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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Gender and Sexuality in Korea

There are gold nuggets sometimes to be found in strange places.  Perusing the comments section of a favorite site, I found an interesting white paper hosted on the Kinsey Institute (the sex psychologists) on the Sexuality of Koreans. Although originally written in 2001 and updated in 2003, things change fast. Not all of the the data is still statistically equivalent, but the trends are never the less still there, often times in abundance.

It’s a long read, but some interesting morsels are:

    • Some nice Korean proverbs regarding the sexes
      • “If you don’t beat your woman for three days, she becomes a fox.”
      • “If you listen to a woman’s advice, the house comes to ruin; if you don’t listen, the house comes to shame.”
      • “If a woman cries, no good luck for three years.”
      • “A woman’s mouth is a cheap thing.”
      • “You can know in water 1,000 fathoms deep, but you can’t know the mind of a woman.”
      • “When wood fire and a woman are stirred up, the outcome is a great misfortune.”
      • “Get slapped at the government office; come home and hit your woman.”
      • “A bad wife is a grievance for 100 years; bad bean paste is a grievance for one year.”
      • “The good-for-nothing daughter-in-law gets sick on the day of ancestral sacrifice.”
      • “A son-in-law is a guest for 100 years; a daughter-in-law is an eating mouth ’til the day she dies.”
    • In the traditional idea of the Korean family system, it is said that when a woman gets married, she is no longer considered as a member of her family. This notion is indeed supported by the law of Head of Household. Thus, it should be noted that male preference is closely related to the family law that was initially established in the Chosun dynasty. First, when a woman marries, her name will be eliminated from her family register and transferred to her husband’s family register. Not only ideologically, but also legally, married women are not members of their natal families. In addition, according to the law, married women cannot be the primary successor of the family inheritance.
    • Only a male can head a Korean family. Without a son, a Korean family ceases to be a family, which was an utmost disgrace to parents and ancestors. As the importance of a son increased, his social position became more important. The son had priority in the parents’ assets, and in case of the father’s early demise, the son oftentimes assumed the role of father in the family.
    • [The] pattern of male preference changed social manners and it continues to this day in Korea. …the advancement of modern reproductive medicine, such as chorionic villi sampling, amniocentesis, and ultrasound scans, the ascertainment of fetal sex has become possible, and small families with an existing male preference have resorted to so-called selective abortion or female infanticide.
    • During childhood, they learn negative attitudes about sexuality, which during adolescence, because of their natural curiosity about sex, often turns into irresponsible sexual activities. [Comment 2001: In a nation-state study with 2,243 adolescents, 67.2% reported sexual violence in the middle/high school, and regarding the question of asking about potential sexual violence, 75.6% of the male adolescents and 23.9% of the females reported that they felt impulsive and had a terrible desire of experiencing “violent sexual activities” in middle/high school (emphasis mine – Ed.)
    • To maintain the purity of one’s family lineage, female virginity and sexual fidelity were and still are stressed for women, whereas men were and still are generously allowed the varieties of prostitution, polygyny, and other forms of sexual explorations.
    • Because the male sex is considered sexually superior to the female sex, sexual intercourse is not perceived of as a mutually intimate interpersonal relationship. Rather, it is perceived as a physiological or primitive event, a kind of tension release for the male.
    • Boys have more sex, but its with the same girls, apparently. If you believe these numbers then a few girls had 2-3 boys each. Nice-uh.

Korean Adolescents Who Experienced Sexual Intercourse by
Year in School

Grade Males Females Combined
% n / N % n / N % n / N
11 14.6 25 / 171 8.1 7 / 86 12.5 32 / 257
12 16.6 38 / 229 7.8 10 / 129 13.4 48 / 358
13 16.5 51 / 309 10.5 28 / 267 13.7 79 / 576
14 21.0 87 / 415 9.5 37 / 388 15.4 124 / 803
15 22.4 99 / 441 9.3 37 / 398 16.2 136 / 839
16 22.9 103 / 449 9.8 39 / 440 16.7 142 / 849
  • There is a law against informing adolescents about homosexuality and, in mental health settings, it is easy for lesbian and gay adolescents to be diagnosed as having either sexual maturation disorder, egodystonic orientation, or sexual relationship disorder.

There’s a lot more there, but I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to continue on his or her own. There will be a quiz tomorrow at 9am.

And before anyone says this information is biased and I’m a racist for reporting on Koreans…the Kinsey report was written BY Koreans ON Koreans.