February 1, 2012

Are Japanese youths uninterested in sex?

Instapundit links to this article that cites a survey that supposedly shows that "A startling number of Japanese youths have turned their backs on sex and relationships."
CNN spoke to a Midori Saida, a 24-year-old Japanese woman who described "herbivore men" as "flaky and weak."

"We like manly men," she said. "We are not interested in those boys — at all."

BBC News spoke to one such "herbivore" man (see video above). The man, Yusaki Yakahashi said: "Building a relationship seems like too much effort. To get her to like me and for me to like her... I'd have to give up everything I do at the weekend for her. I don't want to do that."
Are we really talking about sex or relationships? I think it is quite common for individuals to feel sexual and to want sex but to opt out of relationships. They've just lost hope that relationships are worth all the effort and the negatives. I think the distinction is terribly important.

60 comments:

Tim said...

Slow-motion, DIY cultural suicide.

As the song says:
"I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so"

Who could have guessed the Japanese would be turning Japanese?

chickenlittle said...

This isn't news at all. It's been happening for a generation, at least. You're just now noticing it. It's not just in Japan, either.

Methadras said...

Japanese men, tend to be giant infants or as I call them man-babies. It's in their culture. Besides, the japs are just fucked up sexually anyway. They would rather marry female video game characters or a pillow instead of interacting with a real human woman. Otaku is a derogatory word in Japan for a reason.

dbp said...

It is a good and real distinction, between sex and relationships. The thing is that there will not be sex, at least not procreative sex without relationships.

Based on this:

"CNN spoke to a Midori Saida, a 24-year-old Japanese woman who described "herbivore men" as "flaky and weak."

"We like manly men," she said. "We are not interested in those boys -- at all.""

I would say the herbavore men are accurately assessing their own chances.

Jess said...

I'll bite, Methadras. What does otaku translate as?

viator said...

Well, out of 221 nations Japan has the second lowest birthrate in the world. It's fertility rate is 1.37 live births, way below replacement rate and 180th in the world. It is also broke.

They are suffering a population implosion not a population explosion.

"And that's why birds do it, bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love

Cold Cape Cod clams, 'gainst their wish, do it
Even lazy jellyfish do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love

I've heard that lizards and frogs do it
Layin' on a rock
They say that roosters do it
With a doodle and cock

Some Argentines, without means do it
I hear even Boston beans do it
Only Japanese don't do it.
Let's do it, let's fall in love"

Pastafarian said...

I don't think it's just relationships, I think it's sex too. Those things that this guy does on his weekends and he doesn't want to give up: Masturbating to tentacle porn; jerking off to school girl in sailor suit porn; and rubbing one out to bukakke.

They're porning themselves into extinction.

edutcher said...

Pasta's point vindicates a lot of research.

It sounds like depression as much as anything else.

Guess there's no future in metrosexuality.

Or the Peter Pan Syndrome.

Ann Althouse said...

This isn't just about the Japanese. Those of you who are distancing yourselves from the problem should wake up. This is the future.

Donald Douglas said...

They don't want sex --- they're averse to it since it's dirty or something.

obladioblada said...

Manly men are good, but there aren't many left.

We were in Europe over the summer, I have to admit that I though 98% of the men I saw were gay. Houston is better, but I'm still left wondering if there's a testosterone shortage.

Methadras said...

Ann Althouse said...

This isn't just about the Japanese. Those of you who are distancing yourselves from the problem should wake up. This is the future.


This goes beyond the Japanese, you are correct. However, they are the trendsetters in this regard. They've culturalized their own demise of committing societal suicide. This leads to even greater problem for them, negative birth rates. They have a serious problem on their hands and this is a function of that. Other countries have negative birth rates too, but you don't hear about them as much as the Japanese because of the way they have infantalized men or rather how men have infantalized themselves.

