Rising Number of Koreans Say “No” To Marriage

Article from Yonhap News

40% of Koreans Say It’s Okay To Not Get Married, Showing Huge Changes to Perceptions of Marriage

koreans not getting married 1

More than 40% of Koreans do not think it is a big deal to not get married.

On the 21st, Statistics Korea released the results of their 2014 Social Survey, which asked women and men over the age of 13 about their views on marriage. The rate of respondents choosing “Marriage is good, but not getting married is okay too,” reached 38.9%, 5.3% higher than the results from the 2012 survey.

When broken down by gender, the “Marriage is good, but not getting married is okay too” category for males was 34.4%, and was much higher for females at 43.2%.

Comparing responses according to age group shows us that 30-somethings had the highest percentage, at 50.7%. The 60 and older age group gave this response at the lowest rate, 20.8%, showing that older generations perceive marriage as a natural life event.

The results from the 2002 survey show the “Marriage is good, but not getting married is okay too” category sitting at 27.2%. It is a much different number than now.

This percentage remained mostly unchanged until 2008, at 27.7%, but afterwards, the rate began to soar. In 2010 the response rate was 30.7%, and in 2012 was 33.6%.

Another topic, divorce, was also covered in the same survey. A considerable number of Koreans show flexibility on the matter of divorce. Nearly the same amount of Koreans [who feel marriage is unnecessary] also held neutral opinions on divorce. The 2014 survey revealed 39.9% of respondents felt that “[Divorce] is something I may or may not do.”

Comments from Naver:

Of course, in a society like this.


It’s difficult for me to live alone, but I don’t think it would get better if I got married.


You can only get married if … you have money.


It’s really so hard…


Getting married is crazy!!!!!!!!


It’s such bullshit to hear people say, “oh if you live alone, then when you’re old how will you live?” kekeke Don’t be delusional. When you’re old, 90% of your loneliness isn’t from having no kids, it’s from having no money.


Regular people live in a world that doesn’t allow them to get married, so I don’t understand why the government constantly says there’s a problem with people not getting married and having kids.


Get rid of this fantasy about marriage… If someone is lonely and then gets married, will they really stop being lonely?


I will end the lineage of pain and poverty [that I have inherited]…


Rather than getting married and making life hard for each other. I think it would be nice live comfortably and do what I want while living alone.


In Korea nowadays, the second you get married you’re digging your own grave.


It’s hard enough to make ends meet just for myself. If I started a family I couldn’t provide for, wouldn’t my family all starve?


And then the young will be the “Oh-Po” Generation. They’ll give up marriage, work, relationships, smoking, and home ownership. [See, for a more in-depth look at the cultural “giving up” phenomenon.


Would you do it? In this crazy ass country?


The funny thing is that the more money a woman makes, the more inclined she is to live the bachelorette life.


I’m okay with marriage, but when it comes to having children in this mess of a country, I have to think my life doesn’t exist and I feel sorry for the children.


When young people get a job, they still only make less than 2 million won a month. Men usually get a job at 26 years old or later. I can’t speak for the people who have rich parents and get a place from them, but for the rest of us, it’s not easy to save up jeonse for a place before turning 35. And then, unlike our parent’s generation, there’s the expectation that we should get a place separate from our parents, and have a steady job, or women won’t marry us. Having kids in this situation makes you have to make even more money. So why don’t people want to get married? If you do, it’s hard and you’ll regret it. You clearly won’t be able to. Young people finding work, the state of the national economy, an economy that revolves around large corporations – get married when the economy gives back to regular people and there is more support for raising children. Why don’t people get married? I want to, I do.


It’s hard for me to live by myself. It’s way to much to think about marriage.


When I was a teenager, you could get married and one spouse could make enough to support the family. In my 20’s, I started hearing that a double-income is basically required. Now I enter my 30’s and all I hear is that even with two incomes, it’s too hard [to support a family], so no one wants to get married. So Korea has been in retreat for over 20 years. Humans want to recreate out of a natural desire to pass down their own DNA. Korean society suppresses this instinct, and it’s quite unusual. One can’t help but ask those who led Korea for the past 20 years who is responsible.


The conditions for a society where marriage is possible are not in place.

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  • pac

    forget bout marriage, fuck bitches , get money…rest in peace b i g

    • takasar1

      that’s what pac did….until he was shot….

    • MikeinGyeonggi

      B.I.G. got married when he was 22.

      • pac

        yeah, so.

