Sunday 25 February 2018

Teenagers keep their distance in the cautious new world of dating and sex

Teens now flirt without meeting, date without exclusivity and pay little heed to old traditions, writes Niamh Horan

TRUE ROMANCE: Young love is a less personal process for today’s teenagers. Below: Many find it easier to express their feelings through emojis and messages rather than face to face. Stock picture
TRUE ROMANCE: Young love is a less personal process for today’s teenagers. Below: Many find it easier to express their feelings through emojis and messages rather than face to face. Stock picture
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

Last year, one study on human interaction stopped us in our tracks. Despite sexual liberation, contraception, dating apps and social media, young people are having less sex than any generation in 60 years.

This dramatic shift in behaviour is best researched by American psychologist Jean M Twenge and last week she released new data to pin the blame on the smartphone -with teens now choosing the superficial interaction over real life encounters.

But if parents think they can take comfort in the thought that less sex somehow translates into a more wholesome approach to dating, then think again.

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