Nearly Half Japan's Millennials Are Virgins
A large number of 18- to 34-year-olds aren't just not having sex, they've never had it
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2016 1:13 PM CDT
Japan’s Princess Noriko, left, and Kunimaro Senge bow to have their heads bitten by lion masks, wishing them health during Shinto rituals following their wedding ceremony at Izumo Taisha shrine in Izumo,...   (AP Photo/Kyodo News, Naohiko Hatta)

(Newser) – While America might more typically worry about what its youth are doing, Japan spends a lot of time worrying about what they're not doing, and what they're not doing is having sex—at all, apparently. A new government survey suggests that the country's millennials are not only in no hurry to marry, but apparently aren't in any rush to do the deed. To wit, a whopping 44% of women and 42% of men, amounting to nearly half of the country's millennial singles ages 18 to 34, say they are still virgins, reports the Washington Post. But the percentage of these singles who say they hope to marry in the future is up close to 90%. "People marry later or stay single for life, contributing to the nation’s low birthrate," the head researcher tells the Japan Times. "They want to tie the knot eventually, but they tend to put it off as they have gaps between their ideals and the reality."

With an aging generation of baby boomers weighing down what is already the world's oldest population, Japan has for years been trying to encourage its dwindling number of young people to marry and have children. But complicating this quandary, CNN reports that the apparent lack of interest in engaging in actual sex could result in part from the country's many manga fans choosing fantasy over reality. Plus more women are making more money and choosing to marry later or not at all, while many men report feeling intimidated by them. "They feel threatened by women who are empowering themselves," one expert says. (A quarter of young men and almost half of young women in Japan go so far as to say they despise sexual contact.)