Why Is Gen Z So Sex-Negative?

Research by Srinivasan, Orenstein, Holden and others all points to the existence of a real trend toward sex-negativity among the young. Yet attributing this trend to Gen Z obscures more than it reveals. More than anything, the idea that Gen Z is especially uninterested in sex erases a history – one that began as a split within feminism but whose reach far exceeds this origin. Indeed, just as earlier generations of sex-negative feminists ended up making bizarre alliances with conservatives in their efforts to criminalise pornography, so too are second-wave talking points today voiced by unlikely actors, including – but hardly limited to! – teenagers on TikTok.