Survey shows continuing decline for physical shows of affection.

While the human interaction that’s the primary focus of the Japanese Association for Sex Education is right there in the organization’s name, its researchers realize that intercourse usually isn’t something that occurs without some sort of buildup of attraction and affection. Because of that, JASE’S periodic Youth Sexual Activities Survey asks participants more than just whether or not they’ve done the deed.

Carried out approximately once every six years, the study asks middle school, high school, and university students from across Japan whether they’ve ever gone on a date, kissed someone, or had sex. The organization has just released the results of its most recent survey, compiled from data collected in 2017, in which fewer college students have gone on a date than ever before.

A total of 13,000 responses were collected, and when sorted by age, the researchers found that roughly 30 percent of college students have never gone on a date, with just 71.8 percent of college men and 69.3 percent of college women saying they’ve been on a romantic outing. These were the lowest numbers ever recorded in the survey, which was first done in 1974. The new lows are down more than 10 percent from the peak for each sex, which were 81.9 percent for men in 1999 and 82.4 percent for women in 2005.

The results also showed a continuing rapid decline in the number of both men and women who have ever kissed someone, which peaked in 2005 for both.

● College men who have kissed:
2005: 73.7 percent
2011: 65.6 percent
2017: 59.1 percent
● College women who have kissed:
2005: 73.5 percent
2011: 62.2 percent
2017: 54.3 percent

Similar slides occurred for sex, again down from peaks in 2005.

● College men who have had sex:
2005: 63 percent
2011: 53.7 percent
2017: 47 percent
● College women who have had sex:
2005: 62.2 percent
2011: 46 percent
2017: 36.7 percent

However, unlike with dating, the decreased numbers for college students who have kissed or had sex are still far, far higher than their all-time lows in the survey. Going back to the first iteration, in 1974 only 45.2 percent of college men and 38.9 percent of women had kissed, and their respective numbers for sex were a mere 21.1 and 11 percent. Compared to college kids of today, the gaps for physical expressions of love with the mouth or groin are much larger than the ones for dating (in 1974, 73.4 percent of men and 74.4 percent of women had gone on a date).

Looked at in that light, while the 2017 respondents are less likely to have gone on a date, it sounds like when they do, they’re considerably more passionate than their chaste 1974 counterparts, who perhaps were spending time together at ice cream socials or other chaste affairs. And even if dating numbers are down, other research has shown that Japanese singles don’t always feel like they need to date that many different people before they find their true love anyway.

Sources: JASE, Yahoo! News Japan/Kyodo via Jin
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