No Sex, Please, We’re Young Japanese Men (2011)

Comments: Is this related to porn use, or is there something in the water? Japan is famous for it’s openness to porn use. 36% of Japanese males ages 16-19 have not interest in sex. That’s a 19% increase in two years.  Something ain’t right.

No Sex, Please, We’re Young Japanese Men.

January 13, 2011, 7:28 PM JST.

Whether they’re too busy lining up for new Apple Inc. gadgets, reading questionable manga or watching videos of pop group AKB48, it seems Japan’s male youth is increasingly united on one thing – a lack of interest in real-life sex.

Romantic, us? A young Japanese couple gazes at the sunrise in Chiba, Jan. 2011, but over a third of Japanese men were averse to sex, according to a study conducted Sept. 2010.At least according to a study published Thursday by the Japan Family Planning Association, that is. In the latest survey of attitudes to sex conducted September 2010 by the agency, part of the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, fully 36% of males aged 16 to 19 surveyed described themselves as “indifferent or averse” towards having sex. That’s a near 19% increase since the survey was last conducted in 2008.

As if that weren’t enough of a red flag for a country plagued by a low birthrate and an ageing, shrinking population, women seem to be even more reluctant to consider having sex. While no one is suggesting people of that age group should automatically be procreating, a whopping 59% of female respondents aged 16 to 19 said they were uninterested in or averse to sex, a near 12% increase since 2008.

Still, perhaps the reported interest levels in the younger group should be taken with a grain of salt, and as something subject to radical change as younger generations grow up. The new survey also showed that the only group that seemed to feel a greater attraction to the idea of sex in the last two years was men aged 30 to 34, with just 5.8% of respondents disinterested, as opposed to 8.3% in 2008.

Nonetheless, the speed of change between the 2008 and 2010 findings do give pause for thought. “A comparison of the 2008 and 2010 findings show that men indeed have become ‘herbivores,’” commented Mr. Kunio Kitamura, head of the Japan Family Planning Association. “Herbivore men” is a term that gained increasing currency in Japan in 2010, describing young men who are passive and less ambitious in their romantic relationships with women than previous generations. Speaking on NHK, Japan’s national public broadcasting organization, Mr. Kunio explained, “The findings seem to reflect the increasing shallowness of human relations in today’s busy society.”

The study, which surveyed 1,301 people aged 16 to 49, also provided a glimpse of sexual behavior amongst married couples. It found that approximately 40% of married respondents had not had sex in the past month, a 4% increase from the same survey conducted two years earlier and nearly 10% higher than in 2004. The 330 married respondents cited “vague reluctance after child birth,” “can’t be bothered,” and “fatigue from work” as the top three reasons for not being proactive about having sex.