NewsSex life crisis exacerbates Japan's declining birth rate, study finds

Sex life crisis exacerbates Japan's declining birth rate, study finds

The Japanese have a serious problem in bed, which is slowly turning into an economic disaster.
The Japanese have a serious problem in bed, which is slowly turning into an economic disaster.
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1:22 PM EDT, March 24, 2024

Nearly 40% of married Japanese individuals in their thirties and older expressing a desire to have children report having no sex life, according to recent research. This revelation casts a significant shadow on Japan's efforts to address its declining birth rate.

The findings have startled many in Japan, highlighting how disruptions in sexual activity among couples can lead to serious economic repercussions. Currently, the country is grappling with such challenges, with fertility issues being among the most pressing concerns for the government, as reported by the esteemed financial news service Nikkei Asian.

Japan faces a critical challenge in its population dynamics

The study of "sexual life deprivation," where partners engage in little to no sexual activity, is becoming increasingly relevant in Japan.
Yoshie Moriki, a professor at the International Christian University, analyzed data from a 2010 nationwide survey of 9,000 men and women aged between 20 and 59. His goal was to investigate sexual activity among spouses.
The survey revealed that about 45% of participants engaged in sexual activity less than once a month. Notably, even among those keen on having children, a considerable number reported a lack of sex life: 22% in their 20s, 37% in their 30s, and half in their 40s.
For those intending to have a second child, the figures were even more stark: 40% in their 20s, 48% in their 30s, and a whopping 67% in their 40s experienced sexual deprivation.
Moriki suggests that cultural expectations, such as the joy derived from co-sleeping with children, which prioritizes a child-centric lifestyle over the marital relationship, play a role in this phenomenon. Additionally, social factors, such as the intense work culture that leaves couples too exhausted for sexual activity, are also at play, as indicated by a Nikkei Asian analyst.

The impact of work culture

Yuji Genda, a professor at the University of Tokyo, has found that long working hours lead to less sexual activity within marriages, a trend particularly pronounced among working women who face greater stress at work.
Sayaka Toda, a clinical psychologist at the Hara Medical Clinic in Tokyo, explains that the combination of work and childcare responsibilities leaves both men and women with little time for sexual intimacy. She also notes that for couples with a first child, cramped living spaces often make sexual activity challenging.
In 2022, Japan recorded the birth of only 770,747 children, marking the lowest birthrate since the 19th century. This statistic emphasizes the urgent nature of Japan's demographic crisis and the need for solutions that address the intersection of work, family life, and fertility.
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