Most Japanese men clueless about pregnancy badges, survey finds


Nearly 60 percent of Japanese men have never heard about the badges pregnant women sometimes wear in public to get seats on public transportation, a government survey has revealed.

The Cabinet Office survey, released Saturday, also found that only some 10 percent of respondents knew about a pediatric counseling hotline.

The results reflect the low recognition that public child care support is getting despite the government’s campaign to stop the nation’s declining birthrate.

The nationwide survey on mother and child health, the first of its kind, interviewed 3,000 people aged 20 or older in July, drawing valid responses from 62.3 percent.

According to the survey, 63.8 percent of women and 41.4 percent of men knew that the illustration of a pregnant woman with a baby was a pregnancy badge. Expectant mothers sometimes put them on in public, such as when riding a train, to inform others of their condition.

Among men and women 60 or older, less than half knew about the badges.

As for the pediatric counseling hotline, only 10.2 percent of the respondents were aware of the service. The ratio was higher, at 26.1 percent, among people in their 30s.

Among men, less than 5 percent were aware of the government-funded service, compared with 14.9 percent of women.

Thirty-five percent meanwhile said they knew about local subsidy programs for fertility treatment, while 61.7 percent said they were aware of the obligation to inform child consultation centers and other authorities about suspected cases of child abuse.

  • otisdelevator

    JT uses headlines that are just too long.

    For this article, using only the first four words is accurate.

  • Ahojanen

    I also did not know about the pregnancy badge … then is it really effective policy for awareness?

    The survey does not tell whether men are actually caring to pregnant women in public scene regardless of presence of the badge

  • Moogiechan

    It would have been helpful if the article included a picture of a pregnancy badge, in order to reduce the number of people who don’t recognize them or have never seen one before.

  • phu

    Is this really considered “public child care support?” Because that sets the bar dismally low for actually providing help to a nation of women largely uninterested in reproducing.

    And frankly, if you’re not showing enough that your “condition” is obvious, I don’t see why you should expect an exhausted salaryman, a stressed out student, or anyone else to hand over their seat simply because you’re obeying your biological imperative.