For the first time since the Japanese Association for Sex Education (JASE) began taking the survey in the mid-1970s, researchers found drastically fewer Japanese high school or college students are having sex – or even kissing.
JASE, which surveyed 7,700 students from October 2011 to February, found today’s Japanese youth are not simply avoiding intercourse; they are avoiding all forms of physical intimacy.
Some ascribe the waning interest in the wiles of the flesh to the culture of soushoku danshi. Literally translated “herbivore men,” it indicates a generation of young men passive about sex and uninterested in relationships.
While the young sex rate is a welcome sign, some are concerned at what the lack of early relationship formation means for the island’s plunging birthrate. The nation’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is 1.1 children, half the replacement level. The United Nations estimates each day there are 30 fewer Japanese people than the day before. Japan also suffers an estimated 250,000 abortions a year, but continues to approve new forms of birth control and abortion.