Thursday, May 28, 2009

Japan's "Herbivores", or metrosexuals

Very interesting article over at Japan Times about a social trend among Japanese young men. Known as soshokukei or "herbivores", their description seems to recall behaviours that in the West have been labelled "metrosexual". The writer estimates that up to 60% of young men fit into this category in some way.

I love me some sociological analysis of how people's behaviour at the micro level explains broader trends at the macro level. So on that score, the article has a few gems. For example, the murder rate per capita in Japan is now the lowest in the world, due to the lack of pressure to act out traditional manly stereotypes (in turn related to the long period of peacetime Japan has enjoyed).

And how condom sales have plummeted since the internet revolution in 1999, since the soshokukei are noncommital about relationships and find porn to be more convenient for their lifestyle.

Wow, porn makes people less interested in sex? Didn't see that one coming.

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