Sexless in Seoul: One in 3 adults in the South Korean capital hasn't had sex in a year, study shows
- One in three Seoulites hasn't had sex in the last 12 months, according to a new study from Yonsei University.
- Around 43% of the women and 29% of the men surveyed said they went without sex in the last year.
- One of the researchers said many of the women "said they just weren't interested in having sex."
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, may be bright and shiny, but it's also sexless.
According to a new study out of the city's Yonsei University, one in three Seoulites surveyed said they haven't had sex in the last year.
The study randomly surveyed 2,182 Seoul residents between the ages of 19 and 69 about their sex lives. Of those, 1,071 were men and 1,111 were women.
Insider obtained a copy of the survey's results, which showed that 36% of the surveyed people said they haven't had sex in the last year. Of this number, 43% of the women and 29% of the men said they went without sex for the last 12 months.
The reasons why Seoulites aren't jumping between the sheets differ by gender, said Yonsei sociology professor Youm Yoosik. He worked on the study with his colleague Choi Jun-yong, a professor from the university's Internal Medicine Department.
"Around 24% of the women we surveyed said they just weren't interested in having sex. My best guess is that the modern, feminist woman doesn't feel like she needs a male partner to have an independent life, and believes it is entirely possible to live happily without a man," Youm said.
"Meanwhile, for men, 15% of those surveyed said they couldn't find a sex partner, which was the top reason for remaining celibate. And that's understandable if the women just aren't interested. It's not surprising, then, that 42% of the young men we surveyed between 19 and 29 said they haven't had sex in the last year," Youm said.
Youm listed factors like living with one's parents, finances, work, and limited free time as potential reasons why people aren't having sex. He also said sex toys and other alternatives to finding a partner might also be contributing factors.
The study indicates a person's chances of getting lucky seem to increase relative to income and spending power, Youm said: On average, the study's lower-income individuals reported having less sex than middle-to-high income Seoulites.
Youm said that one of the more shocking findings they found was that the proportion of sexless individuals in their 20s was on par with the percentage of those in their 60s who weren't sexually active.
Youm said that sex is not a topic often studied - or discussed - in South Korea.
"Korea is a very conservative society, and sex is still considered an 'extreme' concept - either as something very sacred, or very dirty, without no in-between," Youm said. "But sexlessness is likely a Korea-wide trend, and not just unique to Seoul."
"While it's arguable that this may have an impact on the fertility rate, I think it's premature to talk about fertility if people aren't even having sex, to begin with," he said.
The study comes on the heels of other research on sex rates across East Asia. In 2017, the Guardian reported on a survey of 3,000 people aged 16 to 49 by Japan's family planning association, which found that a record high of 47.2% of married men and women were in sexless unions.
Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, researchers who polled 2,846 married Chinese men and women aged 25 to 59 in 2009 found that Hong Kongers were still getting it on, but that sex tapers off when one hits 45. Around 17% of the male respondents aged 45 to 59 said they hadn't had sex in the past year, and 31.6% of the women surveyed said they were in sexless marriages.
Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.
Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.