Ukraine: 0.8% natural decrease annually; 28% total population decrease by 2050

Russia: -0.6%; -22%
Belarus -0.6%; -12%
Bulgaria -0.5%; -34%
Latvia -0.5%; -23%
Lithuania -0.4%; -15%
Hungary -0.3%; -11%
Romania -0.2%; -29%
Estonia -0.2%; -23%
Moldova -0.2%; -21%
Croatia -0.2%; -14%
Germany -0.2%; -9%
Czech Republic -0.1%; -8%
Japan 0%; -21%
Poland 0%; -17%
Slovakia 0%; -12%
Austria 0%; 8% increase
Italy 0%; -5%
Slovenia 0%; -5%
Greece 0%; -4%

Of these statistics (simple google or wolfram search) Japan is the only non-euro country with a zero to negative birth rate.

Methadras said...

Jess said...

I'll bite, Methadras. What does otaku translate as?


Otaku's are almost all consist of Japanese males. Some are female as well. But it is a stigma of one having now social skills. A shut in that would rather interact with any other medium that the human one. In Japan this is a real problem because believe it or not, Japan and the Japanese as a whole are highly social people.

Mark B said...

otaku is Japanese for geek, nerd, enthusiast.

That's according to Google translate, and also according to my Japanese wife who, incidentally, really seems to enjoy sex.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Too bad about Japanese losing interest in sex. I banged a Japanese girl one time. It was great! She moaned and panted and acted like I was killing her. This was not paid sex.

Ive lived and worked in Eastern Europe. The low birth rate is due to abortion. Not lack of interest.

Russian women are beautiful, sexy, sexual, feminine and strong. Of course I married one and recommend it to any man.

Pastafarian said...

Althouse has noticed how many of her clickthroughs come from sick, twisted porn sites. Initially she was curious about why such sites would link to her; but then she realized that her readers were just going through their bookmarks.

Look, Althouse, maybe we're just doing research. For an innocent hobby, like goat breeding. Or goat anatomy.

Don't judge me!

Ken Green said...

Japanese women have been running down Japanese men since they were "liberated," much as women in every other country have done. They derided the men for working too hard, being too hairy, spending too much time at work, and basically, being male. And at first, the men tried feminizing themselves (body waxing, wearing panties and bras), but otherwise, kept working, smoking, and drinking themselves into an early, and unappreciated death because they had responsibilities and had to make money. The younger Japanese men, who were not raised under the Japanese ethic of "duty," as the highest value have found another way. They've adopted passive-aggression, which is the only logical response to feminism in a world where women can strip you of your wealth in divorce-theft, strip you of access to your children with unsubstantiated charges of undefined abuse, and where you can expect nothing but decades of scorn and disrespect from the liberated wife and her friends.

The young men of Japan have decided that Japanese women aren't worth their efforts. That'll pretty much do it for the Japanese civilization. Hope the ladies are proud.

If the feminists have their way in Western countries, the same thing will happen here (it already is). The young men won't marry, won't work, won't have children, because there's no upside to the responsibility, only the downside of being locked into a relationship with a harridan for 18 years. Here, of course, the feminists will be proud, since they'd rather see the "patriarchy" dead, even if it means all of Western Civilization dies, and the world reverts to barbarism.

Mark B said...

I wonder how much of this girly-man cultural shift resulted from the allies kicking the snot out of the manly men in the Big one.

chickenlittle said...

"A Woman In Berlin" captures the very first phase of this. The main character of the story falls in love with the viral Russian. Her husband slinks home and then slinks away. The neighbor's husband kills himself. The teenager hiding out in the building fights back and is shot by the Russians; his girlfriend sticks up for him and is "liquidated."

Sure, they were all German soldiers but they weren't all Nazis. Some people don't distinguish.

Craig Howard said...

Watching Japanese porn (so I've been told) would dissuade one from believing that they're not interested in sex. Yikes.

Jay said...

Ann Althouse said...
This isn't just about the Japanese. Those of you who are distancing yourselves from the problem should wake up. This is the future.


You are correct Ann.

So tell us, are "manly men" celebrated or ridiculed on American college campuses?

Are "manly men" celebrated or ridiculed on American TV programs?

chickenlittle said...

Sorry for the movie spoilers. I couldn't help myself.

Jay said...

I suggest you read this article which reflects the point of view of the modern American woman and see where, exactly, "manly men" rate...

Revenant said...

That pretty well reflects my attitude towards romantic relationships -- not worth the effort.

There are too many downsides for men these days, and not enough upside.

paul a'barge said...

