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Japanese adults have their first sexual experiences much later in life than their counterparts around the world, like those in the U.S. and the U.K., a new study found.
And that sexual inexperience among heterosexual people in the Asian nation is, apparently on the rise, according to public health experts at the University of Tokyo. The researchers found that women aged 18 to 39 who say they’ve never had sex rose to 24.6 percent in 2015 from 21.7 percent in 1992. And in 2015, some 25.8 percent of Japanese men in the same age group said they were virgins — up from 20 percent in 1992, CNN reported.
“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.
To compare, similar surveys conducted in the U.S. and the U.K. suggest that rates of heterosexual inexperience are between 1 percent to 5 percent of adults in or around their 30s, the new study noted.
The paper defined heterosexual sexual experience as vaginal intercourse between men and women and did not include responses from those identifying as LGBTQ or asexual. Curiously, and perhaps dismissively, the researchers assumed that all married couples had had sex for the purpose of their study.
While a single concrete reason behind the uptick is unknown, the paper saw that men with lower incomes remained sexually inexperienced compared to their female peers.
“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,” Cyrus Ghaznavi, the lead author of the study, told CNN. “Simply put, money talks.”
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