  • David

    Obviously the biggest number in this survey is the number of WOMEN who said it wasn’t necessary. I don’t think almost half of woman have suddenly decided they don’t like the idea of marriage or all want to be single mothers. I think many, despite obvious social disadvantages, are starting to feel comfortable saying they see more options for themselves than simply becoming a helicopter mom. Most of the Korean men see getting married (if they feel they can afford it) as an advantage. They get to be taken care of by a woman when they get home just like mom did. This is not a terrible development. Many women, on the other hand, while they would still love to find a person who loves and supports them emotionally, see they may have more options than just getting married, having kids and taking care of hubby and family. This is a pretty universal thing for women in most countries that are going through rapid gender equalization development (i.e. a sexual revolution). Women tend to see the negative aspects of their mothers lives and want more options for themselves. If they see more options are available they think about them. This can see why they may feel this way.

    • Courtland Miles

      after living here in SK for almost five years now, i very much agree with you. i have so many female friends or co workers, well into their 30s, who feel like Korea’s social culture has changed dramatically, and that there seems to no longer be an obligation to get married. i also wish i had a 천원 for every time one of these female friends or co workers has complained about their older female superiors riding them about marriage. it seems like something that the older generation is more worried about seeing disappear. so many (but not all) young women here feel like their jobs and personal lives are more important.

      • Claude

        Wow, does it ever sound like Korea is changing for the better compared to when I was there. Dare I say it’s growing up?

      • MikeinGyeonggi

        Older co-workers and relatives push younger women to get married because they want others to suffer just like they do!

        It’s like how Western married couples like to ask their single friends, “So when are you getting married??” It’s like it’s some kind of prerequisite for being an adult.

  • Chucky3176

    “You can only get married if … you have money.”

    That’s only because of the crazy Korean expectations which has gotten out of hand, which puts $200,000 as the average wedding cost in Korea in 2014. Instead of challenging, protesting, and working to eliminate this unnecessary obscene extravagance, they would rather not get married. Good old way to give up in silent protest, rather then challenging the societal norms which are clearly wrong. If I ever find someone to marry, as a protest, I would insist on a less than $1000 wedding at a small local church, just to piss off those parents and parents in-laws, and whoever don’t like the wedding.. too bad, I don’t give a shit what they think. But give up on marriage? No f-ing way.

    You don’t need money to get married. How did Koreans in 1960 get married when they lived in wooden houses with no indoor plumbing, and they had to pump cold water from ground wells?

    It’s the whole spoilt emphasis on wealth which is the problem.

    • MikeinGyeonggi

      Where do you get that $200,000 figure from? That’s ridiculously high. Maybe $20,000, but even that would shock me. Do you have a citation?

      And according to the article and comments, Koreans aren’t avoiding marriage because the wedding cost is high. They are avoiding it because the cost of married life is high.

      • Xman2014

        You’ve obviously never married in Korea therefore don’t know what kinds of demands are made by Korean families.

        $200K was in 2011, it’s probably now much higher.


        That picture of the Moonies church doing their mass wedding… they’re the lucky ones, at least they don’t have to worry about spending that kind of money on their weddings.

        • Boris

          I thought Moonies get randomly assigned a partner from their church so don’t get to choose their partners either?

        • MikeinGyeonggi

          The problem here is the distinction between a “wedding” (결혼식) and “getting married” (결혼하다). The article you cited includes the cost of an apartment in its $200,000 “wedding cost.” Buying an apartment is NOT part of a wedding, but it is sometimes part of getting married (though not always).

          A wedding (결혼식) is a one day event with a ceremony and a meal. Photos, dresses, etc. are included in the price. A nice wedding could easily be had for $15,000.

          Instead, the article should say that an average of $200,000 is spend when getting married (결혼하다) in Korea.

          And yes, I got married in Korea. My wedding cost a mere $7,000. My wife and I are adults and we don’t let either of our parents boss us around, and yet we still have great relationships with both of them.

          • Xman2014

            I think you’re making a mistake here by making a distinction between ‘wedding’ and ‘getting married’. In Korea’s case, it’s the same. That’s because the apartments are arranged first, before the ceremony takes place. Without the apartment, there is no wedding. You’re thinking in American way where couples wed, save up, then buy a house. Koreans do the opposite. They take their savings and their parent’s savings, buy/lease a house, then get married. In America’s case, you are right, there is a big distinction. In Korea’s case, there isn’t a distinction because the weddings must come with pre-arranged housing (because they are considered as part of an important wedding component), otherwise there are no weddings.

          • MikeinGyeonggi

            Buying an apartment when getting married is the traditional way of doing things, and it is still the norm here, but not necessarily the rule.

            These days there is a small but growing number of couples getting married without buying an apartment. It is simply too expensive for some couples/families. Salaries have stagnated while housing prices are skyrocketing. It’s just not feasible for many people.

