Around one in 10 Japanese adults in their 30s have never had heterosexual sex, according to a new study based on national data.
The study found that the number of adults with no sexual experience is increasing.
‘Japanese adults tend to become sexually active later in life and that a substantially larger proportion remain heterosexually inexperienced into their thirties,’ the study’s authors said.
The research is based on data from seven rounds of the National Fertility Survey of Japan, carried out between 1987 and 2015, which is administered by a unit overseen by the Japanese health ministry.
The research was administered to people aged 18-39 years old in Japan [Stock image]
In 2015, 11.9 percent of women aged 30-34 and 12.7 percent of men in the same age group reported having had no heterosexual sexual experience, the data showed.
In the 35-39 age bracket, the figures were 8.9 percent for women and 9.5 percent for men.
In both age brackets, the number of self-reported virgins had increased by several percentage points from the earlier surveys conducted in 1987 or 1992.
The survey, administered to people aged 18-39 years old, found around a quarter of men and women had never had heterosexual intercourse in 2015.
A large proportion of Japanese adults reported not having any experience of heterosexual sex [Stock image]
The survey data did not include information on same-sex intercourse, but authors said that even if they had homosexual sex, around one in 20 people in their 30s would still lack sexual experience.
Data from the United States found that just 1.9 percent of women aged 30-34 and 0.9 percent of women aged 35-39 reported no sexual partners of the opposite sex.
The figures for American men were 3.1 percent for those aged 30-34 and 1.4 percent for those between 35 and 39.
The study’s result are likely to cause concern given Japan’s ongoing battle with population decline and a low fertility rate.
Japanese government has tried to tackle the problem by offering birth incentives and support for working mothers, including more nursery spots for young children.
Peter Ueda, the study’s lead author and an epidemiology expert at the University of Tokyo, said that ‘sexual inactivity or inexperience, whether voluntary or not, should not be exoticised, ridiculed or necessarily considered a concern for everyone.’
‘More research is needed on reasons for sexual inactivity and how mating market dynamics might be evolving,’ he added.
The study found a correlation between sex and money, with men more likely to have had sexual intercourse if they had a permanent job
The study also found a correlation between sex and money.
Men are more likely to have had sexual intercourse if they had permanent, full-time employment.
The authors, however, said that cause-and-effect was difficult to determine when it comes to sexual experience.
It was also reported that, while sexual activity might not be a priority for everyone, most respondents over 25 hoped to get married.
The authors pointed out that sexual inactivity could also be higher than their research suggests as they only examined whether respondents had any sexual history, but not whether they were currently sexually active.