Money Worries May Be Killing Americans’ Sex Drives, According to New Consumer Survey
Survey reveals that more than three in four women think about money more than sex, and more than one in four Americans in relationships feel money-related stress affects their desire for sex.
Roughly 145.5 million Americans (62% of the population 18 and over, according to 2010 Census data) think about money more often than sex, according to newly released results from a survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Yodlee, the platform for financial innovation, in December 2013. With Valentine’s Day approaching and many Americans preparing to pay for expensive dinners and gifts, the survey investigates how money – and financial stress in particular – has become tightly entwined with Americans’ attitudes around sex, and highlights ways in which this entanglement impacts romantic relationships across the country.
Not only is money on Americans’ minds, but it may be killing some of their sex drives as well. More than a quarter (27 percent) of Americans in a romantic relationship report that worries about how much money they have affect how often they want to be intimate with their partner.
What’s more, this money-related sexual stress does not just affect those with low household incomes or those with family finances to worry about. In fact, 26 percent of people in relationships with a household income of $100,000 or more per year suffer from altered libidos because of money concerns – the same percentage as household earning $50,000 - $74,900 per year, and higher than households earning $75,000 - $99,900 (19 percent). And 35 percent of unmarried people in relationships have their desire for intimacy affected for that reason, compared to 22 percent of married individuals.
Students – including college students, who are stereotypically portrayed as carefree and promiscuous – are not immune from this financial stress either. Nearly half (48 percent) of students 18 and older with romantic partners say concerns about how much money they have affect how often they want to be intimate with their partners, the survey found.
Women, not men, are the ones with money on their minds the most, the survey found. More than three-fourths of women (77 percent) think about money more often than sex, compared to just 46 percent of men. However, despite this discrepancy, women also appear to have healthier perspectives about money, since practically the same amount of women in romantic relationships (28 percent) as men (27 percent) find their desire for sex affected because of their wealth worries.
The survey also found that these sexual hang-ups are more severe in younger generations: 36 percent of people in relationships aged 18-34 said concerns about their wealth (or lack thereof) affects their desire for sex, compared to 26 percent aged 45-54, 22 percent aged 55-64 and just 11 percent aged 65 and up who say the same.
Southerners prioritize money the most, the survey found – 66 percent of people there think about money more than sex, compared to 57 percent of Westerners. But Northeasterners are more likely to see their sex drives affected because of wealth worries, with 33 percent of people in relationships there saying this, compared to 24 percent of people from the West.
Americans looking for better sex lives and less financial stress might want to consider moving west. 57 percent of people from the West think about money more than sex, and 24 percent of those in relationships in the West say their sex drives are affected because of money worries – both of which are the lowest percentages of any region.
“Open communication about money is a vital part of any romantic relationship, but discussing finances is often stigmatized in American culture,” said Caroline McNally, Vice President of Marketing at Yodlee. “This survey shows just how severely financial stress is affecting Americans’ relationships, and underscores the need for easy, intuitive tools and services that take the stress out of everyday financial tasks like budgeting, payments and talking about money.”
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Yodlee from December 6-10, 2013 among 2,039 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, of whom 1,437 indicated being in romantic relationships. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please email the media contact listed below.
Yodlee is the platform for financial innovation. More than 600 companies globally, including 7 of the top 10 US financial institutions, rely on Yodlee to power personalized financial apps and services for millions of consumers, driving retention, engagement, and revenue. Leveraging the industry’s largest data platform, Yodlee also delivers real-time insight into consumer behaviors to create more dynamic interactions – anywhere, anytime, on any device.
Yodlee is headquartered in Redwood City. For more information, visit www.yodlee.com
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