            Another reason is the growing housing bubble in Korea. Buying a home is not the foolproof investment that it used to be, and 전새 is increasingly risky too.

            A final reason is that couples don’t necessarily settle down in one place like they used to. The idea of a “job for life” is a thing of the past. Many young Koreans want flexibility and opportunities, and 월새 makes this easier.

            Korean society is rapidly changing. Yes, buying a home when getting married is still the standard thing to do, but that doesn’t mean absolutely everyone does that.

          • Xman2014

            That’s right. Since it’s no longer getting feasible to do all those traditional things, increasingly more Koreans are foregoing marriage altogether, rather then humiliate themselves/their families, with modest weddings. And this is ending up in the statistics. That is the problem.

          • That’s marvelous

            You are right. Also, it is not uncommon for marriage to be cancelled because the wedding negotiations between the families failed.

            Let me break down the costs of my wedding (we are in full prep now). Note that we keep it very modest with low number of guests (<200):

            venue: 3M
            food: 7M (offset by 7M gift money from guests)
            photoshoot + 3 dresses: 3M
            rings: 1M
            hanbok: 5M (2 bought, 2 rented)

            So thats 12M won while being modest. A more normal wedding:

            venue: 4-5M
            food: 15-20M (offset again by gifts)
            photoshoot/dresses: 3-4M
            rings: 5-6M
            hanbok: 5M
            family gift exchange: 10M each

            Total: 27-30M won

            So I think the $20k excluding the house+car is not so shocking. We are keeping our wedding relatively modest with a low number of guests, and we chose to pay for everything ourselves because we didn't want my mother-in-law to meddle.

          • bootsy

            Your estimates are way over inflated. If you shop around you can have what most Koreans would consider a “nice” wedding. Most wedding halls/hotels offer everything within a package, including male and female garb, photos and video with the usual buffet and anything else you might need for a base of 5 – 7 million. Prices move depending on guest numbers. If someone chooses to go off the deep end then more fool them. 100 guests you easily cap at 10 million. You just need to use common sense and shop around. And if you arent a materialistic dope who doesnt invite all you mothers neighbour’s aunts, you could cut that price in half.

            A lot of these stories share a common theme, Koreans complaining about some stupid expectation, but then all following it like lemmings off the cliff. The good news is growing minority of the young generation arent jumping off the cliff into massive debt and doing things sensibly.

          • That’s marvelous

            Trust me, the prices are realistic. I’m Dutch, and we are proverbially cheap.

            We have looked at dozens of wedding halls and their prices, we have looked at dozens of photo albums to see the quality and style of photos and dresses. We have gone to many jewelry shops (both small ones and department stores).

            I’ve seen all the prices, and for good quality, nice style, you need to pay this. Go cheaper, and (like many things in Korea) it quickly turns tacky, ogeul-ogeul, cheesy, old-fashioned, over-the-top, just all-round bad taste.

            My fiancee’s brother and a female friend both have their weddings this year too, and I hear the same stories (and prices) from them.

            To be honest it was quite an ordeal and torture to have to look at so much low quality (or over-priced rip-offs) and stay polite.

          • bootsy

            This is Korea. Tacky and cheesy is the name of the game! Its pretty hard to avoid it. But i guess your prices do make sense if you are going that route. There were things about my wedding that i would have changed, but i still look back on it as being one of the best days of my life. Main reason being my family being there, my wife was happy. And i chose the music. Another 10 million spent would not and could not have made me happier. But i know i would still be paying for it now if i had paid that much.
            Anyway best of luck to you mate. I know how stressful the planning can be. Hope you have a great day when it rolls around.

          • Ken Morgan

            Ever been to Hong Kong? they have Mc’donalds wedding packages which are supposedly fairly cheap. I wonder if Lotte (Korea’s version of Mc’ds) does the same?

          • Ken Morgan

            Sounds like Chinese dating… you get job interviewed if you don’t have a car, house, and lots of money many won’t even give you their number,

          • WHITE GUY

            PIcs or it didnt happen

    • Ken Morgan

      La dee dah aren’t we posh! $1000. Biker weddings are cheaper than cheap registry office (£20) and and a everybody bring a couple bottles of wine/beer party.

      • namepen

        He his not being fancy, the demands here are insane.

        In the UK you get married and build a life together, in Korea you are expected to already have your life sorted. Not to mention forking out for the 함 and you can’t just get a ring, you need a full on jewellery set.

        • Ken Morgan

          I don’t know about that anymore… the Kimichi Bitch phenomenon isn’t restricted to Korea. Just poking around dating sites and there are huge numbers of massively unrealistic women on there.

