The more degrees you have, the more sexually active you are

A Cluster 17 survey for “Le Point” reveals that, whatever their age, the French remain very attached to sexuality, and that the ways of defining themselves are changing more than the practices.

By Marion Coquet

The French remain attached to sexuality, whatever their age.
© Christophe Gateau/dpa Picture-Alliance via AFP

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Qhat is happening under the sheets of the French? Do they have a sluggish, disheveled, reasonable sex life? Do practices and preferences change according to age, social background, political color? A Cluster 17 survey, carried out at the end of May to Pointgives sometimes surprising answers: French people – of all ages – very attached to sexuality, practices that evolve much less than the ways of defining themselves and a much more marked attention to the political options of the partner on the left than on the LAW…

Some 61% of the population considers it important to have regular intimate relationships. This, up to a respectable age: 68% of those over 75 attach importance to it – this is barely less than those aged 25-34 – and nearly a quarter of them declare that they have had reports in the past week. “You have to keep in mind that these are the over 75s who are connected and likely to respond to polls…, but the proportion remains impressive”, underlines political scientist Jean-Yves Dormagen, founder of the polling institute.

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More unexpectedly: those who attach the most importance to sex are also those whose incomes are the highest and who have the highest level of diplomas. Categories that cover the youngest respondents but also the most left of the panel.

“The more diplomas you have, explains Jean-Yves Dormagen, the more likely you are to be a cultural liberal, someone who is socially progressive. We often depict a sad left, for whom the party would be over. We see here that this is not quite the case: the leftmost clusters are also those, for example, which most easily consider relationships with strangers. »

The advent of digital

The differences between men and women remain marked: they experiment a little less, are less likely to consider sex without feelings of love. Above all, they are incomparably more likely to undergo non-consensual acts: 30% of them say they have experienced them, compared to 8% of men.

It is among the “multiculturalists”, the leftmost segment of the panel, that the highest proportion is denounced (35% of the members of this family say they have suffered at least one): no doubt the women there are they more inclined to define an act as such than others, who are more conservative and older.

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What’s new, moreover, in the love sky? The advent of digital especially: dating applications or sex by webcam. For the rest, the practices are quite similar according to age, socio-professional category and political preferences: 17% of respondents say they have already had a sexual relationship with several partners at the same time, 18% with a person of the same sex and 34% with someone they didn’t know.

The importance given to the traditional family

“There is a slight progression according to age, but no revolution: young people do not seem particularly inclined to have unbridled relationships”, notes Jean-Yves Dormagen. The age-related gap is more marked with regard to sexual identity: 19% of 18-34 year olds define themselves as homosexual compared to only 6% of those aged 64 and over. Little difference, here, according to the political colors: the respondents declaring themselves homosexual or bisexual are found in equal proportion (17%) among the voters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and those of Valérie Pécresse.

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If there remains a major political divide, it lies in the importance given to the traditional family. The heterosexual couple, married and with children, is a model to be encouraged for 75% of “identitarians”, the group on the far right of the panel, against 3% of multiculturalists.

But also, more surprisingly, in the attachment to cleavage itself: 70% of progressives and 64% of multiculturalists consider it inconceivable to have a romantic relationship with a person distant from their political sensibility. Conversely, more than 70% of eurosceptics and identitarians do not consider it necessary to share their political ideas with their partner.

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