No, Japanese People Haven’t Given Up on Sex

October 28, 2013 • Family Planning, Asia/Pacific, News

No, Japanese People Haven’t Given Up on Sex

Abigail Haworth’s Guardian article “Why Have Young People in Japan Stopped Having Sex?” has been getting heavy Internet attention over the last couple days, and my colleague Katy Waldman responded to it yesterday.

The main premise of the article comes from some recent statistics on what appear to be some alarming trends in Japanese sexual behavior:

The number of single people has reached a record high. A survey in 2011 found that 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18-34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship, a rise of almost 10% from five years earlier. Another study found that a third of people under 30 had never dated at all. (There are no figures for same-sex relationships.) Although there has long been a pragmatic separation of love and sex in Japan-a country mostly free of religious morals-sex fares no better. A survey earlier this year by the Japan Family Planning Association (JFPA) found that 45% of women aged 16-24 “were not interested in or despised sexual contact”. More than a quarter of men felt the same way….

According to the government’s population institute, women in their early 20s today have a one-in-four chance of never marrying. Their chances of remaining childless are even higher: almost 40%.

That all sounds pretty dramatic, but I get skeptical of articles that present facts like these without international comparisons. I was curious: How weird are the Japanese really? A bit weird, perhaps, but not as different from the rest of us as you might think.

To read the full article, please click here:

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