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10 ways in which Japanese men want to outperform their girlfriends

By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

Ideally, a romantic partnership should be just that: a partnership in which you and your beloved pool your respective strengths to build collective happiness, start a family, and/or fight crime together. But things don’t always work out like that Corinthians line asserting that love does not boast, which leads us to a survey by Japanese Internet portal R25 and polling organization I Research.

In the survey, 200 Japanese men between the ages of 20 and 39 (all of whom either currently have a girlfriend or had one in the past) were given a list of 22 items, and asked to pick three areas in which they absolutely don’t want to be surpassed by the woman they’re dating. Each respondent’s top choice was given three points, his second two, and his third one.

Let’s take a look at which selections ended up in the top 10.

  1. Number of past sexual partners (28 points) Some Japanese women don’t want a guy with too much romantic experience, but a number of this survey’s respondents said they’d feel awkward with a girlfriend with a more extensive between-the-sheets resume.

9 (tie). Work position/title (30 points)

To clarify, this choice wasn’t about who’s actually better at doing their job, just who has the higher rank in the corporate hierarchy of where they work.

8 (tie). Muscular strength (30 points)

  1. Driving skill (33 points)

In many countries, driving (as in the everyday, public road variety) is considered a simple can/can’t kind of capability. But in Japan, where many people pass their driver’s license test, then spend years without getting behind the wheel again thanks to convenient public transportation, the ability to drive smoothly and calmly is seen as a special skill beyond just getting from Point A to Point B. With cars being a traditionally masculine area of interest, many of the survey respondents don’t want their girlfriend be the better driver.

  1. Overall physical fitness (43 points)

  2. Wealth of knowledge (48 points)

  3. Ability to think/understand quickly (61 points)

Japan often divides the concept of “intelligence” into two categories: education/accumulated knowledge, and the ability to quickly grasp or develop new concepts. Combining the two would have given 109 points to the answer “I don’t want my girlfriend to be smarter than me.”

  1. Savings (87 points)

While the attitude is becoming more relaxed in recent years, Japanese society still puts a lot of pressure on men to be the breadwinners for their family. “A man’s worth is totally dependent on his financial situation,” commented one 32-year-old survey respondent regarding his desire to have the higher bank balance.

  1. Work ability (106 points)

Likewise, many of the men who were polled said they wouldn’t want their girlfriend to be better at her job then they are at theirs, seeing a correlation between a man’s workplace performance and his respectability.

  1. Earnings (246 points)

With all this talk of economics and finances, it’s not surprising to see it culminate in the top choice being the amount of money a man earns compared to his girlfriend. There’s a little more than just macho pride at play here, though.

In Japan, it’s relatively common for a woman to quit her job after childbirth, either because of personal preference or a lack of flexible work options or childcare avenues. As such, in many relationships there’s an unspoken understanding that if things lead to marriage and children, at some point the husband is going to be asked to shoulder the load in providing for the household. “Money is an extremely important resource in taking care of a family,” stated one 26-year-old respondent, so at least in his case, there’s a bit of selflessness mixed in with his desire to outperform his sweetheart in this area.

Source: Yahoo! News Japan/R25 via Otakomu

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Hungry for love – 10 dishes Japanese men want their girlfriends to cook for them -- Poll asks for the top 10 times Japanese men are disappointed in their adult daughters -- No doctors or hairdressers! Survey asks Japanese women what professions they don’t want to date

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The men they asked for this survey are pathetic.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

This list is a pretty good glimpse of the reasons for the low birthrate :)

7 ( +10 / -3 )

so the men just want a weak dumb shufu? wtf...

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The question itself sounds very loaded and its depressing to see it asked for entertainment purposes. Sexism isn't something to be laughed about.

Given how little most women earn in Japan, perhaps it's only natural for a man to want to earn more than that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

notagainAUG. 19, 2016 - 09:17AM JST The men they asked for this survey are pathetic.

While I agree, they do sound pathetic, it may not be their fault.

In the survey, 200 Japanese men between the ages of 20 and 39 (all of whom either currently have a girlfriend or had one in the past) were given a list of 22 items, and asked to pick three areas in which they absolutely don’t want to be surpassed by the woman they’re dating.

Presumably they aren't including data from people saying, "This is an idiotic survey and I refuse to do it," so that means they're only counting respondents who agree to follow the survey's premise. The survey doesn't ask if they're insecure about their partner outperforming them in any way, and while it does ask them to rank their choices, it doesn't ask how much each choice matters for them. So "meh, the survey wants three choices, I don't really care, I guess I'd rather my girl not have slept with more guys" gets rated the same way as "OH MY GOD SHE BETTER NOT HAVE SLEPT WITH MORE GUYS THAN ME!" 22 pre-selected items doesn't sound like a very sound basis for making a top 10 list either. I imagine if we asked guys to volunteer options rather than choosing them for them, we'd get a better list.

It's a junk survey by a junk provider for junk reading and junk analysis.

2 ( +7 / -5 )


I was about to say the same thing.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Seriously, if I find a woman who is smarter than me, and she still chooses to go out with me I wouldn't complain. That's love right there to put up with my lack of intellectual equality!

Equal or better work ability? Fine by me depending on how she manages her finances.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I guess I would be the exception. I'd definitely prefer my wife to bring home more cash than me. Although frankly I'd settle for her bringing home anything at all.

And congratulations to the survey in finding 200 Japanese guys who have managed to acquire girlfriends!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This survey is pathetic, indeed. However, I would tell my daughters, "Don't let any man stop you from going after your goals and dreams. Just kick him to the curb and I'll help you do that."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How could anyone possibly need to outperform their wife in any aspect? You are a team of equals both working for the good of the whole (which may include kids.)

Why on earth would anyone be worried about earning less? What kind of 19th century stays anxiety are you suffering? I actually find it hilarious. Irrationality based on outmoded models of society that actually might be defermental to your marriage! I want a fulfilling job that pays the bills, if she can earn more good luck to her.

And more importantly, how could anyone stomach a wife who was markedly intellectually inferior? Do you not get bored? Are we living in the 1950s where the women retire after dinner whilst the men don smoking jackets and discuss the affairs of state?! I actually enjoy a good debate with my wife about stuff in the news or about stuff actually affecting our lives together. I like to convince her of my argument obviously, but it's probably 50-50 over the years. But debate is not about intellectually outperforming your wife, instead it's about developing your positios and ideas through such input. This is heathy for the marriage surely?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm not surprised. Other surveys have shown that many women do not want to "marry down" so this seems like a logical response. I'm not saying it's right, just logical. Cause and effect as it were.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This article could be titled: "10 ways in which Japanese women want to be outperformed by their boyfriends"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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