One in 10 Japanese men is 40-year-old virgins, a new study suggests.
Researchers from the University of Tokyo claim that the findings of their research are partly related to socio-economic issues.
"Although the discussion of cause and effect becomes very complex when we look at who is sexually experienced and who remains a virgin, we show that heterosexual inexperience is at least partly a socio-economic issue for men," said Cyrus Ghaznavi, lead author of the study .
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"Simply put, money talks."
Men who participated in the study and had lower incomes were up to 20 times more likely to be a virgin than their richer counterparts.
The overall virginity in the country has almost doubled since 1992, with adults in the thirty years up to ten times more likely to be virgins compared to their British, Australian and American counterparts, where the degree of virginity is between one and five percent .
The scientists used statistics from seven surveys, involving between 11,000 and 18,000 adults, conducted by the Japanese National Institute of Population and Social Security Research from 1992 to 2015.
In 2015, 8.9 percent of heterosexual women and 9.5 percent of men between the ages of 35 and 39 reported that they had no sexual experience.
The new analysis was the first national estimate of virginity in Japan and the most detailed analysis of data from the National Fertility Survey of Japan.
It goes beyond previous studies by taking into account the age and socio-economic status of people who have never had sex without a condom.
"The most informative aspect of sexual inactivity relates to those who have unsubscribed or, for whatever reason, have no control, are excluded from the mating market, regardless of their previous sexual experience," said Mr. Ghaznavi.
He said that men would have had sexual intercourse more often if they had a permanent, full-time job and lived in cities with more than one million inhabitants.
On the other hand, women with a lower income were more likely to have had sex than their male counterparts who earned the same money.
The authors of the study believe this is because married women in Japan have had sex more often and are full-time housewives without a salary.
"Earlier news reports of virginity rates among Japanese young adults were somewhat sensational, but included never-married people and did not distinguish virginity rates by age group," said Peter Ueda, one of the lead writers of the study.
"Sexual inactivity or inexperience, voluntary or not, may not be blackmailed, ridiculed or necessarily considered a concern for everyone.
"More research is needed into the reasons for sexual inactivity and how the changing market dynamics evolve as a result of online dating, changing expectations in romantic and sexual relationships, and changing values, lifestyles and trends in the labor market."
The study was published in BMC Public Health.
Additional reporting by agencies