Male sexual health specialists also say they are worried about “the consequences of the current drop in birth rates in our country and the boom in impotence among young people”
In Italy one boy in three only has virtual sexwhile over 1 million and 600 thousand young people aged 18-35 have never had sexual intercourse and around 220 thousand stable couples, of the same age group, declares their abstinence from sex. The proverbial “hormonal storm”, the ardors of late adolescence and the beginning of adulthood, in Generation Z therefore seem to collide with cultural blocks, insecurity and fragility. This is the alarm raised by Italian andrologists also concerned about “the consequences of the current collapse in birth rates in our country and the boom in impotence among young people”.
Photographing the crisis of young people and sex is an investigation promoted by the Italian Society of Andrology (Sia) as part of the andrological awareness and prevention campaign, which involved, among others, the Italian Army, the Italian Red Cross (CRI), and was conducted by the Iulm University of Milan, on a sample of 500 young males, aged 16 to 35, and their partners.
Objective of the research: to explore, through a questionnaire, changes in sexual habits after the pandemicthe virtualisation of couple relationships, the current state of andrological prevention to increase young people’s awareness also through materials and commercials published on all Sia social networks and on the website preventionandrologica.it.
An “help” to the birth rate decline
«The preliminary results of the survey show that Generation Z’s relationship with sex it is complicated and contradictory – declares Alessandro Palmieri, president of Sia and professor of Urology at the Federico II University of Naples -. Sexuality in the under 35s appears increasingly detached from the relational and reproductive component, and this is reflected in the low satisfaction in real relationships, 50% of the sample, and in the use of only virtual sex for one boy in three. This trend silently fuels the phenomenon of birth rate
with serious repercussions therefore also on society itself due to the establishment of a sexuality mediated by social media and the Internet, with one major absence: physical contact. This also has an impact on sexual disorders.”
Problems exacerbated during the Covid pandemic
«For several years now we have been faced with an increase in problems affecting young people, who pandemic Covid has contributed to exacerbation due to isolation. Lots of kids complain erectile dysfunction attributable to the virtualization of the relationship, to the excess of pornography and autoeroticism. So a boy who approaches sexuality can be intimidated or intimidated, feeling inadequate.” In fact he worries that 11% of young people declare that they use the online world almost exclusively to find sexual partners and 30% use erotic chats and pornographic sites on a daily basis.
«This difficulty – continues the expert – means that Before turning to a specialist, young people should look for information online about their problems. While 68% declare that they know who the andrologist is, 58% consider it very important to carry out preventive visits, then in fact 74% of young people respond that they have never had an andrological examination and 83.9% declare that they do not carry out regular checks.”
Abstinence, an increasingly widespread phenomenon
What worries andrologists, in addition to virtual sex, porn and auto-eroticism, is also the “peace of mind” declared by many young people, with increasingly widespread sexual behaviors such as abstinence. In fact, it is estimated that there are over 1.6 million 18-35 year olds who have never had sex in their life and around 220 thousand stable couples aged 18-35 who have given up or almost completely given up on sex.
«In a context characterized by alterations in sexuality, ranging from the frequent use of virtual intimate relationships to actual abstinence, it becomes really difficult to imagine or predict improvements in future birth rates in Italyalready today at historic lows”, underlines Palmieri.
Young people poorly informed about sexually transmitted diseases
In terms of knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases There is a strong gap between what young people would like to do and what they actually do. The data that emerged in the presence of these diseases say that only 8% of young people talked about it with their doctor or 12% at home, compared to around 70% who searched for information independently online or received information at school/university. What is missing is not only communication with the doctor, parents and school, but also with the partner. Only 8.1% of males spoke freely about sexually transmitted diseases with their partner.
On the contraryand responses to the partners’ questionnaire show that 38.1% of them say they want to talk to the male in case of doubts regarding the sexual diseases. Interestingly, 74% of partners say they talk about sex freely compared to 63% of males. «The identikit of Generation Z that emerged from our investigation clearly demonstrates the importance of information and awareness campaigns on male sexual health in young people — concludes Palmieri —. With our awareness campaign we want to reach this segment of the male population in order to increase awareness of the importance of andrological prevention for a healthy and satisfying sexual life.”
November 4, 2023 (modified November 4, 2023 | 3:40 pm)
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