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Celibacy syndrome is a media-coined term to explain Japan's declining marriage and birth rates. It is not an actual medical syndrome. The syndrome claims that Japanese adults are experiencing a decrease in romantic and sexual interest because of the country's gender inequality and economic decline. The term became popular when it was picked up by The Guardian writer Abigail Haworth.
There are statistics that both support and disprove celibacy syndrome. To support claims about the syndrome, surveys on the number of female college-level virgins, and the number of unattached Japanese adults are cited. However, critics point to contrary surveys that show increased sexual activity among Japanese youth. They say that the so-called syndrome was only picked up to support the popular notion that Japan is a strange country.