Sex behaviour of male Japanese tourists in Bangkok, Thailand

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20 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores why Japanese men engage in potentially risky commercial sexual behaviours while on holiday in Thailand. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 30 heterosexual male Japanese tourists, aged 19-36, who paid for sex with Thai women. Study participants were recruited at guesthouses in Bangkok. Analysis revealed eight main factors that encourage participation in commercial sex: a sense of freedom and anonymity during "time-out" spent travelling in a foreign country; a sense that there are permissive norms governing commercial sex in Thailand; the perceived sexual desirability of Thai women, a sense of economic and racial superiority relative to Thai women; a sense of loneliness or feeling in need of companionship; peer influence; the widespread availability of inexpensive sexual services in Thailand; and sexual desire or need. Findings indicate that Japanese male sexual conduct reflects individual drives while on holiday, in the context of interactions among Japanese peers, shaped by Thailand's socio-cultural environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-131
Number of pages17
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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