Daniel Halliday
Aug 4 · Last update 4 mo. ago.
Is there anything that can be done about sexism in Japan?
Following incidents of a top Japanese medical university lowering female entrance scores by 10 to 20 percent, what can be done to tackle sexism in Japan?
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Japan is steeped in history and tradition, and gender roles are closely linked to this
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Gender inequality maybe unfair but possibly too complicated to solve
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In a country that needs innovation, discrimination will only discourage progress
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Japan is steeped in history and tradition, and gender roles are closely linked to this

Discussing sexism in Japan is no easy task, sexism has permeated deeply into Japanese culture and the country is not comparable to other cultures that have had long established women’s rights campaigns. Sometimes sexist ideals are perpetuated by women themselves in Japan also, having a deep respect for tradition and a large proportion of traditionalists, both women and men. Furthermore, sexism is not contained to just educational institutions, with companies and even families arguably reinforcing gender differences.

For example there is a shortage of preschools and childcare in Japan, as so much of the population is centred around big cities. It is also not seen as a profitable industry, making it difficult for those in working childcare to live on very low wages. As a result many women opt to quit work when starting a family, as finding childcare may be too difficult. Furthermore, family pressure may feed into this also, as conservative husbands and older women of respective families may assume the wife should take up a traditional role in the family, and give up her career after having children.

Sexism is often seen as a necessary evil in Japan and changing one institution's acceptance policy for female students will not change this issue in any way. Some may even argue that what westerners call sexism could be a misunderstood cultural difference, for what may be seen by some people as virtuous and traditional behaviour.

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 15
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DH edited this paragraph
Sexism is often seen as a necessary evil in Japan and changing one institution's acceptance policy for female students will not change this issue in any way. Some may even argue that what westerners call sexism could be a misunderstood cultural difference, for what may be seen by some people as virtuous and traditional behaviour.
Gender inequality maybe unfair but possibly too complicated to solve

While it is inexcusable to change an applicants exam results, we should be careful when thinking about how to address gender inequality. Gender inequality is a nuanced problem, with many causes and consequences, some not as simple as fairness or pay scale in a working environment. It is good to have a level playing field and especially important not to negatively discriminate against a whole gender. But equality of outcome for all groups, whether gender, ethnic or based on age is a dangerous goal that only has detrimental effects on society.

Controlling for group differences in any way, both positive or negative, could have just as many undesired side effects. There is for example a large gender discrepancy in the statistics of doctors in some European countries, and this varies hugely throughout Europe. In countries such as Latvia and Estonia women make up over 70% of doctors and 11 states in Europe have more female than male doctors. If equality was called into questions here regulations would need to favour men, but implementing controls may effect the gender balance in other industries or lead to the restriction of female doctors.

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 15
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DH edited this paragraph
Controlling for group differences in any way, both positive or negative, could have just as many undesired side effects. There is for example a large gender discrepancy in the statistics of doctors in some European countries, and this varies hugely throughout Europe. In countries such as Latvia and Estonia women make up over 70% of doctors and 11 states in Europe have more female than male doctors. If equality was called into questions here regulations would need to favour men, but implementing controls may effect the gender balance in other industries or lead to the restriction of female doctors.
In a country that needs innovation, discrimination will only discourage progress

Sexism has implications far further reaching than arguments of fairness or equality. Limiting potential students based on gender will limit potential talent the effected field may have, but when scandals such as this become public knowledge it will only discourage even more potential talent from considering to even apply. This is bad for the institution as a business and worse for the field in general, as potentially talented doctors may seek out another line of study and profession as it harbours less risk for them personally.

Ingrained discriminatory policies such as these could potentially feed into a societal neurosis also, causing some people to retract from the societal norms of starting a family and child-rearing. Looking at the increase of single person households (34.6% in 2015), now over a third of all households in Japan, coupled with a growing amount of people remaining single past the age of 50, it is obvious to see the contributing factors behind Japan’s falling birth rate. Regardless of Japanese traditionalism the trends look to be going against the preservation of Japanese culture by numbers alone. Debatably it is unfair attitudes such as this, while morally reprehensible, could be also be feeding into a decline in the Japanese population.

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Daniel Halliday
Aug 25
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
Ingrained discriminatory policies such as these could potentially feed into a societal neurosis also, causing some people to retract from the societal norms of starting a family and child-rearing. Looking at the increase of single person households (34.6% in 2015), now over a third of all households in Japan, coupled with a growing amount of people remaining single past the age of 50, it is obvious to see the contributing factors behind Japan’s falling birth rate. Regardless of Japanese traditionalism the trends look to be going against the preservation of Japanese culture by numbers alone. Debatably it is unfair attitudes such as this, while morally reprehensible, could be also be feeding into a decline in the Japanese population.
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