"Celibacy syndrome," as Japan's media has dubbed it, has become a serious problem for a country that already has one of the world's lowest birth rates, not to mention, a shrinking population. A 2011 survey found that 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18 to 34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship, while another study reported that a third of people under 30 had never dated at all.
And now, some young people, instead of turning to casual flings, are turning to digital replacements for intimacy: online porn, anime cartoons, and virtual-reality relationships. Or, they're opting out altogether and replacing love and sex with leisure activities like clubbing, shopping, and traveling. "Both men and women say to me they don't see the point of love," Ai Aoyama, a sex and relationship expert, said. "Relationships have become too hard."
Whatever the reasons may be, this data gives us a good opportunity to look at our own social trajectory and see what's driving relationship patterns within our borders. But, can we just say, we hope this is a problem that does not make its way across the Pacific. (The Guardian)