Survey also finds a surprising gap in housewife-life appeal depending on whether or not women have kids.

Women joining the workforce after finishing their education has been the norm in Japan for quite some time. Transitioning to life as a fulltime homemaker after marriage or childbirth is still relatively more common in Japan than it is in many Western nations, though, and it’s not a lifestyle that’s devoid of appeal to Japanese women, a recent survey suggests.

Sony Life Insurance Co. has released the data from its seventh annual Women’s Lifestyle Awareness Survey, which collected answers from 1,000 Japanese women between the ages of 20 and 69. One of the questions asked of the 675 working participants was “Do you actually want to be a housewife?”, and more than one in three replied “Yes.”

Do you actually want to be a housewife?
● Women aged 20-29
Yes: 33 percent
No: 40.6 percent
● Women aged 30-39
Yes: 43.2 percent
No: 33.3 percent
● Women aged 40-49
Yes: 30.3 percent
No: 41.4 percent
● Women aged 50-59
Yes: 28.7 percent
No: 50 percent
● Women aged 60-69
Yes: 24.1 percent
No: 51.8 percent
● Total for all ages
Yes: 35.2 percent
No: 40.6 percent

You’ll notice that the number of “yes” responses gets progressively higher as the respondents’ ages go up. Whether that’s because the idea of housewife life became less attractive as the respondents acquired more life experience, or because the older respondents have been working for a longer time and their professional lives have become a stronger positive part of their identities, is a question the survey didn’t probe.

In addition to age, the survey also broke responses to the question down by whether or not the working women have children. While being able to spend more time with your kids might seem like a positive aspect of being a homemaker, it turns out that childless women were more likely to want to get out of the workforce.

Do you actually want to be a housewife?
● Women with children
Yes: 30.6 percent
No: 40.6 percent
● Women without children
Yes: 35.2 percent
No: 40.6 percent

It’s also worth noting that when the survey asked the working women “Do you think that there are many societal disadvantages for working women?” 67.0 percent said they think there are, as opposed to just 8.3 percent who think there aren’t, which would imply that among the working women who’d rather be housewives, for some of them it might not be because being a housewife sounds so great, but simply because it sounds better than working.

Source: PR Times via Yahoo! Japan News via Jin
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