Sex Is Most Important To Long Term Relationships According To 45% Of American Gen X’ers, While Millennials Place Friendship And Romance Ahead Of Sex


NEW YORK, NY - The generation who raced home to catch “TRL” and longed to compete on “Double Dare” grew up to be anything but slackers. They don’t have midlife crises, they accept who they are, and define life on their own terms. Viacom Insights group fielded a study to uncover who Generation X is now and how that generation compares to Millennials. The study also examined nuances between Gen X’ers in the US and Gen X’ers abroad. 

“In the process of setting out to uncover what the “slacker generation” is up to now, we realized that the last time this generation was even really explored was in their youth so we didn’t have much information before our study,” said Christian Kurz, SVP, Global Consumer Insights, Viacom. “Notably, we found that there are many more commonalities between the US and the rest of the world than there are differences. This is a pattern that generally holds true when looking at the well-studied Millennials - the first truly global generation - but we were surprised to also find this with Gen X’ers who grew up under dramatically different circumstances around the world.”

While a qualitative dive into aspects of the study can be found at V by Viacom, the Viacom Insights blog, and through a short documentary, some topline findings include:

Sex and love…

·         When asked what is most important in a good long-term relationship, American Gen X chose good sex first (45%), then friendship (40%) and romance (39%), while Millennials chose friendship (58%) over romance (40%) and good sex (30%.)

·         Outside the US, the order was the same but the percentages skewed differently from the US: Gen X chose good sex (43%), friendship (36%), romance (32%), and Millennials chose friendship (40%), romance (38%), good sex (37%.)


·         Outside the US, Gen X is 20% less likely than Millennials to “feel lonely,” but in the US Gen X is only 7% less likely than Millennials to feel lonely.

·         Overall, both Gen X and Millennials feel lonelier than their counterparts overseas. In the US, 52% of Gen X agree they “feel lonely” while 56% of Millennials agree with that statement; abroad, 42% of Gen X and 53% of Millennials “feel lonely.”    

Who am I…

·         While some may feel lonely, they seem content with themselves. In the US, 86% of Gen X and 85% of Millennials say they feel comfortable with who they are. Similarly, outside the US, 85% of Gen X and 80% of Millennials feel that way.


·         In the US, there still seems to be more of a struggle with work and life. Non-US Gen X and Millennials favor work-life balance over success at work in greater numbers than their US counterparts.

·         In the US, 72% of Gen X and 69% of Millennials agree with the statement that “work-life balance matters more than success and recognition at work,” but outside the US 83% of Gen X and 77% of Millennials agree with that statement.


Viacom researchers spoke with over 12,000 adults in 21 countries through an online questionnaire; around 9,000 were 30-49 years old with a sample of 18-29s for comparison. Countries included: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, UK, US.