Richer men in study found to spend less per-gift than their poorer counterparts.

In Japan, women give chocolate to men on Valentine’s Day, and not just to husbands or boyfriends. Platonic male acquaintances, like coworkers and classmates, also get what’s called “obligation chocolate,” as a general-purpose thank-you for kindness and assistance during the past year.

That might sound terrible one-sided, but a month later, on March 14, Japan celebrates what’s called White Day, when guys who received chocolate from a woman on Valentine’s Day are supposed to reciprocate by giving a gift in return. However, simple math tells us that this means that only in the absolute best-case scenario are women getting as much as they give, since it’s the ladies who make the first move, and some guys won’t be chivalrous enough to take the trouble of preparing a White Day gift to say thanks.

▼ “Hmmm…did you give me chocolate a month ago? I can’t seem to remember…”

Japnese job-hunting website iX, which specializes in high-level, well-paying employment opportunities, recently conducted a survey, receiving 645 responses from men about their White Day plans. Sadly, while all of the men had received Valentine’s Day chocolate, barely half of them intend to give White Day presents in return.

What’s especially odd is that while a mere 54.1 percent of the men said they’ll be giving thank-you gifts to women who gave them platonic obligation chocolate, even fewer guys, 51.3 percent, plan to give one to women who gave them what’s called “honmei” chocolate, or chocolate from a woman with genuine romantic feelings for the recipient.

▼ The lower figure could be a form of soft rejection by guys who were given chocolate as a unilateral declaration of love from women they’re not already in a relationship with, but in that case, not taking the chocolate in the first place seems like the nicer move.

Another surprise came when iX broke down some of the responses in relation to how much the men earn (it is a job-hunting website, after all). Broadly breaking the respondents up into two groups, men who make between 4 and 5 million yen (approximately US$36,000-US$45,000) and those who make between 10 and 11 million (US$90,000-US$99,000), it found that the richer men were generally planning to give cheaper White Day gifts to women than their lower-earning counterparts. When asked how much they plan to spend per White Day gift, the most common answer from the rich men, coming from 18.9 percent of them, was “between 1,000 and 3,000 yen.” The most common answer from lower earners, meanwhile, was “between 3,000 and 5,000 yen,” which came from 16 percent of the sub-group.

Most common answers for “How much do you plan to spend per White Day gift?”
● Men earning 4-5 million yen:
16 percent: 3,000-5,000 yen
13.5 percent: 1,000-3,000 yen
9.4 percent: 5,000-10,000 yen
● Men earning 10-11 million yen
18.9 percent: 1,000-3,000 yen
12 percent: 3,000-5,000 yen
8 percent: 500-1,000 yen

Even in more expensive brackets, the richer men were less likely than the poorer ones to be planning gifts worth 10,000 yen or more. That said, it’s not certain that this is an example of wealthy men being stingy. While the survey asked how much the men planned to spend per White Day gift, it didn’t ask how many gifts the men planned to give. It’s possible that the men with higher incomes work in management or coordination positions at larger companies, and thus have a larger social circle, which means more obligation chocolate and thus more White Day gifts to give, necessitating more modestly priced gifts per person.

Still, it’s important to remember to say thanks on White Day, especially if someone went to the trouble of making you an adorable home-baked cake like this one, so hopefully the next time iX does a White Day survey, more than 50-odd percent of the guys will be giving gifts.

Source: PR Times
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