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Japanese Virgins Are On The Rise Because They Can't Afford Marriage

One in four Japanese adults in their 20s and 30s is a virgin, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by the University of Tokyo, found that the number of adults in Japan who have not had a heterosexual sexual experience had risen between 1987 and 2015.

While there it has been suggested the number of Japanese people without sexual experience was on the rise, this study, published in the BMC Public Health journal, is the first to use nationally representative date.

Using data from the National Fertility Survey of Japan from 1987 to 2015, researches found both men and women in the 18-39 year age bracket had increasing rates of virginity.

For women, the number who had not had sex rose from 21.7 percent to 24.6 percent, while men in the same age group saw a rise from 20 percent to 25.8 percent.

Why? Economic instability, according to researchers.

Image: Ghaznavi et al. BMC Public Health

“Although the discussion around cause and effect becomes very complex when considering who becomes sexually experienced and who remains a virgin, we show that heterosexual inexperience is at least partly a socioeconomic issue for men,” said Cyrus Ghaznavi, the study’s lead author.

“Simply put, money talks.”

Doctor Mats Karlsson, Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Sydney, explained the findings "reflect the economic and social situation" in the country.

"There is a difference is dating customs between Japan and western countries to some extent," he told 10 daily.

"For example, for a certain percent of the population, it is seen as irresponsible to begin a relationship if you can not back it up financially.

"If there is no prospect of marriage in the near future, for some, both females and males, would see that as irresponsible to start a relationship."

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Karlsson also pointed out there was increasing number of women no longer satisfied with traditional gender roles, and therefore not marrying.

"It is still kind of the norm of women quitting their job after getting married or at least after having their first kid," he said.

"An increasing number of women don't want to write under that contract any longer."

Image: Getty Images

With the Japanese famous for their work ethic and long hours, Karlsson said this could also play a small part in why people aren't finding sexual partners.

"I've heard people say having sex is 'mendokusai', which can be translated as 'troublesome in general', it's just a bother," he said.

The rising number of virgins is a worry for Japan, as it has an ageing population yet one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, the study pointed out.

Feature Image: Getty Images