What is happening in Japan? According to a study published Monday, April 8, 2019 by the University of Tokyo, about 1 in 30 Japanese in 30 years has never had sex with a partner of the opposite sex.
The subject has something to smile about, yet it is very serious: in the archipelago, the birth rate (that is to say the number of children per woman) is in free fall and does not reach today more than 1.44.
The study bases its findings on statistical data collected by the Japanese Ministry of Health between 1987 and 2015, as part of a National Fertility Survey in Japan. They find that in 2015, 11.9% of women aged 30 to 34 and 12.7% of men of the same age reported having had “no experience of sexual relations with a person of the opposite sex”.
In the age group 35 to 39, these percentages are respectively 8.9% and 9.5%. By way of comparison, in the United States, only 0.9% of women and 1.4% of men aged 35 to 39 acknowledge having never had a heterosexual relationship.
On the other hand, there is no information on homosexual relations—in Japan, same-sex marriage remains illegal. However, the authors estimate that, even assuming that 5% of respondents have only homosexual relations, “we could still say that about one in 20 men and one in 20 women aged 30 to 39 (… ) have never had sex”.
For the researchers (whose work was published in the scientific journal BMC Public Health), these astonishing figures are explained by “difficulties in finding a partner”. They emphasize in particular a correlation between the frequency of sexual relations and the professional and financial situation of the man.