Study confirms rise in sexual inexperience among young adults in Japan

2017-18 Luce Scholar Cyrus Ghaznavi has published a paper presenting the results of research he conducted during his year abroad working at the Center for Global Health Policy at the University of Tokyo. His study confirmed the hypothesis that sexual inexperience is increasing among Japanese young adults and found that “heterosexual inexperience is at least partly a socioeconomic issue for men.”

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Japanese adults have their first heterosexual sexual experiences later than their counterparts in the United States and the UK, according to a new study.

Public health experts at the University of Tokyo found that sexual inexperience was on the rise in the country, with the percentage of women aged 18 to 39 who'd never had sex rising to 24.6% in 2015 from 21.7% in 1992.

The change was greater for men of the same age, with 25.8% virgins in 2015, up from 20% in 1992.

"Sexual inexperience has become a national concern in Japan, but previous reports did not examine the trend across different age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds," said Peter Ueda, a public health researcher at the University of Tokyo and an author of the study, published Monday.

By comparison, surveys from the UK, the United States and Australia suggest that rates of heterosexual inexperience are between 1% to 5% of adults in or around their 30s, said the paper, which was published in the journal BMC Public Health.

The authors said that while it had been suggested that an increasing number of Japanese adults were sexually inexperienced, their study was the first to address this issue using nationally representative data.

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