New study shows Gen X values sex over friendship, has killed the mid-life crisis, dismantled traditional gender and family roles, and redefined the workplace
LONDON / NEW YORK – 18 October, 2016 – Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a division of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), today announced a new international study GEN X TODAY. The study takes a fresh look at Generation X internationally – which currently accounts for almost 2 billion people globally and an average of well over 180 million viewers across Viacom brands – to see what happened when the cynical, rebellious, “slacker” youth generation of the 80’s and ‘90s grew up, entered the workforce and started families. The study revealed that while the world was focusing on Millennials and Boomers, Gen X reinvented what it means to be an adult. As they get older, the generation continues to do things their own way, whether it’s work, play, or just life in general.
“With so much focus on Millennials, Post-Millennials, and even Boomers, Generation X has largely been left behind when it comes to research, only understood through antiquated views of adulthood and the ‘slacker’ reputation of their youth,” said Christian Kurz, Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Insights at Viacom. “With Gen X Today, we’ve seen the true impact of Generation X, from driving innovation globally and dismissing traditional gender roles to redefining what it means to be an ‘adult’ today.”
Following is a snapshot of findings from the study:
- She-conomy: Generation X is leading the way when it comes to women, work, and money. Nearly 60 percent of women are chief or equal wage earners in their household; one in four own their own business.
- Family Matters: Just as women are taking a bigger role in the workplace for Generation X, so are men in the family. More than 80 percent of respondents agree that a man can raise a child just as well as a woman. Over 80 percent of moms and dads alike feel their children are as important as their own personal aspirations, and more than 90 percent of dads say having kids around makes them laugh every day, while almost 50 percent wish they were able to spend more time with their kids.
- Gen XXX: Generation X has priorities when it comes to relationships, and at the top of the list: sex (43 percent). This comes in over friendship (36 percent) and romance (32 percent). This is in stark contrast to Millennials, who value friendship first (40 percent), romance second (38 percent), and sex third (37 percent). The region that reported valuing sex the most among Gen Xers? Hungary, at 60 percent.
- The Brat Pack: Generation X is more about fewer, closer friends vs. the massive Squads of Millennials – Gen Xers surveyed had an average of 36 friends, 10 fewer than their Millennial counterparts.
- It’s 3 AM, But They’re Not Lonely: Generation X is 20 percent less likely to feel lonely when compared to Millennials.
- Taking Comfort in Themselves: The rebellion of youth turned into a confident independence as the teens of Generation X embraced – and reinvented – adulthood. Globally, 85 percent of Xers are comfortable with who they are.
- Finding Balance: The vast majority (nearly 85 percent) of Generation Xers surveyed put work/life balance over success at work.
- No Life Crisis: They may have aged, but Gen X didn’t necessarily “grow up.” They’re staying young at heart with hobbies and other non-work interests, and skipping the mid-life crisis because of it. In fact, the study showed no significant “crisis” point for the generation as a whole whatsoever.
For this study, researchers at VIMN spoke with over 12,000 adults in 21 countries through an online questionnaire; around 9,000 were 30-49 years old with a sample of 18-29s for comparison. Countries included: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, UK, US. Additionally, VIMN captured 1,000 images via photo-journals and conducted in-depth personal interviews with 36 Gen Xers in 8 countries – Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, UK, Germany, Hungary, South Africa and Thailand.