Americans became increasingly disaffected with family or because Americans became increasingly able to afford their own living spaces? The recent economic shocks we have gone through provide a way to contrast people’s “tastes” for solo living versus their budgets for solo living.


Read Full Post »

Life Begins

An old joke:

Source: UWTucscon istock

A priest, a minister, and a rabbi are debating the question, “When does life begin?” The priest says, “At conception, of course!” The minister says, “At birth!” The rabbi says, “When the last kid goes to college and the dog dies!”

One of the major – but rarely appreciated – changes in American life over the last few generations has been the great expansion of the period in life we have come to call “empty nest.” For all the attention to the delay of marriage and the rise in divorce — important developments in American family life to be sure — empty-nesting has been one of the most extensive developments.

In the current historical moment, however, the expansion of the empty nest stage appears to be stalling or reversing.


Read Full Post »