1 in 4 Harvard Grads This Year Didn't Have Sex in College


Was your dorm bed a little empty in college? You might be in good company.

Almost 1 out of 4 Harvard University students — 24% — never had sexual intercourse while they were at college, according to a recent Harvard Crimson survey of 760 graduating seniors (about half the class). The survey also found that 58% of Harvard seniors entered school as virgins.

But it wasn't an entire class of celibate Ivy Leaguers. The survey also found that 21% had sex in their freshman year. And on the, er, deeper end of the pool, 19% of male seniors claimed to have sex with 10 or more partners over the course of the four years, while only 7% of women claimed the same tally. 

That stereotype of wild college students having casual sex with abandon and reveling in hookup culture? At least at Harvard, it's not quite that simple. 


Full minds, empty beds: The numbers make sense in light of the pressure to achieve, the 12 hours of weekly classes, the expectation that about 70% of recent Harvard grads received honors. Plus, the 2015 cost of attending Harvard College without financial aid is $60,659 when the fees are all added up. Perhaps students are so focused on making good use of their money — say, building the world's most important social network — they put their romantic and sexual lives on the shelf.

At the very least, the survey rightly complicates the image of millennial sex. On the one hand, media is still beating the drum of "hookup culture," while on the other, various reports point to what GQ called a "millennial sex drought." We have fewer sexual partners on average than our parents, the single among us are having less sex than the couples and we're not all as cool with casual sex as everyone assumes.

Luckily, for those who aren't getting busy during their time within those Ivy walls, it doesn't necessarily reflect the future of their sexual experiences. As Natalie Portman recently told the Class of 2015 at their Class Day ceremony this week, "Your inexperience is an asset and will allow you to think in unconventional ways." 

That's for you, 24%.


h/t Time