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Old 10-23-2013, 01:16 PM   #1
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Many Young Japanese Not Dating, Having Sex

I came across this earlier this week, and I just wanted to share. Not sure if we can parallel what's happening in Japan to our countries, but maybe there are some things to relate to here. After all, there seems to be some debate over balancing career with family.

Here are snippets of the article:

Quote:
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.
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Many people who seek her out, says Aoyama, are deeply confused. "Some want a partner, some prefer being single, but few relate to normal love and marriage." However, the pressure to conform to Japan's anachronistic family model of salaryman husband and stay-at-home wife remains. "People don't know where to turn. They're coming to me because they think that, by wanting something different, there's something wrong with them."

Official alarmism doesn't help. Fewer babies were born here in 2012 than any year on record. (This was also the year, as the number of elderly people shoots up, that adult incontinence pants outsold baby nappies in Japan for the first time.) Kunio Kitamura, head of the JFPA, claims the demographic crisis is so serious that Japan "might eventually perish into extinction".

Japan's under-40s won't go forth and multiply out of duty, as postwar generations did. The country is undergoing major social transition after 20 years of economic stagnation. It is also battling against the effects on its already nuclear-destruction-scarred psyche of 2011's earthquake, tsunami and radioactive meltdown. There is no going back. "Both men and women say to me they don't see the point of love. They don't believe it can lead anywhere," says Aoyama. "Relationships have become too hard."

Marriage has become a minefield of unattractive choices. Japanese men have become less career-driven, and less solvent, as lifetime job security has waned. Japanese women have become more independent and ambitious. Yet conservative attitudes in the home and workplace persist. Japan's punishing corporate world makes it almost impossible for women to combine a career and family, while children are unaffordable unless both parents work. Cohabiting or unmarried parenthood is still unusual, dogged by bureaucratic disapproval.

Aoyama says the sexes, especially in Japan's giant cities, are "spiralling away from each other". Lacking long-term shared goals, many are turning to what she terms "Pot Noodle love" – easy or instant gratification, in the form of casual sex, short-term trysts and the usual technological suspects: online porn, virtual-reality "girlfriends", anime cartoons. Or else they're opting out altogether and replacing love and sex with other urban pastimes.
Quote:
Aversion to marriage and intimacy in modern life is not unique to Japan. Nor is growing preoccupation with digital technology. But what endless Japanese committees have failed to grasp when they stew over the country's procreation-shy youth is that, thanks to official shortsightedness, the decision to stay single often makes perfect sense. This is true for both sexes, but it's especially true for women. "Marriage is a woman's grave," goes an old Japanese saying that refers to wives being ignored in favour of mistresses. For Japanese women today, marriage is the grave of their hard-won careers.
Quote:
Mendokusai translates loosely as "Too troublesome" or "I can't be bothered". It's the word I hear both sexes use most often when they talk about their relationship phobia. Romantic commitment seems to represent burden and drudgery, from the exorbitant costs of buying property in Japan to the uncertain expectations of a spouse and in-laws. And the centuries-old belief that the purpose of marriage is to produce children endures. Japan's Institute of Population and Social Security reports an astonishing 90% of young women believe that staying single is "preferable to what they imagine marriage to be like".
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Is Japan providing a glimpse of all our futures? Many of the shifts there are occurring in other advanced nations, too. Across urban Asia, Europe and America, people are marrying later or not at all, birth rates are falling, single-occupant households are on the rise and, in countries where economic recession is worst, young people are living at home. But demographer Nicholas Eberstadt argues that a distinctive set of factors is accelerating these trends in Japan. These factors include the lack of a religious authority that ordains marriage and family, the country's precarious earthquake-prone ecology that engenders feelings of futility, and the high cost of living and raising children.
Quote:
Japanese-American author Roland Kelts, who writes about Japan's youth, says it's inevitable that the future of Japanese relationships will be largely technology driven. "Japan has developed incredibly sophisticated virtual worlds and online communication systems. Its smart phone apps are the world's most imaginative." Kelts says the need to escape into private, virtual worlds in Japan stems from the fact that it's an overcrowded nation with limited physical space. But he also believes the rest of the world is not far behind.


Why have young people in Japan stopped having sex? | World news | The Observer

I've had many conversations with people who have opted to not get married and have kids. Some cite their parents' messy divorces as a turn off from marriage. Others choose not to become parents because it is too expensive and they won't be home much because the working world doesn't allow much family time. So I do see a cynicism going on similar to Japan, but that country is an extreme example because its gender roles have not evolved with its technology.

But I find it so sad that many are choosing to not have relationships at all. That sounds so hollow and sad to have no interest in sharing your life with someone, and not necessarily in terms of marriage. And no sex? Wow. Is life so depressing in Japan that it is shutting down natural urges there? Damn!

It is a little scary to see many turn to technology in order to get sexually aroused. I don't think the rest of the world is going to follow Japan's lead because of more relaxed gender roles, but time to tell. And there's the competitive working world which hinders personal lives. Some women I know are wondering if they should have kids because working 40+ hours a week means little time for the kids, or they can take time off but fall behind in their career.

Again, Japan is a case on its own, but I felt it may make some think. And its a fascinating, albeit depressing, article anyway.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:17 PM   #2
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I just realized I made a mistake with the thread title. Apologies! I should've said "or having sex".
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:28 PM   #3
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If only I can just have sex without the hassle of dating, life would be much easier.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
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I just realized I made a mistake with the thread title. Apologies! I should've said "or having sex".
Oh, well that just makes this story so much more depressing.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:32 PM   #5
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If only I can just have sex without the hassle of dating, life would be much easier.
Plenty already do that.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:33 PM   #6
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Oh, well that just makes this story so much more depressing.









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Old 10-23-2013, 08:46 PM   #7
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... much like myself
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