Older gentlemen show much greater willingness to share space with female fellow passengers.

While not every line in Japan has them, it’s not uncommon for trains here to have women-only cars. These carriages generally aren’t single-sex all day long, but instead prohibit male passengers during the crowded morning and evening rush hour periods, when chikan, train gropers, are most likely to exploit the crowded conditions to cop a feel on female commuters and then make their escape into the crowd at the station when they get off.

But some people look at the presence of women-only cars and ask “Why not have men-only cars too?” In a survey conducted last summer, many women said they’d be in support of such an addition, and now the results of a new survey have been released in which the majority of young men saw they want male-only cars too.

Internet portal Biglobe polled 800 participants, 100 each of each gender in the 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, and 50-59 age brackets. When asked if they favor the adoption of men-only train cars, 33 percent of men in their 20s say they hope for such a move, with another 30 percent saying they have a moderate yearning for special cars just for dudes.

This total of 66 percent was markedly higher than any other male age group.

Percent of men who favor the addition of male-only trains cars
● Age 20-29: 66 percent
● Age 30-39: 51 percent
● Age 40-49: 47 percent
● Age 50-59: 38 percent

On the other hand, this pattern of continually increasing support for the idea as respondents get younger didn’t appear among the women in the poll, where the 30-39 age group showed the least support.

Percent of women who favor the addition of male-only trains cars
● Age 20-29: 58 percent
● Age 30-39: 53 percent
● Age 40-49: 63 percent
● Age 50-59: 57 percent

Biglobe didn’t ask participants why they responded the way they did, but in previous studies men who voice a desire for men-only cars generally cite fears that by riding in a crowded car with women onboard, they may be mistakenly accused of being a chikan when the carriage gets so crowded that they can’t help being pressed up against a woman’s body.

However, even with the majority support for the idea among women and younger men, it’s unlikely the poll will spur the swift introduction of men-only cars. Women-only cars are, from the standpoint of female passengers, optional, as women can choose to ride in them or the mixed-use carriages. With a nearly even split among male respondents in their 30s, plus the majority of men in the two older age groups not being in favor of male-only cars, it’s debatable how many guys would actually use them, in which case keeping all cars other than the women-only one mixed-use seems like the option most likely ease overcrowding and make for a slightly more pleasant ride.

Source: Biglobe via Nico Nico News via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso