Sex? Japanese millennials have no time for that.
A government agency report released last week revealed that almost half of Japan’s singles between the ages of 18 and 34 are still virgins.
According to the study, 42% of men and 44.2% of women have claimed that they have not had sexual intercourse, reports CNN. Same-sex partners, however, were not included in the report.
As The Guardian previously reported, 45% of Japanese women aged 16-24 are “not interested in or despise sexual contact.” Fortunately, not everyone intends to keep it that way.
A significant percentage of the age bracket still wants to get married in the future with 85.7% of men and 89.3% of women hoping to eventually break their sexual abstinence.
Experts view the Japanese millennials’ lack of sexual interest as a reflection of a stale economy and the generation’s growing preference on fantasy over reality.
With the country’s aging population, with a staggering 34.6 million Japanese aged over 65, and a decreasing birth rate, now one of the lowest in the world, the phenomenon is starting to reveal itself as a crisis. Last year, the country had 1,008,000 births and 1,302,000 deaths, a sign that Japan is, in a way, shrinking.
Government initiatives to encourage an increase in the number of marriages and children have so far failed to curb the trend.
Kyoto University of Foreign Studies professor of public diplomacy Nancy Snow told CNN
that the shift in social and economic norms in the country may have caused a decrease in sexual relationships.
“Men are making about a third to half of what they used to make during Japan’s economic boom years in the 1980s. Some men’s sense of self is tied to their salary and they feel threatened by women who are empowering themselves,” said Snow.
According to Snow, income decrease among males could have caused them to feel less confident in a Japanese society with a growing number of successful women.
“While men are going from a cradle to grave trajectory, there are a lot of professional women with disposable incomes, who think that marriage might not just be worth it,” said Snow.