March 17, 2011



Here is a report from the Washington Post on how interest in sex seems to be declining among young Americans.

The study, released Thursday, is based on interviews of about 5,300 young people, ages 15 to 24. It shows the proportion in that age group who said they’d never had oral, vaginal or anal sex rose in the past decade from 22 percent to about 28 percent.

The decline seems to have been going on steadily since the late 1980s. Commentators have offered various theories to account for the phenomenon: Boys are lost in their video games, girls are too fat to be attractive, everybody’s too busy, the “sexual harassment” and “date rape” rackets have taken their toll, etc.

Whatever it was, the Japanese were there first: I seem to have been reading news stories about Japanese “herbivore” males for a couple of decades now.

Are the good behavior and the collapsing demographics related to each other? When the Japanese were philoprogenitive they were famously beastly to the Chinese, Allied prisoners of war, immigrant Koreans, and even each other.

Older people are better behaved than younger ones everywhere, so as a nation ages one must account for that factor. Still, the city of Sendai, one of the worst affected by last week’s earthquake, is (according to Wikipedia) “one of the youngest major cities in Japan,” yet its citizens are behaving impeccably. There is something in the air and water of Japan whispering: Be nice! Don’t have sex!

Slow and subterranean are the currents of history and social change. The big, rich, civilized populations of East Asia and the West have given up reproducing and may actually be giving up sex itself. They are”€”contrary to their deluded imaginings”€”softer, more orderly, tamer, and more obedient than their parents.

Elsewhere the TFRs are far above replacement: Guatemala 3.3, Yemen 4.6, Niger 7.6. If, as Pat says, our sun is setting, then theirs must be rising”€”and rather quickly, given the simple numerical difference between 7.6 and 1.21. There are corresponding differences in the orderly, tame, and obedient departments.

Shall we “€œscience”€ our way out of this with robot nurses for our swelling cohorts of centenarians and robot armies to defend us when military-age youngsters are too few? The Japanese might: They are already the world’s most robot-obsessed people. We have taken a different path, opening our borders to high-TFR people-exporters. Our children will learn which path is wiser.



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