Gen Z appears to be more comfortable with the concept of non-monogamy than previous generations, according to controversial online “dating” service Ashley Madison.
The polarizing Ashley Madison, which caters to people looking to cheat on their partners and uses the slogan “Life is short. Have an affair,” said that Gen Z is the top age group to sign up for their scandalous product and accounted for 40% of new members in 2022.
To understand why so many members of Gen Z, defined as those 18-29 years old, are joining the pro-adultery site, the company surveyed their Gen Z members as well as those ages in the general population across 10 countries via YouGov. The results were provided to Fox News Digital in a report titled, “Decoding Gen Z: A global report on non-monogamy, sex, and the desire for discretion.”
The study found that 57% of Gen Z is “willing to consider” a non-monogamous relationship, while 59% of Gen Z Ashley Madison members “said they wanted either an open or a polyamorous relationship.”
“We definitely see a future with greater acceptance for less traditional relationships and more couples designing their own rules. According to our research, Gen Z is certainly more comfortable with non-monogamy than previous generations,” Ashley Madison chief strategy officer Paul Keable told Fox News Digital.
Among the respondents, 65% cited “fuller sexual and/or romantic life experiences” as a benefit of non-monogamy, while 54% felt “more open-mindedness and acceptance toward different forms of love” was another advantage. Nearly half of the respondents agreed that non-monogamous relationships “help people learn to comfortably ask for what they want in order to be more satisfied,” and 42% said there would be “less pressure on one person to fulfill the needs of their partner.”
The study also examined “Gen Z’s pragmatism towards open relationships” and found that 51% of Ashley Madison members aged 18-29 don’t believe one person can fulfill their sexual needs. Thirteen percent cited “emotional needs,” but that number is drastically split based on gender.
“With respect to women, 29% of Ashley Madison members are in search of outside/multiple partners because they don’t believe that one person alone can fulfill their emotional needs, compared to 9% of male members. What’s more, perhaps surprisingly, 21% of female members don’t believe that they can be happy and monogamous at the same time, whereas only 15% of men feel that way,” the report stated.
“Interestingly, female members are three times more likely than male members to have always been non-monogamous (18% vs 5%) suggesting that women have been embracing the concept longer than their male counterparts,” the report continued before diving into a section titled, “A generation of sexually adventurous females.”
The Ashley Madison member survey “illustrated that, albeit a minority, female members tend to be more sexually adventurous than men, despite also needing more than one person emotionally.”
The survey found female members are three times more likely than male members to have had sexual relations with a member of the same sex, and four times more likely to have had at least one sexual relationship with a member of the same sex.
Despite the results, Keable doesn’t believe Gen Z is the most sexual generation.
“It has actually been suggested that this cohort is having less sex than their Millennial counterparts while simultaneously being considered the most sexually progressive generation to ever exist, thanks to growing up in a more accepting environment where they could be more open about their sexuality,” Keable said.
“In fact, according to studies like the U.S. General Social Survey, while younger generations are more tolerant toward premarital sex and non-monogamy, Baby Boomers actually had more sex,” he continued. “Whether this was because they had fewer lifetime partners or just a case of ‘attraction of the forbidden fruit’, older generations have statistically had more sexual partners. “
Gen Z has been notorious for sharing their lives on social media, but the study found that 68% of women and 65% of men don’t publicize their relationships. Among the Gen Z community who felt that way, 62% said it doesn’t seem necessary, 55% said it’s not anyone else’s business, 29% said it feels like people simply share for “outside validation,” and 20% said it’s “cringey” when people make public relationship announcements.
“Of those choosing to make their relationships official online, 81% of Ashley Madison members prefer to ‘soft launch’ their new relationship by slowly and subtly releasing content that features their partner, while 19% prefer a ‘hard launch’ approach and debut their relationship to followers with a dedicated update,” the report said. “Male members are more likely than women to prefer soft launching their new relationships (82% vs 76%), with women slightly preferring to hard-launching over men (24% vs 18%).”
When Ashley Madison members do socialize new relationships, 61% said “they do so to help their partner feel more secure in their commitment to them.”
Meanwhile, 60% of Gen Z Ashley Madison users said they want to keep their sex life private.
“Interestingly, while female Ashley Madison members are more inclined than males to feel that sex lives should be kept discreet (68% vs 59%), 24% of female and 31% of male members don’t mind making it public, compared to just 8% of the U.S. general population,” the report said.
While Gen Z appears more comfortable with the concept of non-monogamy than previous generations, they want less sexually explicit content shown in the media they watch. A recent study from UCLA found that Gen Z teenagers and adults are asking for fewer sex scenes in the television and movies they consume.
The “Teens and Screens” report from the school’s Center for Scholars and Storytellers found that 51.5% of adolescents would prefer to see more content that portrays platonic relationships and close friendships.
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