Findings that 30% of Japanese men surveyed report never having dated anyone in their entire lives have been causing consternation (and some relief) online.
A survey of the dating habits of some 3,600 Japanese aged 20-49 generated a variety of findings – most attention has focused on the finding that a steady 30% of both single twenty and thirty-something men have never dated anyone, suggesting a substantial proportion of Japanese are destined to eternal virginity.
In contrast, the number of women having no dating history halved in the same ages, and they reported dating significantly more men than men did women.
The minimum incomes single Japanese women deemed acceptable for a marriage-worth man are as usual the subject of much derisive scrutiny:
In this case 30%-35% expected a salary of 4 to 5 million yen, and only 12% would accept less than 3 million.
The contrast between these demands and the average wages of a Japanese salaryman may explain much about Japan’s dismal marriage rates – the average salary for a man in his early twenties is 2.6 million, whilst in his late twenties it rise to 3.7 million and 4.3 million in his early thirties.
Although relatively realistic, with these being single women and the averages including married men the mismatch of supply and demand may be understated.
The contrast between the numbers of men and women in their twenties and thirties who met through formal dating or marriage counselling events has also been attracting attention:
It also revealed how most people with actual partners met – 30% of both men and women met at work, followed by some 20% via a friend’s introduction and less than 10% over the Internet.
2%-3% of those in their thirties used them to secure a partner, but only 0%-0.4% of those in their twenties reported similar experiences, suggesting not only that these services are of questionable utility, but also that they are either the last resort of the desperate or shunned by the younger crowd.
As usual there is some reasonable suspicion that the online masses are well positioned to provide expert commentary on the topic of never having dated:
“I’ve never met a guy like that in real life though.”
“Please, even if you’re ugly, date me!”
“What’s the point of living if you are a lifelong virgin.”
“It’s simple. Making a move is too troublesome, and the other side definitely won’t, so no dating ever happens.”
“The proportion of passive, womanly men has really increased, so it’s not surprising.”
“Not really surprising since all the risk is piled on the man.”
“30% really seems a lot!”
“Once you are a wizard there is no going back.”
“You people need to date.”
“If you want to hold hands with a young girl, there are those handshaking events to go to. That could explain the 30%.”
“It seems a lot, even if these are personal statements…”
“It’s an obvious finding. Someone in their twenties with no job will not be able to get one in their thirties. Someone in their twenties who never dates will not have the experience to date properly in their thirties either. If you want to date in your thirties, you are expected to have experience just like at a job in your thirties. They expect more experience as you get older, too.”
“Honestly, if you compromise and end up with some awful woman you’ll regret it more than remaining single. No matter how thirsty you get, don’t drink sewage.”
“It all makes sense. At 30 you have to start thinking about marriage. This is asking a lot from someone with no experience dating. Women don’t face the same hurdles and just keep gaining experience though.”
“If you’re in your thirties and have never dated you’re a cripple of sorts. The thinking causing that condition will be deeply rooted by then.”
“Well, I for one find these findings quite reassuring!”
“Don’t be reassured by them! Although I was too, it has to be said…”