White American men and Japanese women ... a match of perfection.

Let white American women have Japanese men. They deserve each other.

Tim said...

A lack of confidence in the future is an wonderfully effective contraceptive.

Normal people don't want to consign their kids to a future no better than, or worse than, their parent's past.

Our spendthrift entitlement programs and anti-growth policies, where "green" means the wilderness taking back abandoned parts of Detroit, don't give much hope the future will be better than the past.

I had my own kids before the ongoing disaster in Washington; whereas I was once optimistic, I no longer am. Discovering I live in a nation in which 53% of the electorate was dumb enough to vote an inexperienced beneficiary of affirmative action in as president will do that to you.

DADvocate said...

They've just lost hope that relationships are worth all the effort and the negatives.

Been there, done that.

traditionalguy said...

Too many toys and not enough time for them all probably gives the boys a lack focus on one woman that a "marriage with one woman" demands.

The tragedy becomes the grandchildren gap.

Each Grandchild, if any, has to serve for many older adult relatives.

And then there is China, where the young men suddenly need a hundred million women of the sexually active age.

Those Japanese boys had better hope the Chinese Army doesn't pull a Genghis Khan maneuver on them.

Tim said...

Who wants to have children, knowing they'll be consigned to paying off previous generations' wasteful debt?

"Nice future you had their, kid. Too bad we spent it on insulin, kidney transplants, high speed rail, bailing out failed auto unions, Wall Street grifters, inner city majors and bogus green energy."

Tim said...

majors = mayors.

EMD said...

Bring on the Carnivore Girls!

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

This isn't just about the Japanese. Those of you who are distancing yourselves from the problem should wake up. This is the future.

Some people's future.

The Moslems are still making babies like it's 700 AD.

Conservatives here are doing OK (Roe Effect), and the Hispanics seem to have a handle on it.

It would appear you have to believe in something outside yourself.

That the future is worth it.

Revenant said...

That pretty well reflects my attitude towards romantic relationships -- not worth the effort.

There are too many downsides for men these days, and not enough upside.


Depends on the woman. They're out there.

Just like the men the women are looking for.

The Crack Emcee said...

chickenlittle,

This isn't news at all. It's been happening for a generation, at least. You're just now noticing it. It's not just in Japan, either.


On the cutting edge again - count me in:

Sorry, Folks, but with all the immorality, contradictions, general hypocrisy, and flakey behavior, it's just not worth it. I've been flying solo for 5 years now, and are finding few reasons to change.

Like this push for Romney, without considering a Mormon assent to power, everything being created is too repulsive for me to want to participate.

You can have it.

Balfegor said...

I'm sure the woman thinks the "herbivore" man issue is real -- and certainly I can see it, both in meeting with and working with Japanese men, and in watching the kinds of men who end up as pop stars and actors in Japan (young ones are typically short, slender, and kind of neotenous). But I don't think it's the underlying problem here, because if you look at Korea, men are much more overtly masculine -- even macho, in many ways -- but their Total Fertility Rate is as low as or even lower than Japan, depending on who is doing the measuring.

I'm of two minds on this, because there are two semi-contradictory causes I would like to blame --

One is that each is a culture in which people are terribly afraid of doing the wrong thing and causing social embarassment. Using the wrong fork. Eating peaches in public. Using the wrong register of respectful speech (online, Japanese can be apocalyptically vituperative about people who make fine errors in their use of keigo and kenchogo, the respectful and humble modes of speech). Hearing one's urine tinkle into the toilet bowl.

In that kind of culture, the only way one can appropriately approach a girl is through the correct forms, but there's no correct forms anymore, so what is a man to do? The closest a lot of men come, I think, is going to a group date/goukon and getting drunk and meeting women (or men) that way. But in order to organize that, you need to have someone who actually knows a girl, which may be problematic. And you can't access female friend networks through your sisters or cousins, say, because you're all a second generation of only children.

And the other trend is urbanisation, and a corresponding breakdown in traditional authority. Arranged marriages, for example, are harder to arrange for children who have moved away to the city, and don't live at home. Young urban people want to be modern; they don't want to meet their future spouse at a miai -- not in such a gloomy old-fashioned way. They look to their friends, or the media or whatever for guidance -- they want to make a love match,, with no particular social institutions or customs set up to get them from here to there.

