Gen z

Why are so many young people ‘asexual’?

Who could have foreseen that half a century after the sexual revolution we’d be facing its exact opposite: an asexual revolution? There’s a crisis of fertility across the West, with birth-rates and sperm counts in free fall. But this isn’t only about microplastics, oestrogen in the water or tight underpants. It’s also that the children of the West are choosing to have less sex – even no sex. A growing proportion actually identify as asexual, and rather than wait to see if the absence of lust is just a reasonable, youthful response to all the porn around in schools, they announce their asexuality solemnly to their friends and family. It

Are smartphones making us care less about humanity?

Generation Z were the first to grow up attached to smartphones. They spent their adolescence bathed in screen-light and now they’re depressed and anxious. Should we have seen it coming? Until very recently my parent friends were in determined denial. Z is the best generation that has ever lived, they said, free from prejudice and determined to recycle. I remember a piece by Caitlin Moran in which she insisted that her children were far more noble and caring than her contemporaries. No one picks up their iPhone to grapple with complex ideological truths Well, those optimistic days are over. The stats are now too stark. We daren’t take the kids’

Why must younger generations constantly ‘work on themselves’?

If I could lift one thing from younger generations, unpeel one idea from their anxious minds, it would be the notion they have to ‘work on themselves’, and that the point of life is to do this ‘work’ until they feel able to have a relationship, at which point they must grimly set about working on that. I’m not suggesting that it’s not useful to have treatment or therapy for a particular problem, but it’s as if everyone born after 1990 thinks of themselves the way 1950s man thought of his car — as something to be worked on in every spare moment, tinkered with and polished, but rarely taken