Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Japan’s sexual apathy is endangering the global economy"

This article was written by Max Fisher and is from the Washington Post.

People in Japan are so averse to romantic relationships that the country's media even has a name for it: sekkusu shinai shokogun, or "celibacy syndrome," according to a widely circulated Guardian story on the country's low rates of marriage, childbearing and even sex.

But this is more than a story about Japan and its cultural quirks: It's a story about the global economy. Japan is the world's third-largest economy, a crucial link in global trade and a significant factor everyone else's economic well-being. It owns almost as much U.S. debt as does China. It's a top trading partner of the U.S., China and lots of other countries. The Japanese economy is in serious enough trouble that it could set the rest of us back. And the biggest source of that trouble is demographic: Japanese people aren't having enough kids to sustain a healthy economy. One big reason they're having fewer kids is that they're not as interested in dating or marrying one another, in part because they're less interested in sex.

Here are a few of the statistics, some from the Guardian story and others from a 2011 report by Japan's population center:

• Extremely high numbers of Japanese do not find sex appealing. 45 percent of women and 25 percent of men, ages 16 to 24, are "not interested in or despised sexual contact."

• More than half of Japanese are single. 49 percent of unmarried women and 61 of unmarried men, ages 18 to 34, are not in any kind of romantic relationship.

• In every age group, the percentage of Japanese men and women who are not in a romantic relationship has been increasing steadily since the 1990s.

• About a quarter of Japanese don't want a romantic relationship. 23 percent of women and 27 percent of men say they are not interested in any kind of romantic relationship.

• More than a third of childbearing-age Japanese have never had sex: 39 percent of women and 36 percent of men, ages 18 to 34. That number hasn't actually changed much over the last decade, but it is unusually high.

• The Japanese population institute projects that women in their early 20s have a 25 percent chance of never marrying and a 40 percent chance of never having kids.

These trends are not new. Since 2006, Japanese women have complained of soshoku danshi or "herbivore men," so called for their lack of interest in the opposite sex. There's an entire industry in Japan that helps men who eschew romantic lives cope with loneliness through relationship-simulating video games and even holiday retreats. See Chico Harlan's great 2010 piece on this.

Japanese women, for their part, often avoid romantic relationships because Japanese laws and social norms can make it extremely difficult for women to have both a family and a career. Japan is extremely unusual in that it is highly educated and wealthy but still has some of the worst systemic gender inequality in the world; it has a European-style economy but South Asian social family mores. Professional women are stuck in the middle of that contradiction. It's not just that day-care programs are scarce: Women who become pregnant or even just marry are so expected to quit work that they can come under enormous social pressure to do so and often find that career advancement becomes impossible. There's a word for married working women: oniyome, or "devil wives."

Because they're forced to choose, inevitably lots of women who might otherwise have a family and a job are only seeking the latter. That sense of pessimism about marriage appears to be partially driving the lack of interest in romantic relationships, and thus in sex. This chart shows common reasons expressed for staying single, by Japanese men and women ages 25 to 34. The shaded bars represent the subsequent national surveys, from 1987 through 2011:

For the rest of the article, including the charts, click HERE.


Anonymous said...

Just import some folks from south of the border. That will fix everything!

Anders said...

"Because they're forced to choose, inevitably lots of women who might otherwise have a family OR a job are only seeking the latter"
So there we have it. Japanese women would rather be whores than housewives. Japanese men are just MGTOWing the fuck out until social collapse is reached where they can begin to call the shots again.

earl said...

'There's a word for married working women: oniyome, or "devil wives."


A.B. Prosper said...

I think this comment by j3hess from the article is pretty spot on

Is Japan just getting there ahead of everyone else?

Competition puts pressure on salaries. A middle class lifestyles used to be sustainable on one average salary; now it takes two. Eventually, something has to give. In Japan, capitalism no longer supports the costs of the reproduction of labor and society.

A.B. Prosper said...

