Voluntary sexual abstention

Other Names:

In some parts of the world, people are losing interest in sex.  In Japan in 2017, nearly half of all young people between ages 18 and 34 were still virgins; 64 percent of Japanese people in that same age group have never had a relationship.  A 2013 study found that 30 percent of Japanese men under age 30 had never dated at all. A survey by the Japan Family Planning Association found that 45 percent of women and 26 percent of men aged 16-24 were not interested in or despised sexual contact. There is even a word to describe the disinterest in sex: Mendokusai, which means, “I can’t be bothered,” or “too troublesome".  Another term describes the larger-scale phenomenon of disinterest in sex: sekkusu shinai shokogun, which means “celibacy syndrome". It affects both singles and married people. In the Japan Family Planning Association survey, 21.3% of married men and 17.8% of married women said they didn’t want sex because of fatigue from work, while 23% of married women said sex was "bothersome" and 17.9% of male respondents said they had little interest in (or a strong dislike of) sex. Fewer babies are being born while the population ages, to the point where adult diaper sales exceed baby diaper sales.  The result is that Japan’s population is shrinking; in the one year between 2016 and 2017 it reduced by 300,000. Projections cited by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research show that number set to fall 900,000 a year by 2045, which will reduce the nation’s population by one-third. Between that fact and the country’s aversion to allowing in immigrants, there’s an acute labor shortage. The country is addressing it by using an abundance of robots, even in face-to-face customer service roles, while considering raising the retirement age to 75.

A 2016 study published in The Archives of Sexual Behavior found a dramatic drop since the 1990s in the USA in the number of young adults between age 20-24 who were having sex. Another study in 2017 found that Americans in all demographic groups were having sex 15 percent less often in the 2010s compared to the 1990s. Surveys in Australia and Great Britain found similar declines.


The conscious decision not to marry, or, since the turn of the century, not to engage in sexual relationships, denies future generations of an important dimension of the genetic pool.

Broader Problems:
Narrower Problems:
Enforced celibacy
Reduced By:
Dependence on sex
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Sex-related questions
Date of last update
31.08.2018 – 12:51 CEST