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In Australia, inceldom may be rising among those over the age of 18, but may not be for those younger.


Age Virgin No sex last year % Sex less than 1/year % No answer %
18-24 40%[1] 8%[1] 7%[1]
25-29 21%[1] 7%[1] 5%[1]
20-29 10%[2]
25+ 5%[3]
31+ 4%[3]

In 2019, Australia's national broadcaster, the ABC, in conjunction with the University of Melbourne and the private polling company Vox Pop Labs, conducted a large survey into the lifestyles, health, political beliefs, values and economic status of Australians. They found that 40% of Australians polled aged 18–24 reported 'never' having sex and 8% reported no sex in the last year, with 7% 'preferring not to say'. The corresponding figures for those aged 25–29 were 21% reporting 'never' having sex, 7% reporting having it less than once a year, with 5% of respondents refusing to answer the question.[1][1] More men in the 18-29 age range reported being sexless than women in the corresponding age bracket, with this gender divide in sexlessness being most pronounced among those aged 25–29, with 28% of men that age being sexless in the last year compared to 16% of women. The gender gap in sexlessness in the previous year in the 30-39 age bracket was tiny (if this gap is even statistically significant, there were also more female virgins than men in this age bracket) and women above that age were more likely to be sexless in the last year than men. This data seems to indicate that women in the 25-29 age bracket in Australia are likely disproportionately either dating older men or engaging in informal polygynous relationships with males, with little evidence of a severe gender skew in the sexlessness in other age brackets.

On the city level, a survey conducted in 2016 by the lifestyle magazine Body and Soul found the highest number of adult virgins over the age of 31 (male and female combined) was in Melbourne with almost 4% of the population over 31 being virgins. In this survey, 5% of people of both sexes surveyed nationwide reported losing their virginity after the age of 25.[3] No details about the general methodology and any in-depth information pertaining to the characteristics of the respondents to this survey were provided. As the survey sample appears entirely comprised of readers of a lifestyle magazine that is included as an insert with several News Corporation newspapers (with newspaper readers trending towards being older than the median age) and is also possibly biased towards those who are sexually experienced due to the content of the survey, it is likely that those surveyed are not a representative sample of the Australian population.

Are incel rates increasing[edit]

In contrast to other data from countries like the US, and despite the substantial amount of sexless young people in Australia, there is not much evidence of large secular increases in sexlessness rates among Australian youth, with the self-reported age of sexual debut (among those who have sex) seemingly changing little over the decades since a sharp decrease subsequent to the sexual revolution.[4] There is also evidence that the likelihood of engaging in penetrative sex among Year 12 students (generally aged 17–18) has been increasing steadily since the early 90s, in contrast to data from the United States.[5]

However, there is some evidence of slightly greater male sexlessness in this age bracket vis-a-vis women (the actual rate has remained fairly steady across this period), possibly indicating a small shift towards a more polygynous mating style among younger people, or perhaps it is simply evidence of increasing female promiscuity (due to the female tendency to prefer slightly older men, so college-age men in this instance, who would not be represented in this diachronic analysis) as this trend does not appear to be very pronounced.

As Australia lacks extensive, representative, annual surveys into the sexual behavior of the population, any population-level trends towards increasing sexlessness are hard to discern, though there does seem to some evidence for a recent increase in sexlessness that is particularly pronounced among men in their 20s when one compares the chronic sexlessness figures in the ABC survey and the figures reported in the second Australian Study of Health and Relationships, which reported a virginity rate of 10% men in their 20s compared to the figures from the ABC survey which found 40% of men aged 19–24 and 21% of men aged 25–29 reported they 'never' had sex.[2]

Thus, if there is a trend towards greater sexlessness among Australians, it seems this trend is isolated to those older than 18, seemingly being heavily concentrated in the 18-29 age bracket for men.

Potential causes[edit]

The high level of sexlessness among Australia youth seems to indicate a general slowing in life history speed, with people increasingly deferring sex and reproduction beyond their 20s, leaving many men in their late teens and 20s completely sexless. In contrast, sexlessness sharply decreases in the mid-20s onwards among women, likely as they increasingly settle down into (often serially) monogamous relationships, as many men of the same age bracket are still sexless, perhaps due to female economic hypergamy related choosiness and other factors. Similar to the trends found in other developed nations, there is a reasonably large gender gap (favoring women) in terms of the proportion of the population who has attained a bachelor's degree or above, particularly among the younger generation, which may partially explain male sexlessness in these age brackets, as women have a general sexual preference for men with an equivalent or higher level of education than themselves, at least in regards to long-term relationships. However, it is important to note that rates of male social withdrawal and underemployment do not seem particularly pronounced in Australia compared to other countries.[6]

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See also[edit]