    • hello123

      unfortunately most women would view a $1000 wedding as “losing face” in front of their friends. they would be afraid that their friends are laughing at them behind their backs. it’s all about how much they can brag in front of their buddies

    • Opinion of all

      You marry?? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…replusive pig, who would have you?

    • iGleaux

      Omg, what in the hell is going on at these weddings that they cost so much (I’m not messing with you btw, I really am curious)?

      ETA: I scrolled down.

    • Ashlee

      Allow me to first apologize. This is a LONG response. I lived in Korea for three years. I’ve dated Korean men, my best friend is Korean and have worked in several places where I was the only foreigner (in rural, suburban and urban areas all, believe it or not). I consider it to be my home away from home. If it weren’t for family concerns here in the US, I would probably still be in Korea, and would continue to be as long as I would be legally allowed to do so. I’ve seen the truly awe-inspiring things about the culture, but I’ve also seen the really dark side of it, as well.

      Now, in regards to your post, most Korean weddings have guests invited by other guests (I was one, and was expected to bring a 50,000₩ gift [about $48-50], thus I didn’t go because I didn’t actually know the person. If I did, maybe I could justify this amount for a gift). Yes, the expected monetary gift does help offset the price, but it’s still something to take into account. I’ve been to 3 Korean funerals, but never a wedding- but I’ve walked by several weddings in department stores like the one in iPark in Seoul, and I have seen just how elaborate they are.

      My best friend, who is a Korean herself, wants to get married on a Korean beach, but knows that that’s not “normal”. With how the country is consistently changing, however, this may not be abnormal for long- and, hopefully, will be FAR cheaper for her. Especially in regards to what is expected to actually RUN a Korean household.

      She and I were talking the other day, and because of the amount of money expected to run said household, many couples who are deciding to move forward with marriage have settled to “make their own money”, this way it’s not all on the shoulders of the husband and the wife doesn’t have to ask for money all the time. This is an ideal I prefer myself. A shared responsibility.

      Also, many of those who have decided to get married are also deciding not to have children and, instead, are using their money to travel and save for retirement. Another idea that I find quite nice (I don’t care if I have kids either way- if I do cool. If I don’t, that’s fine, too. My life doesn’t revolve around bringing another being into this world- I’d like to use mine to help those who are already here).

      There’s also the concept in Korea that as soon as you get your first “real” job, you are supposed to go out and buy a brand new, expensive car. I don’t get that. I’ve talked to several of my Korean friends about this and it just baffles me. It’s a status symbol saying, “Hey, I made it,” but it ends up putting many people into drowning holes of debt, especially after they finish college.

      In regards to college and life thereafter, although there are VERY few scholarship opportunities for Koreans in Korea, most families pay for their children’s/s’ college (another amount that is daunting to bachelors and bachlelorettes). Traditionally, most people don’t even work or live outside their traditional family unit until they finish college and get that first “real” job. So, at this point, they are immediately thrust into the world of finances, responsibility and expectation. Why would ANYONE think they were ready for that when their first few experiences with having to pay for something via their own fruition comes at about the age of 26-30 (no prior experience with a part-time job and all financial support coming from the guardians- only a few parents ask their children to do so throughout their college careers)? It’s dumped on them, becomes overwhelming and makes them not want to have their child go through such an experience or to have to deal with the weight of needing to do all of it for their own heirs because they worry if they can and if they’ll fail. For many, it becomes a major “NOPE” right there.

      Now, dont get me wrong, living in Korea can be affordable. Heck, it can be downright comfortable if you do things a bit off the beaten path, are smart with your money and have a good skill set. The main issue lies, however, in how difficult it is for many Koreans to find jobs in their fields of study (much like other parts of the world). The issue, in a Korean’s case, is that most parents push their children into medical, law, major national company (such as Samsung, LG, SK Telecom, KT, KB Bank or Hyundai) or government jobs- all of which are overcrowded fields because everyone else’s parents have pushed them to do the same, resulting in everyone having the exact same skill sets.

      And, in regards to children, with how RIDICULOUSLY overpriced hagwons are, and how, more or less, if you don’t go to 5 or more a week you aren’t getting into a good high school and, thus, a good university, I can’t blame a single Korean couple for not having children. 1,000,000₩+ a month for tuition for an academy that may or may not be teaching your child what it needs to know (there are no teaching certification requirements for a large majority of hagwons) is absurd! That’s the EXACT reason the national education system is in the state it is now. It’s not the schools’ faults. It’s the hagwons that are making the playing field for poorer students unfair! Brilliant students who can truly make a difference but don’t have a chance because of their family’s means! Why would a person want to raise a child in a situation that basically says, “Oh, sorry. You may be absolutely outstanding and have immense talent, but you’re too poor to do anything with it. We need proof from this school and that school and those hagwons that say you’re smart enough.”

