Untold Stories: Approximately 50% of Japanese Men are Virgins

Japanese Men are Virgins

According to a study in Japan, it was found that over 40 percent of men in their twenties have never engaged in sexual relations, with some suggesting that "this will be the new issue in 2024 that will expedite the decline in birth rates in Japan." The study, conducted in mid-2022 with a total of 8,000 participants in their twenties, revealed that 43 percent of men in this age group had never experienced sexual activity.

Responses to these findings varied, with some arguing that the incidence of virginity had actually decreased compared to a decade ago, while others contended that today's youth are too inert to actively seek a partner. Some observers note that men have curbed their sexual desires out of concern for being perceived as "harassers." In the past, there was a notion that "a man's worth is measured by the number of women he sleeps with," but contemporary thinking has evolved.

However, researcher Kazuhisa Arakawa asserted that "the virginity rate has remained unchanged over the years." Indeed, this rate has held steady for the past 30 or 40 years in Japan. In 1987, approximately 43.1 percent of men in their twenties had never engaged in sexual relations.

So, men in their 50s or 60s who complain that today's youth "are pathetic for not having had sex yet" might be projecting their own experiences. Additionally, in the 80s, there was talk of the "supremacy of love," where romantic relationships between men and women were highly popular.

Then, why do people express such concern about the high number of virgin men in their twenties, even though this data has remained consistent for decades? According to the researcher, the reason lies in a decline in this rate, as indicated by the same study in 2005. This suggests that the virginity rate started to decrease between 1987 and reached its minimum value in 2005, only to begin rising again to almost the same value as before.

Many argue that a reevaluation of the events in 2005 reveals that the introduction of mobile phones and the proliferation of dating sites contributed to a distancing between men and women, explaining the subsequent decline in the virginity rate.

However, the perception of sex in Japan has also undergone a transformation. Virginity is no longer deemed a "requirement" for women to be considered "marriageable," and the concept of "sexual freedom" has emerged, allowing individuals to lead an active sexual life without the necessity of a romantic bond. This shift was more challenging to achieve in the 80s or 90s when the norm was "sex until marriage."

Nevertheless, from a pessimistic standpoint, the fact that the virginity rate among twenty-year-olds remains consistent with those decades, even in an era where sex is more widely accepted, is not a positive sign and suggests a potential increase in the future.

A discernible pattern may be taking shape with this analysis, and a theory posits that if someone maintains their virginity until the age of 25, it is highly probable that they will continue in that state for an extended period. Presently, the rates of men remaining unmarried and childless, even within marriage, are on the rise. In essence, men might abstain from sexual activity even while in a marital union, presenting a significant concern for Japan.

Moreover, some contemporary men believe that they do not necessarily need a woman for sexual satisfaction. Irrespective of homosexuality and other orientations, heterosexual men are increasingly favoring virtual relationships and may even find contentment without engaging in physical intercourse. The consumption of pornography and other digital content provides solitary men with sufficient gratification, diminishing their concern about maintaining virginity, while simultaneously perceiving real relationships with women as increasingly elusive.

Regardless, it cannot be denied that if the current trends persist, Japan's birth rate will continue to decline and may become unstoppable. Furthermore, the negative stigma once associated with virgin men has largely dissipated, leading many men to feel less ashamed about admitting their virgin status.

Comments such as the following shed light on the critical state of society in Japan:


I've been on dating apps, and women have never approached me. I'm starting to think that the time and money I invest in relationships are a waste and don't make sense. I don't want to have sexual relations until I'm in a relationship with a woman, and I don't mind losing my virginity for now through a prostitute. I just find it tedious to be in a relationship.


When I talk to women at work or in private, sometimes they get the impression from my way of speaking and my attitude that 'Oh, he's a virgin,' and I don't mind being a virgin, but if they realize that, it's very painful because I feel like they are belittling me. I don't mind being a virgin, but it's tough when people notice. I want to be left alone, even if I remain a virgin.

Source: Livedoor News

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