More young adults than ever in Japan appear to be forgoing sex. A new public health study finds that about one in four heterosexuals in their 20s and 30s remain virgins, reports CNN. Specifically, the percentage of women between the ages of 18 and 39 who've never had sex rose to 24.6% in 2015, up from 21.7% in 1992. The figure rose even higher for men in the same age group—25.8% were virgins in 2015, compared with 20% in 1992. The surveys, which began three decades ago, do not factor in responses from LGBTQ respondents.
“Sexual inexperience among young adults has become a national concern in Japan,” one of the researchers tells Newsweek. The site looks more specifically at respondents in their 30s: About 12% of women ages 30 to 34 were virgins, as were 4% of those 35 to 39. For men, the corresponding percentages are 12.7% and 9.5%. By comparison, the researchers say between 1% and 5% of heterosexual adults in the US, the UK, and Australia are virgins around age 30. The reasons behind the relatively high numbers in Japan are complex, but researchers note that socioeconomic factors appear to play a role, especially for men. Males who are unemployed or make low incomes tend to be the most sexually inexperienced. (Read more Japan stories.)