      Because of this, there are companies in Korea that will not even LOOK at your resumè if you didn’t graduate from a specific university- and that’s VERY bad when your country can, quite literally, fit perfectly into the State of Alabama! I apologize, that’s a soapbox I often get roused on. I’ve had too many Korean friends and students who have gotten the short end of the stick because of this system. And, I’m sure, many of those not wishing to get married fit squarely into this shafted group of brilliant and hardworking individuals.

  • commander

    What is left unsaid in the article or in the report is that is the changed perception–marriage is no longer obligatory–attributable to worsened income inequality or a seismic change in people thinking what is the best form of union in life?

    In short, is it because no money, no honey? that is, is it because young people have no stable jobs or has yet to salt away enough seed money for marriage?

    Or some might say that western style cohabitation will be prevalent in the future as the form of union, citing the statistics as evidence to back up the argument.

    What’s your take?

    • bigmamat

      I think it’s lot of everything. It’s Korean women being educated now realizing they don’t want to quit their jobs or live their mothers’s lives. It’s the corporate climate that is not just unfriendly to family life but a road block. It’s changing attitudes about gender roles. Is it western influence, you bet ya it is. But you can’t have a “western” style economy, a government modeled after western ideals without some kind of change. Are these changes bad? Since I’m a woman and an American I’d say no.

      • commander

        The reason it’s important to determine the causality of changing perception on marriage is that different answers bring along different answers.

        If financial stability is the main culprit for late marriages or not-getting-married-isn’t-a-big-deal idea, more jobs for the youth and a policy of financial support make marriage a matter of having to do for people.

        But, if people take a skeptical view of marriage as an institution of living, it will loosen the fabric of society that this conservative Confucian has conferred a holy value to.

        Yes, you have a point to a degree. Highly educated women place more value on their career than staying at home for housemaking after marriage.

        I wish the research could have surveyed people in different incomes and different occupations, thus offering a more detailed picture of marriage as it is in Korea.

        • bigmamat

          When you say, “But, if people take a skeptical view of marriage as an institution of living, it will loosen the fabric of society that this conservative Confucian has conferred a holy value to.” Are you referring to yourself?

          • commander

            Nope, I believe that marriage is a matter of personal choice, and I think that a person has different ideas about marriage as he or she gets older.

            When you look at a happily married couple, you’d like to get married.

            But if you hear of a bitter spousal fight in a couple, you may blame marriage on it.

            The problem in Korea is that many people want to get married to live a happy life, but financial troubles make it hard for singles to tie the knot.

            And some of those people may be tempted to say they don’t think marriage does matter to them, but deep down they want to settle down.

            In short, the problem is that there are many singles out there who actually want marriages are forced to remain single for some reasons, but mask their true desire saying marriage is not that important to them for now.

          • bigmamat

            So you really think all people have the desire to “mate” therefore everyone secretly wants to be married. I don’t think the two are the same. The idea of “settling down” doesn’t necessarily need marriage. Marriage is nothing more than a man made institution anyway.

          • commander

            I never said that everyone desires marriage.

            My intention is that some of singles who said marriage is not that important actually may get married.

            Though marriage is an institution made by humans, it has survived a long time, and it will in the future.

            In Korea, living together without marriage is still branded as not good.

            So, what else can you suggest in marriage’s place as an alternative of a union of a man and a woman. (Let’t put aside for a while LGBT issues.)

          • bigmamat

            I never suggested we should replace something like marriage. I figure there is some biological imperative that makes us want to live in groups and/or pair up. I’m just that marriage can and I’m sure will be defined differently by each generation. It doesn’t have to be man goes to work woman stays home. It wouldn’t surprise me if we don’t have to live in larger family units again staying with parents or whatever unless we can wrest a better living out of the grasping fingers of the uber rich.

          • commander

            From what you wrote, I can tell you are basically supportive of marriage, and it’s right to say that we don’t have to stick to a marriage formula like a man going to work and a woman staying home.

            And that change has been taking hold in this nation, though there is still challenges for married women who want to continue to work, but find it hard to have both ways in work and family due to insufficient corporate support and social biases.

          • bigmamat

            Not to mention Korean day care is getting such bad press lately….you know someone on another site just accused me of being a troll here at Koreabang. Do you think I’m a troll? He must not have been around last year when that bukkake guy was hanging around…lmao

      • Xman2014

        Yeah Western influence when you think it’s good influence, when it’s bad influence, it can’t be western influence.. no siree..

