Japanese Youth Shunning Sex For...What, Exactly?!

The Japanese birthrate continues drop to record lows. Is it because the nation's youth are wrapped up in video games?

A recent study carried out by famed sex researcher Kunio Kitamura reveals that 1 in 3 young males between the ages of 16 and 19 are "not interested in sex", either stated that they "hate" it or were simply not concerned with it. (What's more, nearly sixty percent of girls said they weren't interested.) The survey polled 2,693 Japanese men and women between the ages of 16 and 49. Shock!


The nation of Japan's declining birthrate is all due to young males who are not interested in making whoopee. Right? Not so fast. The Japanese media (and, in turn, the international media) continues to latch on to the notion of herbivore men — "grass eaters" who are simply not into girls. This is the future of the country, and the future looks like...a bunch of pansies.

In the past, it's been stated that young men were simply more interested in video game heroines than real girls, because game girls won't break their hearts.

"The results support the herbivorification of young men," Kitamura is quoted as saying about the survey. This year's results shows a increase in the last of sexual interest from previous years.

But wait a minute — out of the 2,693 surveyed, only 57 percent actually replied. That's somewhat odd, no? And without seeing (and taking) the actual survey itself, it's difficult to discern the methodology. What's more, Japanese teenagers might be more reluctant to reveal their true feelings in a survey due to embarrassment. Surveys can be written to produce any kind of data, so they're best taken with a grain of salt.


What's more, this line of questions can be considered loaded: If Japanese teens say they are interested in sex, then the country's pop culture is making them all horndogs. If Japanese teens say they are not interested in sex, then they are figuratively castrated and escaping into that same pop culture.

Japanese teens may not be interested in sex — then again, they're probably like teens everywhere on earth. Balls of emotion, trying to figure themselves out and connect with others.


"Obviously, the most important reason for Japan's declining birth rate is that people are not having sex," Kitamura, head of the Japan Family told The Daily Telegraph.

"Combined with the rising number of elderly people, this population imbalance is a major problem," he said.


Oh, Japanese are having sex, but it's a little naive of Kitamura to assume that they are only having sex with their marriage partners. Japan is clearly interested in sex; a quick look at its nightlife and low culture will clue one in pretty quick. The commenters on 2ch., Japan's largest web forum, wonder if those polled are interested in things like masturbation.

The birthrate in Japan is declining, leaving a big question mark on the country's future. This didn't begin when young males started reading comics or playing video games, but with the breakdown of the traditional family structure in the years after World War II, which meant that grandparents not longer lived with their children, putting an increasing burden on new mothers. The tradition of hiring a babysitter from outside the family doesn't exist to the same extent that it does in the West, meaning more pressure and responsibility on working mothers (and fathers).


But it's not just Japan, birthrates are dropping in South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. Heck, even Italy, the population is declining — and the stereotype of Italian men is hardly that of a bunch of grass eaters. Economics have a hand in this as does the society at large.

These days, working parents even have often difficulty getting their children into already overcrowded day care, while many Japanese corporate environments are not exactly hospitable for young women who plan to have children. But those reasons for a declining birthrate are more complex — and sadly, difficult to change. The sexual interest of teenage males is far easier to finger.


Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome — game related and beyond.

16~19歳の男性の3分の1が「セックスに関心がない、嫌悪している」 [痛いニュース(ノ∀`) ]

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