The Herbivore Men
I spotted this article about a sexuality study in Japan last week, but haven’t had a chance to read it until just now.
A startling number of Japanese youths have turned their backs on sex and relationships, a new survey has found.
The survey, conducted by the Japan Family Planning Association, found that 36% of males aged 16 to 19 said that they had “no interest” in or even “despised” sex. That’s almost a 19% increase since the survey was last conducted in 2008.
If that’s not bad enough, The Wall Street Journal reports that a whopping 59% of female respondents aged 16 to 19 said they were uninterested in or averse to sex, a near 12% increase since 2008.
Normally when you see those kinds of numbers of people uninterested in sex, you expect it to be about older, married couples. Oh, snap!
But this is an interesting turn of events, especially coming on the heels of a recent study which suggested that most teenagers no longer care if they get a car or driving license. Apparently the internet has made the previously unobtainable pleasures in life so commonplace that there’s no longer any pleasure in acquiring them.
Oh, wait – I may have made a hasty assumption. In Japan, the problem seems to be that young men are too busy eating salads.
Many commentators in the Japanese and international media have laid the problem squarely at the feet of soshoku danshi — “herbivore men” — a term coined by pop culture columnist Maki Fukasawa in 2006. It refers to Japanese young men who have rejected their culture’s traditional definition of masculinity, and seemingly eschew relationships with the opposite sex as part.
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.”
Dude, I’m totally hip to that.Like, they want you to, you know, go shopping with them, look at curtains, talk about their friends, and, like, you know, do girly stuff. Don’t they know there’s more, well, manly stuff for us to be doing? Things like, umm, updating the video drivers in our PCs so we can play the latest version of Skyrim, for example.
But yeah, for some reason I’m not surprised at the idea that it would be the Japanese that would make sex somehow too inconvenient for real life:
Another theory that seeks to explain Japan’s shrinking population is that Japanese youth spend too much time engaged with technology, living in virtual worlds or settling for virtual girlfriends rather than real ones.
Now, that’s difficult to believe… isn’t it?