        10 hours of walking in NY for a women, sexually harassed 150 times.

        10 hours of walking in Seoul for a woman, sexually harassed exactly 2 times (both by Americans – lol.. fail)

        • bigmamat

          Really? You think this is the totality of what passes for women’s rights? Never mind. Talking to someone like you kills brain cells.

          • Iko Jerkin

            I think your brain cells are just committing suicide from being trapped inside your head.

          • bigmamat

            Obviously you’re a man or some semblance of one.

  • Smith_90125

    Korea creates laws against sexual harassment, but sexual harassment continues. It creates laws banning violence against women, but violence against women continues. And then they wonder why Korean women don’t want to get married.

    Educational and career opportunities for women are NOT the problem, as rightwingnuts will claim. They are the solution, allowing women to attain good incomes and independence, not be dependent on men. If Korean men don’t like it, then they should try taking their heads out of their asses and out of the 16th century.

    • Sillian

      Korea creates laws against sexual harassment, but sexual harassment continues. It creates laws banning violence against women, but violence against women continues. And then they wonder why Korean women don’t want to get married.

      Are you saying young Korean women are not getting married because of sexual harassment and violence against women?? That’s some super random leap, isn’t it? Also, laws don’t mean related crimes will magically disappear. Statistically analyzing sex-related crimes is hard because many victims do not even report. Do you think the trend of sex crimes in Korea has not changed at all or even got worse for some reason, compared to 10 years ago for example?

      Educational and career opportunities for women are NOT the problem, as rightwingnuts will claim.

      Who even claims that? If anything, they complain about things like the female quota system or women who try to take advantage of men monetarily. Financially independent women? Those ‘rightwingnuts’ rather praise them.

      • bigmamat

        The above comment isn’t necessarily wrong it’s just incomplete. I have no idea what rightwing nuts have to say about gender issues in Korea but the statement isn’t completely off base. Korean women are educated and therefore empowered now. They have rights codified in Korean law. It’s only natural they would begin to break free of the archaic gender restrictions imposed by the earlier social structure.

        • Sillian

          Whenever some gender issue is brought up, I feel there are too many automatic “women victims, men bad, be good to women” comments. Along that line, just add whatever you feel like adding and you have a good comment. Truthfulness, accuracy, sharpness or relevance doesn’t even seem to matter. IMO, the first paragraph of Smith’s comment is quite wtf-inducing but who cares as long as his comment aligns with that premade ‘line’. I also might add at this chance that I find it really weird that generational and positional mismatch is often ignored in gender discourse. For example, blaming struggling men in 20s for what women in 40s and older experienced and then pity women in 20s. This makes everyone frustrated. To get broad consensus, it is important to do away with too much vague lumping.

          • bigmamat

            Are you trying to say that women in their 20s don’t experience domestic abuse? Because then that would be either a lie or a delusion on your part. I looked this up just last week. Every year in Korea hundreds of thousands of domestic assault charges are filed. I believe the number was somewhere around 120 thousand. For that reporting period only 8000 actually went to court. Then there is the fudge factor of how many cases don’t get reported at all. So there are a few gender issues that remain constant regardless of “generational” differences.

          • Sillian

            Are you trying to say that women in their 20s don’t experience domestic abuse?

            Of course, I’m not saying that. My additional comment wasn’t even specifically referring to it. Domestic violence among younger married couples is less prevalent than older couples though. It seems the worst for the couples in their 40s according to what I have read.

            The question is, what young Korean women say “I’m not gonna get married because my husband will sexually harass me and beat me!”? We are talking about the common, mainstream trend and phenomenon right? Do young Korean women generally pick sexual harassment and domestic violence as some big concern that prevents them from considering marriage? I’ve never ever seen anything that supports such an idea. Especially in the common, mainstream dating culture in Korea today where men need to carefully cater to their girlfriends.

          • bigmamat

            No I would say that their objection or choice is based on something much broader than that. Which is why I said the original comment was simplistic and incomplete.

          • Chucky3176

            I wish people would read the comments from the Korean women why they prefer put off marriages, instead of interjecting either their own cultural or gender biases.

            According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2009, for single women in the 30 to 35 years old group, missing the “appropriate” time for marriage ranked first with 17.6%, while for single men in the same age group, a shortage of earned income topped the list of reasons for delaying marriage with 14.3%, followed by anxiety over job security with 13.9%.

            Based on those facts, my educated guess as to why Koreans put off marriages are due to their feelings of economic insecurity, high housing costs, high wedding costs, high education costs for their future children, and generally high costs for having a family. It has little to do with domestic violence nor women’s rights.

