One in ten Japanese men are 40-year-old virgins as women choose to have sex with wealthier lovers, a new study reveals.
The virginity rate among straight men has more than doubled since 1992 as “simply put, money talks”, researchers said.
Low-income men were up to 20 times more likely to be virgins than their richer and usually older counterparts, but the effect was reversed for women on lower incomes.
Around a quarter of men aged 18 to 39 had never had sex according to the latest official figures available.
Researchers believe Japan is now the worst affected by a global fall in sexual inactivity among developed countries. Adults in their 30s were up to ten times more likely to be virgins compared to their British, Australian and Americans counterparts – where the rate was between one to five per cent.
Study author Cyrus Ghaznavi, of the University of Tokyo, said: “Although the discussion around cause and effect becomes very complex when considering who becomes sexually experienced and who remains a virgin….simply put, money talks.
“The most informative aspect of sexual inactivity involves those who have opted out of or are, for some reason they cannot control, excluded from the mating market, regardless of their previous sexual experience.”
Dr Peter Ueda, also of the University of Tokyo, added: “Previous news reports about virginity rates among Japanese young adults were a bit sensationalist, only included never-married individuals, and did not distinguish virginity rates by age group,
“Sexual inactivity or inexperience, whether voluntary or not, should not be exoticised, ridiculed, or necessarily considered a concern for everyone.
“More research is needed on reasons for sexual inactivity and how mating market dynamics might be evolving due to online dating, shifting expectations in romantic and sexual relationships, and changing values, lifestyles, and labour market trends.”
The new study was Japan’s first national estimate of virginity and its most detailed analysis of data from the National Fertility Survey of Japan.