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Survey finds big gap in Japanese train passengers who want to sit next to someone of opposite sex

24 Comments
By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

While trains in Japan can get extremely crowded, it’s not like it’s standing room-only all the time. If you’re not travelling during the peak commuting times or near the last train of the night, you might even find yourself with multiple empty seats to choose from if you want to sit.

And therein lies a question: given a choice, how do you choose which seat to plop yourself down in? To examine one criteria, Japanese website Shirabee polled 1,400 men and women between the ages of 20 and 69, asking if they want to sit next to someone of the opposite sex on the train, and found some very big discrepancies depending on demographic.

Percentage of respondents who’d want to sit next to someone of the opposite sex: ● Men 20-29: 34.1 percent Women 20-29: 10.8 percent ● Men 30-39: 32.9 percent Women 30-39: 11.59 percent ● Men 40-49: 40.4 percent Women 40-49: 7.9 percent ● Men 50-59: 39.4 percent Women 50-59: 9.9 percent ● Men 60-69: 43.2 percent Women 60-69: 6.9 percent

Not surprisingly, men were far more amenable to sitting next to a woman than vice-versa, with the number of respondents who felt favorably about the idea showing a distinct jump after the 20-39 age group. Meanwhile, women exhibited slight bumps among respondents 30-39 and 50-59, but in general were far less enthusiastic about sitting next to a man, with the statistics shaking out with at least a 21-percent gap in attitudes among men and women in the same age brackets, and a whopping 36.3 percent difference among those aged 60-69.

However, not all of the men who like the idea of sitting next to a woman feel that way for lascivious reasons. Rather than finding themselves drawn to feminine charms, some of them simply don’t want to sit next to another guy. Male passengers, some men assert, are more likely to have offensive body odor or reek of alcohol at the end of the day, and sitting next to them is an unpleasant experience even for guys if they happen to hold themselves to higher hygiene standards.

Other men said they’d prefer to sit next to a woman since men, on average, have larger frames and sit with their knees further apart, thus taking up extra space on the bench seating that Japanese trains predominantly have.

Oddly enough, though, one woman who was polled said that she actually prefers sitting next to men because they tend to carry smaller, or fewer, bags than female passengers. Some women she says, place their bulky belongings on the seat next to themselves and encroach on their neighbors’ space, and in light of such complex variables, perhaps many of those who didn’t reply to the survey by specifically saying they want to sit next to people of the opposite sex responded as they did because they judge all seating options on a case-by-case basis.

Source: Shirabee via Otakomu

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Survey asks Japanese women if they could marry a man who’s rich but ugly -- Japanese Twitter user’s description of the ideal boyfriend is refreshingly reasonable -- Younger Japanese men less interested in drinking, according to survey

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24 Comments
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Men and women are indeed hard-wired differently.

The feminists are wrong we they claim that we are the same, merely with different unmentionable organs.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

They should have considered nationality in this survey. What about the "gaijin perimeter"?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

If I have a choice between sitting next to a man or sitting next to a woman, I will generally choose the man, but not out of a preference to sitting next to men, but out of respect that as a big foreign man, I'm probably intimidating to a lot of women.

That said, I'll plop myself down between two women if that's the only seat that is open.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I daresay an awful lot of the complaints from foreign men about the magic forcefield has its roots in the above #s. Try navigating crowded trains and buses with lecherous, groping, drunken oyajis from junior HS on and then get back to me with your hurt fee fees about the hottie who doesn't want to sit next to you.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Not surprisingly, men were far more amenable to sitting next to a woman than vice-versa

Why is that "not surprising"?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japanese train seats need armrests, for so many reasons.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I like to sit at the end; that way I only have to suffer sitting next to one person. I especially suffer when a woman sits next to me and she's wearing a loud, cheap, stinking perfume; or, when she smells of one those "exotic" Shampoos with tropical fruit extract or whatever.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Interesting that the biggest gap is between 60-69yo men/women. (sly dogs ;)

Gender is only 'a' parameter that influences our decision, I think. I know I'd rather sit next to a quiet, clean looking bloke than sit next to a hottie with a crying/screaming baby. Same with loud, obnoxious etc women (that's for those of us who still spend a fair bit of time in the western world, rarely an issue in J).

