New research shows a sharp drop in the number of babies born in the U.S. last year. An analysis reported in the New York Times found an estimated 3.84 million babies were born nationwide in 2017. That’s down more than 100,000 from the year before.
The number of people 18 to 30 who say they haven’t had sex in the previous year jumped to nearly 20 percent in 2017, compared with about 10 percent in earlier decades. Previous studies have also found that millennials are having less sex than previous generations at that age. One possible culprit? Smartphones, according to the report by The Times’ Lyman Stone.
“I think the worry is about the decay of social bonds generally and lack of kind of in-person quality time,” said New York Times investigative reporter and CBS News contributor Jodi Kantor. “I mean, you don’t need to be a top sociologist to experience this, right? If you’re getting pelted with work emails at 10 o’clock at night on your bedside table, that is obviously not a recipe for a lot of private time.”
Kantor, who along with colleague Megan Twohey broke the bombshell sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, said the country is in “a state of romantic reckoning.” Their reporting helped launch a national conversation, fueling the #MeToo movement and the Time’s Up legal defense fund.
“There are a lot of questions about the right way to do things and what the rules are, and how to proceed in kind of a healthy and safe way. In my reporting I talk to a lot of people who talk about just changes in their romantic interactions. I’ve had women tell me that at the end of dates now, guys will say to them, ‘I just want to make sure you were comfortable tonight. I want to make sure everything felt OK to you.’ Which is very sweet, but also betrays a certain nervousness about, you know, am I doing this right,” Kantor said.