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(Karen Kaplan)“The changes are primarily due to generation — suggesting people develop their sexual attitudes while young, rather than everyone of all ages changing at the same time,” said study leader Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University.

When Generation Xers were in the same age range, 50% said it didn’t bother them.

And by the time millennials were in their late teens and 20s, 62% said premarital sex was OK.

By 2012, 44% of the public was accepting of same-sex couples.

Once again, millennials led the way — 56% of millennials in their late teens and 20s said they had no problem with same-sex relationships.

It’s probably no coincidence that acceptance of premarital sex rose as people waited longer to get married, the researchers wrote.

In 1970, the median age at which women married for the first time was 21, and for men it was 23.(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) Millennials may have popularized hookup culture and the notion of “friends with benefits,” but social scientists have made a surprising discovery about the sex lives of these young adults — they’re less promiscuous than their parents’ generation.The average number of sexual partners for American adults born in the 1980s and 1990s is about the same as for baby boomers born between 19, according to a study published this week in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.By 2010, those ages rose to 27 and 29, respectively.“With more Americans spending more of their young adulthood unmarried, they have more opportunities to engage in sex with more partners and less reason to disapprove of nonmarital sex,” Twenge and her colleagues wrote.Same-sex relationships are also coming into their own, according to the study.For instance, back then, only 29% of Americans as a whole agreed that having sex before marriage was “not wrong at all.” By the 1980s, 42% of people shared this view.

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