No sex, please: the British fell asleep less in the 21st century

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(MENAFN – AFP) Less than half of people in Britain have sex at least once a week, according to a new study that marks a decline in amorous encounters among British couples.

The data published Tuesday in the journal BMJ showed a general decline in sexual activity between 2001-2012, a tendency affirmed by the authors could be due to the influence of social media and the side effects of the recession.

They found the strongest decline among those over 25 and those who are married or live together.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used data from over 34,000 men and women between the ages of 16 and 44 from three separate surveys conducted in 1991, 2001 and 2012.

They have noticed a sharp decline in people who have had sex in this century.

The percentage of people who reported not having sex in the last month has gone from 23 to 29.3% among women and from 26 to 29.2% among men.

Even the rate of people having sex 10 or more times in the last month decreased during the period, from 20.6% to 13.2% of women and from 20.2% to 14.4% of men respondents.

The authors pointed out that the study was observational, and therefore was unable to establish why sex rates were falling.

But given the age and marital status of the most affected groups, they said the best explanation could be a combination of stress, social media which means 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, not yet explained, and requires further investigation," the authors said.

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