And the social norms (and frowning elders' frowns) that would have pushed young people into marriages are relaxed by moving to a city, in which you can flit about with people of your own age, or can opt for complete anonymity, and escape away to while away the hours of your life on your own interests.

And even if you do manage to get to marriage, then there's the expense of a child, the stress of a child, the expectations of a child, dealing with your child's classmates' parents -- all of that. It pulls you, willy nilly, into a tiresome social situation which you cannot control, and from which you cannot retreat.

Anyhow, I rather doubt "herbivore" men is really a big part of the underlying cause -- I think it's more of an epiphenomenon, to tell the truth.

chickenlittle said...

Well, that's a nice lengthy answer Balfegor, but what do you suppose Althouse meant?

Can you read the fickle mind as well?

The Crack Emcee said...

All this talk of "manly men" reminds me of Ann's crack that I lead a 'cult of hypermasculinity." That's what being a real man is to feminists:

A weird obsession, or something, rather than just how real men ARE.

Sorry, Ann, but I have no interest in feminising and find the trend disgusting. I don't find feminists (women) attractive, either. And an understanding of "no-fault" is enough to turn anyone away from where relationships lead - why bother?

It's over.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Very interesting Balfegor. That reminds me of a Japanese movie I saw awhile back.

Train Man about a man who mets a girl on a train but has no idea how to ask her out. He seeks relationship advise from the Internet.

chickenlittle said...

Sorry, Ann, but I have no interest in feminising and find the trend disgusting.

I push back too. The "metrosexual" thing is not my drag at all.

rcocean said...

I love how people seem to think sex = fertility rate, as if birth control and abortion didn't exist.

Maybe if you live on a small island with 120 million, maybe having less people seems like a good idea.

chickenlittle said...

Maybe if you live on a small island with 120 million, maybe having less people seems like a good idea.

You remind me of someone who was shocked, SHOCKED, when my wife and I decided to have kids. "How can overpopulated the earth!

Now she's cranky and miserable.

Lem said...

In some cases, Reserve Onward To arouse (or ROT) is actually necessary because the fresh version is poisonous.

Jess said...

You remind me of someone who was shocked, SHOCKED, when my wife and I decided to have kids. "How can overpopulated the earth!

Just curious - is she counting on getting Social Security and Medicare? If so, who is she counting on to provide it?

mishu said...

A lack of confidence in the future is an wonderfully effective contraceptive.

200 years of Malthusianism will do that for you. Thomas Malthus first proposed the idea that an increase in population creates unsustainable scarcity. Paul Ehrlich further picked up on the idea with his book, the Population Bomb.

Pogo said...

It's like a manga about the Shakers.

chickenlittle said...

Just curious - is she counting on getting Social Security and Medicare? If so, who is she counting on to provide it?

That realization only came later. Don't you remember being inculcated by teachers that we are overpopulating and overwhelming the earth? Some took it to heart.

rcocean said...

"You remind me of someone who was shocked, SHOCKED, when my wife and I decided to have kids. "How can overpopulated the earth!"

Yes, and you remind me of an idiot with a one-track mind who creates and knocks down strawmen.

EMD said...

Manly Japanese man?

That would be Tetsuo, the Iron Man

Bender said...

When not only building a relationship, but even establishing a relationship becomes work, when the initial dating process becomes like going on a job interview, and you feel as if you are being sized up and judged and compared to other candidates, real or the imagined perfect man, with the attendant need to impress and "make her" like you, then there is a real problem.

When there is a breakdown in marriage as a fundamental unit of society, and sex becomes primarily recreational and (theoretically) freely obtainable outside of marriage, there is a breakdown in the understanding of love, there is no longer a need for the compromises that are inherent in love, no longer a need to accept the other as he or she really is, and people actually become more choosy, more demanding that the other meet certain criteria.

All with the consequence of fewer relationships of substantive love and permanence, and unions there are are more likely to be the temporary "hook-up," which ends up making everyone involved feel even worse.

Pogo said...

I blame Bush.


