Virgin territory: study shows sexual inexperience rising in Japan

9 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

TOKYO: Around one in 10 Japanese in their thirties has never had heterosexual sex and the number of adults with no sexual experience is increasing, according to a new study based on national survey data, reports AFP.

Comparable data from other developed countries indicated that “Japanese adults tend to become sexually active later in life and that a substantially larger proportion remain heterosexually inexperienced into their thirties”, the 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.

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.

Each round of the survey is administered to people aged 18-39 years old, and in total the researchers from the University of Tokyo found around a quarter of men and women in that demographic reported having never had heterosexual intercourse in 2015.

The survey data did not include information on same-sex intercourse.

But the authors said even assuming that five percent of respondents were engaged only in homosexual sex, “around one in twenty 30-39-year-old women and men ... would still lack sexual experience.”

The study said Japan appears to be an outlier.

Data from the United States, for example, found 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.