For whatever reason I'd also rather sit next to someone who's roughly my age, dunno why really. Who's around also matters I guess (what's the point of sitting next to a nice, quiet, baby-free, same age etc woman if you have a smelly bloke or a gaijin nearby!?)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Percentage of respondents who’d want to sit next to someone of the opposite nationality: ● Japanese (child): 90% Foreigner (child): 100%

● Japanese (adult): 10% Foreigner (child): 100%

● Japanese (elder): 30% Foreigner (elder): 100%

too much hassle riding trains in this place, your face makes you already a bad-manners, unpredictable rider to the eyes of everyone around. Ride your motorcycle around this beautiful country and set yourself free.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I sit anywhere but if the person of either sex has bad gum disease or other things being sent out from any of their orifices I get up, tell they they are disgusting and move away even if it means losing my seat.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I like to sit at the end

Me too, but sometimes you get the guy who wants to lean back too close to your face/head.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I like to sit next to anyone who doesn't have elbows. If they do it is certain they will fail to feel or acknowledge that they often hit me as they rummage around. What is that? It happens on planes too next to Japanese passengers. The elbow seems to be the exception to any codes against physical contact with strangers, like it has a mind and behaviour of its own.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I don't really care who sits next to me, or whom I sit next to, so long as they try and be conscious of those around them.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As males get older, they more like to sit next to females

As females get older, they less like to sit next to males

I'd sit next to any of ya guys though, lol

1 ( +1 / -0 )

True story. Early 90's Oita taking a train home late after drinking. Had a front facing window seat, then some JP guy sits down, looks over and jumps up almost squealing in surprise. Two minutes later 19 year old super hot Japanese girl sits there and smiles. We chat and ended up dating her for 2 years. From bad things often come good things.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

ho cares? If you are luck enough to find a seat during a rush be greatfull !!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's no gap at all: no one wants to sit near men ;)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Much prefer sitting next to women, who have a decent awareness of personal space.

I wonder if anyone will do a survey on public nose picking.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"To examine one criteria...."

It's like the Daily Mail has died and been reborn in Japan.... : )

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I also prefer to sit next to someone opposite sex, I'm a male student. First, in most cases, women sitting on the seat don't spread their legs, so they make more space for others than men do. Second, women are usually wearing a perfume which has comfortable scent, someone wear a strong scent of it, but in general. So, sitting next to one of them makes me feel comfortable and somehow in peace, however I'm not fetish about it. I think it might also vice versa. Anyway, sitting next to opposite sex has some spiritual power that makes other passengers sitting next to them feel relax or in peace. Have you ever experienced it in the same situation? Probably, the younger you are, the more sensitive you feel.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

sensei258FEB. 05, 2017 - 09:03AM JST Why is that "not surprising"?

Exactly what I wanted to ask. Sounds like dinosaur sexology to me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Im a gaijin man, and HATE sitting next to anyone with hygiene problems. Many J-Men, especially those in their 4-60s STINK of tobacco, uncleaned suits and bad breath. I can fully understand why the ladies won`t want to sit next to them.

As Im 190 tall, and very solidly build (wide shoulders, not fat :) ), I do take more than the average space. I therefore also understand why someone wouldt want to sit next to me also (although I take good care of my hygiene). Sone ladies are smart though , and quickly notice that with my built I do make a perfectly placed very good pillow. As I have long rides home, I do let them put their head on me and take a rest. More than once I was put in amusing situations, having to clean powder makeup from my shoulders though...

On the other hand, if one of those stinky men would try to use me as a pillow, then it`s:"Elbow - meet stinky man. Stinky Man, meet Elbow. Introduce yourselves...".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

too much hassle riding trains in this place, your face makes you already a bad-manners, unpredictable rider to the eyes of everyone around. Ride your motorcycle around this beautiful country and set yourself free.

Exactly! As a driver I can go where I want, when I want, listen to my music at any volume, and carry as many things as I want. Weather or jumpers almost never ruin my day.

Only bright sides of the train are that they are cheaper and I can use them if I want to drink alcohol.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think people in Osaka care who they sit next to. Neither do I, as long as they don't smell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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