How many men around the world aged 60 and under abstain from sex? The answer may depend on how you define “sex,” but a recent review of studies suggests it could be up to 84%.
The researchers considered males between the ages of 10 and 24 “young” and those aged 25 to 60 as “middle-aged.”
They also distinguished between primary and secondary abstinence. Men in the first category have never had any sexual activity, alone or with a partner. Men with secondary abstinence were not having sex regularly at the time of the study.
Young men were more likely to be abstinent than middle-aged men.
Some of the factors associated with abstinence included age, lack of a partner, less education, and lower socioeconomic status. Some men were abstinent because of their moral or religious beliefs. Others had less sex education and less knowledge about sexually-transmitted infections and birth control. And others were in unhappy relationships that made them less inclined to have sex.
The results should be interpreted with caution, the authors noted. Not all of the reviewed studies defined “sex” in the same way. For example, the term specifically meant penile-vaginal intercourse in some studies but did not include masturbation.
Also, the results can’t be applied to all men worldwide, the authors said. Fewer studies from Asia and Australia were available. None of the studies were done in South America.
The review was published online in January in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
The Journal of Sexual Medicine
Irfan, Muhammad, PhD, et al.
“Sexual Abstinence and Associated Factors Among Young and Middle-Aged Men: A Systematic Review”
(Full-text. Published online: January 16, 2020)