Over the weekend Abigail Howarth at the Guardian ran an article about the sex lives of young people in Japan that had me reading half of it out loud to my friends in disbelief. If you haven’t already, you should really go read it yourself, and then gchat approximately 20 different quotes from it to your friends and lovers.
In short, a shocking number of young people in Japan aren’t having sex, and have no desire to get married:
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.
Reading about how the economic system is generally set up in Japan (impossible for both parents to work, yet impossible to raise a family on one salary, women who work are called devil women, etc), I sort of understand the growing appeal of nights in with your video games.
It turns out what happens when you give young people a totally raw deal is that our genitals go on strike, adult diapers start outselling baby diapers for the first time in history, and in 50 years there will be no one around to do the poorly-paid entry-level jobs the economy depends on. Awesome!
Photo: Rupert Taylor Price