To add my thoughts, simply labor in this market is a zero sum game.

For someone else to get rich, I have to get poorer. It doesn't have to be that way but automation, free trade, mass import of labor and female entry into the work force create a lot of that problem.

Throw in massive unemployment and underemployment everywhere in the developed world and of course the screwed up male female dynamic and its little wonder there aren't even more problems

Frankly I think these childless people are behaving rationally for a change, not having children when their income doesn't allow them to raise them to the standard they want.

Its just society is so accustomed to free social capital, it can't cope when it stops coming.

Truthfully if the West could get end immigration and repatriate a lot of people people, we'd benefit from this trend as well.

And yes I said benefit, less people to fill jobs and more land means a higher standard of living.

Frankly its such that if say 90% of the vibrants and 60% of the White, mostly Liberals and the poor were gone over a few generations, there would be little downside so long as the business model isn't predicated on constant growth

. A US with a population of under 150 million would be massively better, smarter and more pleasant to live in.

well unless you need constant growth, a warfare state or share children's goods anyway.

Anders said...

Repatriation is not an option, but I hear a massive culling via war and terrorism is in the works. Since the boomer generation gave us abortion, we can also gift them with euthanasia.

earl said...

'Since the boomer generation gave us abortion, we can also gift them with euthanasia.'

No way...if they want to go on with a culture of death, they can do that themselves. I'm not giving them another easy pass through life that they have so thoroughly enjoyed.

outsider said...

Japan is just a bit ahead of the curve here.
The problem is that very many people have absolutely no reason to exist in this world.
Could it be we are catastrophically overpopulated in a hidden way?

A.B. Prosper said...

outsider, IMO you are on the right track. Humanity has passed its social carrying capacity.

We originally evolved as bands of hunter gatherers with no more than 150 or so members and any type of social order other than that is a hack basically.

Whats happened is that current technology and social order make it impossible to sustain as large and complex a society as we've built.

In time even the low IQ/Low impulse control types will start to decline if only from natural causes. Hopefully we can keep our hostile elite from allowing them to wreck our societies as well.

Now how much decline we face is highly dependent, if we make too many mistakes, up to I don't know 90% or more of the human race could die off. A full die off is fully possible up to 50% by centuries end if the Royal Astronomer Lord Reece is correct. I'd personally suggest 10% at most

Better choices could support a much high number but unless men have income, stable family arrangements and a means of achieving enough status to attract healthy women women, the ability to sustain modernity is gone and the population will implode over time.

Simply, people from unstable households and poverty cannot manage the level of complexity modern societies matter

My guess here is we'll see a high number of low IQ/Low impulse control people reproducing for some time (though its dropping fast) causing the systems to implode and the process of natural selection pushing the population down.

Long term predictions are impossible of course but my guess is over a few hundred years we'll drop to at most 2 billion with much lower tech base.

One Fat Oz Guy said...

Why do you think countries like Australia are subsidising IVF for single women and lesbians? Less than 30% of sperm donations in Australia go to heterosexual couples.
There's such a shortage of donors that they're now importing from the US!
This is partly to help those poor career women who couldn't keep men in their lives long enough to conceive have children.
Anything to keep the birth rate up.

Black Poison Soul said...

@One Fat Oz Guy - it's safer for guys to not donate to sperm banks. Saw an article once where a guy was suddenly on the hook for child-support to a lesbian couple. Why? Oh, he's the father of the child.

Poor sod didn't even get the fun of sex with her.

One Fat Oz Guy said...

It's funny how Western governments work: they give subsidies to allow single women and lesbians IVF and access sperm donation, yet if you don't do it their way, through their clinics so that they can regulate it (and charge you for it) they'll find the man and sting him for child support.
They think it'll put off men from donating outside of the system, when it actually puts them off donating altogether.
As hard as it is for people to hear, allowing single women access to it is just creating more people reliant on handouts, but that's what the Leftist government who allowed it want.