Over the last several years, the Japanese population has increasingly become more asexual or ‘herbivores,’ particularly young adults in their 30s of both genders, new research in PLOS One determined.
The study was initiated at the University of Tokyo and led to the evaluation of thousands of Japanese participants from data derived as part of the National Fertility Survey. The survey was conducted over a span of several decades from the late-1980s through the mid-2010s.
“Current heterosexual relationship status (married; unmarried but in a relationship; single) was estimated by sex, age group and survey year, with singles further categorized into those reporting interest vs. no interest in heterosexual romantic relationships. Information about same-sex relationships were not available,” the study reads.
According to the results, the Japanese research team showed that throughout most of the 90s, the entire 2000s, and half of the 2010s, young adults, aged 18-39, were increasingly reported to have been asexual or exhibited disinterest in heterosexual relationships.
One of the major contributing factors, researchers theorize, was due to considerable age differences among young adults.
“The proportion of young Japanese adults who are single (unmarried and not in a heterosexual relationship) has increased steadily during the past three decades; in 2015, one in four women and one in three men in their thirties were single,” according to the authors of the study.
“Among single women and men, those who reported no interest in heterosexual romantic relationships had lower income and educational levels and were more likely have no regular employment,” the authors also stated.
“The large proportion of young adults who have lost interest, given up, or find it hard to form romantic relationships may have important implications for public health and fertility in Japan.”
The study was authored by Cyrus Ghaznavi, Haruka Sakamoto, Shuhei Nomura, Anna Kubota, Daisuke Yoneoka, Kenji Shibuya, and Peter Ueda.