This morning I was reading a piece on Japan's "celibacy syndrome" when it all came together: strict gender roles kill sex.
Apparently, Japan has one of the lowest birth rates in the world - 1/3 of 30 year olds aren't even dating. That's not all.
45% of Japanese women aged 16-24 are "not interested" in or despise sexual contact and more than a quarter of men feel the same way.
Some young people may have casual sex but shirk any sort of relationship. Many opt for digital stimulation. Of course, the government is freaking out and pouring money into research but it's really all about gender inequality and outdated gender roles.
For example, women are choosing not to marry because you can't have both a career and a family:
"Around 70% of Japanese women leave their jobs after their first child. The World Economic Forum consistently ranks Japan as one of the world's worst nations for gender equality at work. Social attitudes don't help. Married working women are sometimes demonised as oniyome, or "devil wives". In a telling Japanese ballet production of Bizet's Carmen a few years ago, Carmen was portrayed as a career woman who stole company secrets to get ahead and then framed her lowly security-guard lover José. Her end was not pretty."
Then add to that a shrinking economy and men who don't make enough money to be the sole provider and everyone stops having sex. You've sucked all the pleasure right out of it. There are no real choices left so people turn off and drop out.
For me, gender roles fuck with nature. It's society's attempt to subvert millions of years of evolution. No one wants to marry one person and be a slave to corporate america anymore. In a way, it's kind of exciting to think that 20 and 30 year olds get it.
It feels like we're on the verge of a major paradigm shift...maybe gender equality and open sexuality can save the planet.