          • bigmamat

            I’d never said that wasn’t a factor. I didn’t read back but I know on this subject before I’ve said that economic factors are likely number one. Seventeen percent isn’t so high after all. I really don’t think these things can ever be attributed to one single source. I know it’s not unique to Korea either. I’ve seen similar polls and articles about Japan as well. The fact that a handful of people own and control most of the world’s money is pretty much fucking everybody up.

  • KoreaInfo2Disqus

    Koreans need to change Marriage customs. I have been living in South Korea over 7 Years. I have never met marriage couple married for love. All about money, family pressure, Economic family status. Many ways whole Korean marriage ceremony in South Korea is like showcase. Very expensive!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thor

      It says it all, doesn’t it ? No need to question the magnitude of the phenomenon !

      • SeoulStreet

        Your Thor?? are you some joke doesn’t it??

  • KoreaJapanChina2Disqus

    Whole Korean Marriage fundamental culture need to change.

  • takasar1

    anyone wanting to understand why korea is aging so rapidly has just found the latest piece of evidence. at this rate korea is going to end up almost exactly like japan. i hear deflation is becoming more a risk too…

    what i don’t understand, and i know this option is quite a luxury in today’s world of oecd fiscal deficits and mercantilist trade practices, where national purses are tightly guarded, is why huge financial incentives are not given. as i understand it, korea, as almost every other developed country experiences two key problems with regards to fertility, a) the cost of raising children (education especially) and b) the social and corporate stigma against working mothers. if policy tweaking can help with the second issue then the former problem requires money. forget tax breaks, how about going full frontal??? impose taxes on the childless, register 1 million couples (from the lowest income classes prefferably), pay each 20’000 over 5 years to have 2 children. that eqautes to roughly 400 000 births a year, equalling the current number of births (from this group alone). of course, 20B isn’t chump change, various social problems will come about as a result, but it could provide a stimulus of sorts to certain sectors. demographic decline is one of the most worrying problems faced by the developed world. this needs to be reversed or stalled. i wouldn’t present this as a be-all-end-all problem solver but i think governments should include it in their tools for fighting the effects of an aging population.

    • Chucky3176

      So you want to tax those people who are childless? Only Japan would come up with such wacky ideals.


      The next thing you’ll want is tax on good looking guys for hogging too many women and not leaving enough women for others…. oh wait… that’s been proposed as well in Japan..


      Anymore wacky ideals?

      • takasar1

        quite curious….why are you so insecure?? is this one-man crusade of yours going to end any time soon? is there a study out there which found the average japanese d*ck to be 0.1mm larger than the korean d*ck or something? what can explain your angst i wonder? is it the product of a long-lasting inferiority complex? or is it jealousy, secret admiration, longing or any other smoke screen? you need a girl mate. at this rate you’re going to spend your entire life in front of a keyboard protesting at how the world doesn’t cast off the japanese as evil inhuman maniacs and thus die old and alone (if you’re not already). all i know is that this obsession can’t be healthy. i’ll pray for your recovery. the fact that you zoned in on that one sentence out of an entire paragraph, proves your ill mental health, being a keyboard warrior IS detrimental to one’s health i presume…

        and yes, yoshimasa (your new pet name), i got this idea off of japancrush, i may not stalk its contents like you do but i am aware of the website and its headlines. seeing as this idea came from a single japanese NETIZEN, you seem to ignore the fact that this proposal could easily be mirrored elsewhere. simply google “childless tax” and look at the results…

        as for bashing foreigners who are with local women, somehow, i don’t think koreans have any right to deride others (assuming of course you aren’t a paid-for troll). again, use google.

        • Balkan

          So your idea instead of ensuring that costs for raising a child are not high is to punish people who decide not to have children. If I make a choice not to have a child (for whatever reason – maybe I just don’t want to), does that mean that I should be punished (by the proposed “tax”) for my choice by the government? Do you think this would be acceptable in any democratic country?

          • takasar1

            okay firstly: how on earth people have come to focus on that one little stick of a sentence when my entire post is bascially highlighting my endorsement of a huge carrot of an incentive, is beyond me.

            secondly, look, i got this idea off of a japanese netizen and i think it is worth discussing at the very least. i’m not going to pretend its a be-all-end-all solution to a demographic crisis. but the fact remains that it was used in the ussr very effectively (in a very different society, i know!). fact remains however that the developed world still doesn’t have an answer for this very vital and recent connundrum: as people grow richer, they decide to have fewer children. is demographics destiny?? i think so, if not absolutely then at least to a very significant extent. the problems associated with aging are very well documented and very visible, just look at japan. and no, i dont believe all that garbage about japan disintegrating and decaying post-1990, but the fact remains that their economic potential is minute.

