It’s time to have a talk with Grampa. A sweeping new study of Americans’ sexual behavior shows that while young people are waiting longer to have sex, and being safe about it when they finally do, hordes of baby boomers and older people are out of control — they’re engaging in risky, unprotected sex with “dates and casual acquaintances,” apparently because they don’t know any better or don’t care. TIME writes:
As far as sexual behavior goes, we may be worrying about the wrong people. The kids, it turns out, may be all right. It’s the boomers who are being all, like, irresponsible and stuff. At least that’s the finding of the largest nationally representative survey of the sexual behavior of Americans ever undertaken.
The study showed that among men over 50, 91% did not use a condom when they had sex with a date or casual acquaintance, and 70% didn’t even do so when they had sex with someone they just met. Their female peers are more careful in general, but a majority of them have sex without a condom. A few older people in the study didn’t use a condom even when they knew they or their partner had a sexually transmitted infection.
“Sadly, I find this not hard to believe,” says Pepper Schwartz, a sociology professor at the University of Washington, adding that figures from the AARP show a similar disdain. Because Boomers are often reentering the dating market after several years of marriage, Schwartz believes some of them missed key public health messages.