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Records suggest that the widespread aversion towards physical contact and intimacy was a phenomenon that had been observed even before the Death Stranding. One contemporary report, for example, details the increasing popularity of the "sexless lifestyle" among young people. A growing percentage of the younger cohort were self-identifying as asexual, claiming to be incapable of feeling desire or attraction. Accordingly, such individuals were less likely to have children or engage in sexual activity.
It should be noted, however, that many other unique sexual identities were being recognized during this period, such as demisexuals, who are incapable of sexual attraction without an emotional connection, and panromantics, who profess an attraction unrestricted by sex or gender—albeit one not necessarily sexual in nature.
One theory posits that the Stranding accelerated the proliferation of these sexualities. In a terrifying new world in which BTs roam and annihilation is an everyday occurrence, people have grown reticent to form emotional connections with others.
Although there has been no measurable decrease in human fertility, the birth rate has nevertheless dropped dramatically. Incidence of sexual harassment and assault have also seen a sharp decrease, which seems to suggest that sex could not be further from our minds, for better or for worse. I must preempt myself by admitting that I do not have any empirical data with which to support the following claim. That said, it is my contention that, based on the aforementioned observations and others, the vast majority of the population could be categorized as asexual.