            in fact, absent any huge productivity gain, there may come a day when japan will have to measure economic progress by how slowly their production declines! not how fast it grows. so, aging is a problem, especially when it occurs at such a rapid pace (korea for example). now i believe whole-heartedly in free market capitalism, i think it the best (least worst) option out there, but the fact is that trying to incentivize people to have children just isn’t working and them having children is a huge deal, for the state’s economic and military security. i just think that we need to keep our options open. don’t be surprised if in the next decade or two, at least one country, be it germany, japan, italy etc, takes this leap of faith into the relatively unknown.

            please reply. i’d love to know your detailed thoughts on this topic

          • Yaminah Jamison

            Soooooo instead make it a more comfortable environment to have kids; don’t force people into having them by the “or else, we’re gonna tax you!”

            People are overworked, hard to land a permanent job, frowned when mothers are working when logically two incomes are what these child-bearing families need… And the cost of them and schooling is ridiculous.

          • takasar1

            its been proven that the first approach doesn’t work. various european countries, including scandanavian countries have attempted this: offer incentives to working mothers, tax cuts, invest more in playgroups and such, reduce the cost of education, etc, yet these countries are having to still resort to immigration to keep their fertility rate around the replacement rate (a level it often doesn’t even reach). conventional tactics (the carrot) have already been used. not insinuating that i’d like to be part of such a scheme myself but just saying that we will soon see ‘sticks’ employed also.

          • elizabeth

            The carrot approach seems to be bearing fruit in Singapore though.


            Relaxing immigration rules to bring in foreigners is already a ‘stick’ because it makes things tougher on locals in many areas e.g. employment, housing and education.

            Imposing taxes to force people to have children impinges on an individual freedom that does not harm, like smoking does.

            Carried to the extreme, it is as good as political suicide.

          • takasar1

            my friemd. singapore has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world. it simply cannot be used as a positive example. we’ll have to wait til 2020 at the very least to assess the potential impacts from such policies. all ill say now is that the singapore government obviously can’t be that optimistic either, seeing as immigration is still being actively encouraged.

            it does harm though. maybe not immediately but a few decades of low fertility can be devastating, france in the 19th century and present day japan are wonderful examples. of course its political suicide now, but there will come a time where the bitter pill will have to be swallowed. sales tax increases were also seen as political suicide in japan around the turn of the century. yet now the japanese have pretty much either accepted or ignored it completely.

          • elizabeth

            The point is, the trend has begun to reverse itself. Yes, no one can tell if this is permanent or temporary. I’d like to be positive.

    • elizabeth

      I would suggest to replace the ‘tax on childless’ with ‘tax on luxury consumption’ and use the funds to supplement benefits for childbearing and childcare.

      • takasar1

        taxes on luxury consumption would bring too much hurt. especially in economies where consumption counts for over 50% of gdp.

        • elizabeth

          It’s a matter of individual freedom. Forcing people to have children goes against its grain whereas taxing luxury consumption doesn’t.

          Additionally, forcing people who cannot afford to have kids will also add to the financial burden of the nation.

          As for harm, if you wish to take it to the extreme, both instances do harm economically, so that’s a red herring.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Never have I been more entertained by or more in agreement with the translated Korean comments.

  • Chen

    So is this good or bad news for us Korea-washed Chinese girls who want a Korean guy?

    • middle finger

      Lol I like the way your thinking. I heard Korean guys interacial marriage with Chinese and Vietnamese woman the most

    • Kenichi

      why would you want trash?

      • Dondelion

        And why are you RACIST trash Kenichi? Scared of tainting that ‘pure race’ of yours?


      No one likes Korean guys. All the asian girls I know have white fever.

    • Sid Driver

      Haha it’s good news! I remember reading an article a few months ago about how more Korean men these days are marrying foreign women. It didn’t go into exact specifics about what nationalities they married but was focused on the changing mindset of Koreans such that marry foreigners has become more acceptable. Outside of the big cities I seem to notice more mixed marriages… I wonder if this is true or just my observations.

  • KoreaEmail2Disqus

    Marriage in Korea is very expensive.

  • SmartKoreaKP

    Average Korean woman do not know what love means. Average Korean woman do not know what they want from a man. That is biggest problem Korean woman are facing in modern day South Korea.

  • allkpop

    At least this Korean girl would like to marry. She even proposed in public.


  • SeoulKoreaPeninsula

    I am against Korean Style Marriage system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • World2Disqus

    Korea Marriage Custom is not working in modern day Korea. Reason is it has been outdated for 500 years.

  • KoreanPeninsulaTigers

    Family buying family is not marriage.

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