Paris – Fewer than half of people in Britain have sex at least once a week, according to a new study that charts a droop in amorous encounters among British couples.
Data published Tuesday in the BMJ journal showed a general decline in sexual activity between 2001-2012, a trend authors said could be down to the influence of social media and the after effects of the recession.
They found the steepest decline among over 25s and those who are married or living together.
Researchers at the London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used data from over 34,000 men and women aged 16-44 drawn from three separate surveys conducted in 1991, 2001 and 2012.
They noticed a sharp drop in people having sex this century.
The proportion of people reporting having had no sex in the past month increased from 23 percent to 29.3 percent among women and from 26 percent to 29.2 percent among men.
The rate of people having sex 10 or more times in the past month also fell during the period, from 20.6 percent to 13.2 percent of women and from 20.2 percent to 14.4 percent of men surveyed.
The authors stressed that the study was observational, and so was unable to establish why sex rates were falling.
But given the age and marital status of groups most affected, they said the best explanation could be a combination of stress, social media meaning less face-to-face interaction, and the lingering effects of the 2008 financial crisis and the years of recession that followed.
“The decrease in sexual activity is interesting, as yet unexplained, and warrants further exploration,” the authors said.