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Closed schools raise teen pregnancy risks in Japan, hospital says

24 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

One of the buzzwords to enter Japanese conversation over the past few weeks has been corona rikon/"corona divorce," referring to spouses who realize they’re ready to end their marriage after spending too much time at home with their partner. But as the pandemic is driving some adult couples emotionally apart, it looks like it’s also bringing young lovers together, at least in a physical sense.

Jikei Hospital in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture, reports that it’s been seeing an increase in the number of junior high and high school students contacting its pregnancy consultation department. The increase started in March, not long after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested that schools across the country shut down to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and has continued as educational facilities remain closed. During the month of April, Jikei Hospital’s pregnancy counselors dealt with more junior high/high school students than in any other month since the department was established in 2007.

“With their schools closed because of the coronavirus, many students are staying at home,” says Jikei vice president Ken Hasuda. “For some of them, this presents opportunities for sexual activity, which in some cases is leading to unplanned pregnancies.”

At first, it seems like teens staying at home should be giving them fewer opportunities to have sex, since it’s pretty much unheard of for Japanese school kids to live under the same roof as their crush (which is one of many ways real-life Japan is different from anime). The scenario Hasuda seems to be describing, though, is one in which the kids, with no on-campus classes to attend or after-school extracurricular activities to take part in, are home all day while their parents are periodically out of the house in the morning or afternoon for work or errands. That creates windows for one teen to sneak over to another’s house, into their bed, and still have time to get back home before any parents notice they have a visitor or missing kid.

It’s worth noting that the pregnancy consultation division doesn’t only handle questions from people who are currently pregnant. Inquiries they’ve received from teens over the past weeks have included “Can you get pregnant if it’s your first time having sex?” as well as “My girlfriend and I had sex, and now she’s feeling sick in the morning,” as well as questions from teens who say they’ve already gotten a positive result from a pregnancy test.

The rise in teen consultations also doesn’t mean that every teenager in Japan is failing to practice social crotch distancing. In April, Jikei’s pregnancy consultation division, which accepts questions from anywhere in Japan, had 75 teens asking for advice. Still, that’s a 29 percent increase compared to April of last year, and teens made up 13 percent of the division’s total consultation requests for April 2020, roughly double their usual proportion.

Heightened emotions aren’t an uncommon response to intense stress, such as living through the largest viral outbreak of the current generation. Still, having a kid before you’re ready can put you on a very rocky road in life, so hopefully if nothing else tempted teens will at least listen to the sex-ed advice from this Japanese all-girls school.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun via Yahoo! Japan News via Jin

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Is it time for manga and anime to start introducing the coronavirus outbreak to their settings?

-- 6 surprising things about having a baby in Japan

-- Is Japan overworking its teachers? One exhausted educator says, “YES!”

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
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this should actually be a blessing for Japan. Even though some of these kids are unwanted and might end up in the hands of bad parents, every child birthed in a country where the population is in decline should be treated like it was gold. Japan should step up its efforts to take care of abandoned and unwanted children

-11 ( +9 / -20 )

Staying at home increases teen pregnancy? With their siblings? Obviously not staying at home...

11 ( +15 / -4 )

This is what happens when the sexual education is ridiculed and never implemented in schools.

On the other hand, this is sad because most of them will have abortions instead of keeping the children, and this is also because of pressure from parents, and specially society who is the most judgemental in the world.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Crotch distancing. Good one!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Free condoms for the youth

6 ( +8 / -2 )

 Even though some of these kids are unwanted and might end up in the hands of bad parents

Do you read this website? Do you see what bad parents in Japan do to their kids, like, every day?

It's horrific and usually criminal.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Staying at home increases teen pregnancy? With their siblings? Obviously not staying at home...

Everyone is still going out; their parents can't control them, so these kids are going to love motels.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Staying at home increases teen pregnancy? With their siblings? Obviously not staying at home...

I think its the "Home Alone" factor coming into play here. Remember, many parents are still working in Japan, especially single moms. I would imagine that BF or GF visits are quite common and with nothing to do all day, well, things happen.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

KumagaijinToday  12:21 pm JST

Staying at home increases teen pregnancy? With their siblings? Obviously not staying at home...

I think its the "Home Alone" factor coming into play here. Remember, many parents are still working in Japan, especially single moms. I would imagine that BF or GF visits are quite common and with nothing to do all day, well, things happen.

If you mean tutoring and studying together, well then, I'm for that. Yes, things happen.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The rise in teen consultations also doesn’t mean that every teenager in Japan is failing to practice social crotch distancing.

SoraNews, written to titilate and repel in equal measures.

Teens have sex. In every country. It's natural.

The worrying thing is the lack of proper sex education that leads to problems.

Condoms should be free at every secondary school or youth centre - wherever it is young folk go.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

When kids say

-Lets study at your place!

Lots of things happen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“For some of them, this presents opportunities for sexual activity, which in some cases is leading to unplanned pregnancies.”

Didn't one of the major porn producers offer free viewing for 200 of their videos free of charge,

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A increase in queries from 58 last year to 75 this year does not seem sufficient to indicate a major trend.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What a load of rubbish. Teenagers don’t have sex when there isn’t a pandemic do they... thanks SoraNews for another great article.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mother Nature at work.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Finally a solution to the declining birth rate. These patriotic teens are on the front lines, breeding a future for their country. Well done!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I think schools should re-open soon, but not for this reason. The connection between school and teen-pregnancy looks far-fetched to me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

First, I call bull. This doesn't increase teen pregnancies. Teens will find a way regardless of whether they have school or not.

Second, this can be attributed to avoiding a proper sex education in Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Well a lot of parents don't prefer our kids learning sex ed from some perverted oyaji teacher. I tell my son to wrap it up!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It would be sensible to provide condoms along with masks. The article did not say anything about disease, but like pregnancy it is always a danger.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Didn't one of the major porn producers offer free viewing for 200 of their videos free of charge,

Yes, but the teens get confused when they look at their own bodies and wonder where the heck the pixelation is supposed to be.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Whaddya wanna do today?"

"I dunno. Whadda you wanna do today?"

"I dunno."

"Might as well have sex again."

"Okay."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe the kids misunderstood.

They thought safe sex means having sex with masks on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 “My girlfriend and I had sex, and now she’s feeling sick in the morning,” 

Wait 7 months and see what happens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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