Helen Fisher on COVID’s Sexless Summer

Experts—both real and self-proclaimed—predicted in spring 2021 that single people, newly vaxxed after a long COVID-19 lockdown, would be on the prowl come summer.

However, like many summer blockbusters it didn’t live up the expectations. Although some people believe “hot vax season” has failed due to online porn’s rise and the Delta variant, Helen Fisher believes it was actually the acceleration of a slow decline in hookup culture and one-night stands that began long before the pandemic.

Fisher, an Anthropologist is the Chief Science Advisor for She is also a Senior Research Fellow at Kinsey Institute and is the Author of most recently a revised edition. Anatomy of Love. Overseen the operation for each of the 11 previous years. America SinglesThe annual survey covered more than 5,000 singles across all ages, genders, and sexual orientations. She said that, despite the fact that looks are not in fashion, emotional maturity was rising among Generation Z and millennials, this is a consensus across all age groups. “Stability is the new sexy.”

Fisher made an appearance on Nick Gillespie Interview: The Reason in December to discuss her research.

Q: Was the 2021 hot, wet summer a bust? Does that make sense?

A: Absolutely. It’s what I call post-traumatic growth. They have just grown up. Singles are now searching for stability. They are now looking for something stable.

Q: Was it just the last few years or a long-term phenomenon?

A: While the trend is still long, it has made a significant leap since then. The most recent data was compared America Singles study with data from this summer to 2019, which is right before the pandemic. Every year we create 200 questions, then poll singles and compile all data. And the single most important question, as it turned out—I didn’t know it at the time—was: “Do you want to have a partner who wants to get married?”

In 2019, 58% of singles believed they would like to marry a man. And 76% said that in 2021 they want a spouse who wants to be married.

Q: Do you think this will hold as the world becomes more normal?

A: I believe that is the most important question. 1 question. The answer is not in my possession.

My hypothesis is that the courtship stage won’t end soon. People will marry later in life, especially millennials. But I predict that they’ll start to look for someone sooner. They won’t marry sooner than they do now, but they will start searching for partners sooner. All of my data shows that the earlier you get married, the better your chances are of staying together.

Q: We have heard that millennials can be lazy, selfish and lazy. Your perception seems to paint a very different picture.

Q: Data on 55,000 singles is now available. The sample is representative and the data are real.

We are unable to understand the differences between men and women, as well as the nuances of sex. Amazing how far we still need to go. The bottom line is that, in fact, only one third of the millennials who survived the pandemic were at home. People say that they are lazy. They were actually saving money. They had their life together. They are single millennials, which I like to call them the new Victorians. These are the real deal! They are much less sexually active than my generation. They’re careful.

Q: How can you explain the decline in sexual activity just as America lost its primacy?

A: Scientists are trying to answer this question and one of the conclusions is that many of these scientists are busy. A lot of activities are available to them. These people were raised in what they used to call a dysfunctional home. They recognize the fragility and vulnerability of relationships. Many of these people are working second jobs to get through college, pay off their college debts and build a career. This is a serious generation.

The interview was edited and condensed for clarity and style. For a podcast version, subscribe to Nick Gillespie Interviews The Reason