That rose to 27 percent in the latest Pew study, which was released Thursday. That includes gays, lesbians and middle-aged straight people, he said.
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He, in turn, is baffled by her unwillingness to carry on a casual affair. “A house of prostitution on wheels” was how one judge described it at the time.
Given the shortage of young men in post-World War I Europe — 10 million soldiers died and 20 million were wounded, many grievously — Bernard wonders why any bachelor would want to settle down. Today’s hookup culture does have one big thing in common with the ’20s flapper generation, and that is demographics.
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There’s a scene in “The Fires of Autumn,” Irene Nemirovsky’s novel set in 1920s France, in which a young war widow named Therese thinks she is being courted for marriage by her childhood friend Bernard — only to discover that he wants nothing more than a fling. I say “naively” because it’s not the first time some newfangled technology has been mistakenly blamed for young people having more sex. But the moralizers of Nemirovsky’s era fooled themselves into believing that the automobile was to blame for loosening sexual mores.