The intergenerational transmission of sexual frequency

Scott T. Yabiku, Lauren Newmyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Intergenerational relationships are one of the most frequently studied topics in the social sciences. Within the area of family, researchers find intergenerational similarity in family behaviors such as marriage, divorce, and fertility. Yet less research has examined the intergenerational aspects of a key proximate determinant of fertility: sexual frequency. We use the National Survey of Families and Households to examine the relationship between sexual frequency of parents and the sexual frequency of children when adults. We link parental sexual frequency in 1987/1988, when children were ages 5–18, to the sexual frequency of the children in 2001–2003 when these grown children were ages 18–34. We find a modest, yet significant association, between parental and adult children sexual frequency. A mechanism behind this association appears to be the higher likelihood of being in a union among children of parents with high sexual frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalBiodemography and Social Biology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Genetics


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