First of all, I quibble with their definition of Gen X---they say 1965 to 1985. I always heard it ended by 1980 at the very latest and starting a bit earlier. If you've been living under a rock for the past 15 years, Gen X is basically the generation *after* the Baby Boomers. My guess is that if you are mid-forties down to about late twenties, you're Gen X. Basically, if you're a kid of Boomers, you're Gen X.
Marked as the first generation heavily impacted by divorce, two working parents, the introduction of widespread technology use (home video game systems, mass production of home computers, VCRs, etc.), and other fun stuff, sociologists have now tried to identify sex habits of Gen Xers. As much as people hate labels, there is something about a shared culture. When talking with people I know, it's hard to make pop culture references or compare similarities with those who don't share your history. That Smurf joke is gonna go right over a 20-year-old's head.
A common history can be a shorthand to convey humor or provide an example in a discussion. If you have to explain to someone what "mall hair" means, your context is lost in translation.
I remember a Star Trek episode in which Picard and the rest of TNG cast encountered a species that communicated *solely through shared historical examples.* In order to interact with each other, it was necessary for the two species to engage in a shared event so they had references to work with.
There is a lot of discussion in the Times article about living through the first big AIDS scare and rejecting the Boomer's "free love" ideas, but there's a little tidbit from the article that I think strikes at a different aspect of Gen X "culture," if you will.
According to Laumann, this generation built surrogate families among closed circles of friends in their twenties: the benefit was comfort; the cost, sexual opportunity. He said closed social circles---as depicted in dramas such as This Life on the BBC and Friends, the hit American series---curbed sexual adventures because of the problems of introducing a lover into the circle. “There is a lot of frank talk about sex but surprisingly little action,” he commented.According to the wiki entry, Google, Yahoo, MySpace, Dell, Youtube, and more were founded by Gen Xers. These all have aspects of social networking---similar to the "closed circles of friends" referenced in the article.
Honestly, I don't know if I believe Gen Xers are having less sex or are less promiscuous, but I can see this tidbit in myself---and other Gen Xers I know. Perhaps it's not a rejection of free love, but rather a more encompassing idea of coupling---less about the individual and the now and more about the group and the future. Because we had to think about sex in the long-term while growing up (AIDS, etc.), short-term isn't as tempting as it once was. Because we endured the consequences of adultery (divorce of parents/friend's parents/BF-GF's parent's), the consequences of engaging in cheating gets entered into the equation.
I don't see mention of porn in this article. Apparently, the full study will be published in 2008, but it would be interesting to see what the interviewees thought about porn. They don't call it a pornbox for nothing....