Wait a minute.

n.n said...

It has become tres chic to pursue instant gratification. The sensible concept of deferred gratification through investment is archaic. It doesn't help when people reject both the natural and enlightened orders to suit the moment. When men and women confuse their proper roles and are incapable of identifying reasonable compromises throughout their lives.

This is a symptom of a decadent society in decline. Individuals will choose to live off the product of yesteryear's labor for as long they can. This is an implicit act of submission to individuals and groups who exhibit behaviors compatible with reality.

Well, perception clearly matters. There is a reason why people seek to escape reality through ingestion of drugs and alcohol, and engage in other deviant behaviors.

So much for the "developed" nations. Let's hope it hasn't yet reached critical mass. Let the great social experiments continue. We may yet acknowledge that the human condition and experience of our ancestors was not materially different from our own.

Rich Rostrom said...

See Plight of the Grass-Eater at Gaijin Chronicles.

"These days, I go into the men’s bathroom to see Japanese guys spend maybe one minute pissing, then five minutes fixing/adjusting their hair. They come out to find their girlfriends waiting for them. Just think about that for a minute there. A guy and girl go into their respective bathrooms at the same time... and the girl finishes first. This violates almost every law of the universe I know. And yet it's happening here in Japan!"

Balfegor said...

sex becomes primarily recreational and (theoretically) freely obtainable outside of marriage,

It is not my impression that this is the case in Japan. There are, of course, high profile exceptions -- enjo kousai, for example, schoolgirl prostitution -- and there are certainly young Japanese people who do sleep around. But I think unmarried Japanese are mostly celibate, as suggested by the survey results in the HuffPo article linked.

Even the kinds of things that many foreigners view as sleazy, like hostess clubs, really don't have much to do with sex. I've only been once myself, so I'm not exactly speaking from a position of vast experience, but my impression was it was a lot of men complaining about their lives and their work to attractive young women over overpriced drinks, not really sexual at all, and from what I have heard, this was not unusual.

Balfegor said...

I guess I should note, I'm pretty sure young Japanese women view hostess clubs as sleazy too -- I'm not trying to sneer down my nose at foreigners for being provincial and unenlightened about Japanese hostess clubs (of all things!).

Methadras said...

The bottom line is fuck or be fucked or just resign yourself to a mostly asexual life. kthxdie...

chickenlittle said...

rcocean said: Yes, and you remind me of an idiot with a one-track mind who creates and knocks down strawmen.

Yes, I recall that time I asked you question about "Last Letters From Stalingrad" (can't remember if it was on Troop's or here. I did that because I thought you were some kind of military history guy. You sort of figuratively blew on your knuckles and said "why would I bother with that?"

So fuck you too, buddy.

viator said...

How Civilizations Die:

Amazon

David Goldman's (Spengler) book on this very topic.

"By the end of the century...the number of Japanese (will fall) by more than half, and about three-fifths of them will be over sixty years of age. America destroyed the German and Japanese delusions of racial superiority and their hopes of empire, and offered them instead a modest position in the world under the wing of American power. It appears that Germans and Japanese don't breed in captivity...
Although the United States judiciously kept Japan's Emperor on the Chrysanthemum Throne, the Japanese have lost almost all connection to the Buddhist and Shinto religion of their past."

Also some developed nations seems to resisting the population implosion trend. Israel has a fertility rate of 2.7 births/woman,
the US 2.06 births/woman. Most of South America is between 2-3 births/woman.

Indexmundi

Rusty said...

As difficult as it may be. I'm willing to fill the gap.

GrandpaMark said...

Everybody is interested in sex. Not everybody is interested in having children, especially in real or perceived times.
American births declined during the Carter Presidency and picked up during the Reagan years.

Methadras said...

Mark B said...

otaku is Japanese for geek, nerd, enthusiast.

That's according to Google translate, and also according to my Japanese wife who, incidentally, really seems to enjoy sex.


yes, that is a secondary translation, but it's contextual. They are nerds, geeks, and enthusiasts within the context of being self-ostracized shut-ins.

Jose_K said...

Otakus are at this:
http://www.japansugoi.com/wordpress/augmented-reality-from-love-plus/