Young People in Japan Have Given Up on Sex – from

Slate is reporting on an interesting trend in Japan where growing numbers of people are not only childfree but are sexfree.

I just coined a new word!

Pure speculation here but I wouldn’t be surprised if what we’re seeing here is the perfect storm of technological, socioeconomic, and biological forces:

  • Technology – the first generation growing up that can experience relatively rich social engagement without physical proximity
  • Socioeconomic – a relatively long-term economic crisis plus a population density that is among the highest on the planet
  • Biological – reaching here but my gut says that when you combine fewer physical connections with other people with a depressed economic outlook this could certainly lead to decreased desire for sex and related obligations

My guess is that this is a short-term trend – if it really is a trend – that will eventually reverse itself as the conditions underlying it change. I certainly don’t think that Japan “might eventually perish into extinction” as a fear-mongering Japanese official is quoted.

Not romantic.

Young People in Japan Have Given Up on Sex

by Katy Waldman

A bizarre demographic chill has stolen over the Land of the Rising Sun. According to a fascinating and bewildering investigation in the Guardian by Abigail Haworth, Japanese young people are losing interest not just in marriage but in romantic relationships. Some have even given up on sex. The national press is calling itsekkusu shinai shokogun, or celibacy syndrome.

The evidence: Japan’s population is declining and is projected to dive a further third by 2060, with fewer babies born in 2012 than in any year on record (and a corollary: adult diapers outselling baby diapers). Haworth cites a survey that found that “61 percent of unmarried men and 49 percent of women aged 18-34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship,” and a study showing that 30 percent of people under 30 have never dated. Women in their 20s have a 1 in 4 chance of never marrying, according to the Japanese Population Institute, and a 40 percent chance of remaining child-free. Another study indicates that 45 percent of women and more than 25 percent of men “were not interested in or despised sexual contact.”

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