One interesting one - and if there is anyone from Japan who can comment, that would be great - was that there is a new "herbivore" class of male in Japan. These men tend to be very apathetic towards women, career and sex and are generally "parastitic" and even living at home. As evidence of this, he said that 39% of all men between ages 16 and 19 have no interest in sex or despised sex.
Whoa! I don't mean to sound like Mad Dog on Frasier, but that's a little hard to believe. He also said that has doubled in the last couple of years. And a bigger percentage of women the same way feel the same way but that number has not grown much.
So what this means is that you used to have a very high percentage of boys who would pursue women, who were often less interested in sex. Now that has dramatically changed.
His observation is correct surprisingly. The "herbivorous man" is real although that statistic may be a little high. The trend is real.
The way he tries to connect it to his main idea is wrong and his understanding of why these guys choose to be like that is wrong. He said it's the same as the Tokugawa period because back then we had Kabuki theater where boys would dress up as women in theater. He said that was about "bi-sexualism and transgender roleplaying".
Japan was always a very rainbow friendly country before 1868 when they started importing western ideas. Before then, homosexuality was just an act that men did. There was no intrinsic identity as bisexual or homosexual. That fell out of being normal when mainstream Japanese intellectuals adopted the western ideas that it was some kind of sickness. It remained a mental illness until 1995 when it was once again changed by western influence. So the herbivorous man and the Kabuki actors have nothing in common and to say that is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.
But what he says next is the reason we have herbivorous man and the reason we had Kabuki theater is:
"Boys didn't have to prepare themselves for their core responsibility in war. When boys don't have a core role to define themselves as men, we need to find another role for them to give them a sense of purpose or things start happening that don't produce good family relationships and good male/female relationships...Industrialization enables enough mastery of survival skills so that you don't have to develop gender based survival skills. Men work outside the home, women work inside the home. So ironically the traditional male role, captain of industry, is succeeding to make the traditional male role obsolete. "
If simply being in peacetime was the case, the trend would be opposite! Japanese military spending is on the ride and our military is growing since the same time that the marriage rate, birth rate and number of singles are increasing! If it was really about peace, wouldn't this have happened sooner after WWII?
His paradigm is that there is some sort of natural male and female gender role. He's wrong because that's not true in any society but how he is applying it to Japan is exceptionally wrong because his idea of a male gender role is western and that is different from the actual traditional Japanese male role.
Finally his causation is questionable because many people would say that it is the gender roll itself, or the failure to meet the expectations of this gender role, that is causing the herbivorous man trend.
Anyway I'm sure you guys don't want t know the intricate details of the Japanese herbivorous man but I disagree with Warren Farrell about the cause of it. Also I disagree with his ideas about sexuality and gender roles. So there isn't much I can gain from this guy.
I recently wrote a research paper on the topic of LGBT in Japan and one section is quite relevant to the gender roles discussion. I tried attaching it to this post but it says it can't access the attachments path.