The words “Japanese school girl” and “sex” can conjure up a lot of images – and fantasies – but it looks like it’s mostly just that: fantasy. Fewer young Japanese women in high school and university are having sex.
Asia Japan Watch reports that a survey by the Japanese Association for Sex Education (JASE) reveals that, for the first time since the group began recording sexual activity among Japanese students, young women are having less sex.
According to the survey the number of female university students who have had sex at least once has dropped 14 per cent from 47 per cent at its peak in 2005.
And the story is the same for high school girls who, until this year, also followed an upward trend of sexual activity, since the survey began in 1974. In 2005 almost one in three female high schoolers were having sex, but now it’s one in four.
Compare this to the United States where almost 70 per cent of young adults have had sex by their 19th birthday and it becomes clear just how little Japanese young adults are “getting”.
But it doesn’t end there. Even the number of students who have experienced their first kiss has dropped. Only 66 per cent of university students and 37 per cent of high schoolers have kissed, compared to 72 per cent and 48 per cent in 2005, respectively.
While there must be parents out there breathing a sigh of relief, cancelling their chastity belt orders, in a country with an alarmingly low birth rate these results could be predicting an even more frightening future for Japan.
Several weeks ago I surveyed some students for an article in my university newspaper. Amongst the questions was a section on the students’ futures: whether they wanted a partner, children and if so, how many. To my surprise almost half the respondents said they weren’t interested in marriage or children, mainly because it’s easier and cheaper to live on your own.
Now I consider myself to be a fairly utilitarian type, but there seems something so sad about having such an outlook at such a young age. Purely biologically speaking, shouldn’t people in their early 20s be totally geared toward spreading their DNA and bringing on the next generation?
Even among the students who said they did want a family, some of their reasons behind procreation had me raise my eyebrows. Of course some students just wanted a family, but others said they wanted a partner because they didn’t want to die alone or they wanted children so they had someone to take care of them in their old age.
Several years ago the term soushoku danshi or ‘grass eating man’ was thrown around a lot to describe men who were less interested in chasing after women. But looking at these results from JASE now it looks like women are doing the same.
Perhaps they’ve lost interest in chasing after men, when there is no one to chase after them. Or maybe Japanese women are genuinely less interested in sex. But whatever the case, ladies, next time we’re feeling a little unloved and unpopular, we should spare a thought for our sisters in Japan.