by Chris Bodenner
A reader shifts the focus to South Korea:
Both sides of the dialogue on “hookup culture” start from the assumption that hooking up is inherently wrong. As a US-born, UK-naturalized ethnic Korean who moved to the motherland five months ago to get in touch with my “roots,” I challenge that assumption. Korea lacks a normalized hookup culture, and its societal views on sex can only be described as pathological.
Between Confucianism and Christianity, there is no education in school or open discussion on sex, so the population is astonishingly ignorant of safe sex and contraception. Even with the 15th largest economy and a fertility rate of 1.24, the overseas adoption rate is the highest in the world. Upon marriage, most women quit work and reduce sex, stopping entirely after childbirth. Husbands sleep in a separate room from their wives, who sleep with the baby.
Not surprisingly, the sex industry is rampant: an estimated 20% of men in their 20s visit a prostitute weekly.
Paradoxically, Korea is both one of the top exporters of prostitutes (they go upscale to Japan, Australia and the US on holiday visas) and of johns (who go down to SE Asia for “golf and business” trips). This helps explain why Korea has the highest rate of plastic surgery in the world. It’s less to do with generation divide, affluence, distance from the war, etc and simply a matter of economics: whether a woman’s path is marriage or prostitution, a few grand on a nip/tuck is a rational investment.
Now I’m not saying all these problems will miraculously disappear if Koreans start hooking up. But if they had a more relaxed – and more importantly, open – attitude towards sex and equality between the sexes, there might be some chance of restoring sanity.
For more stats on the subject, go here.
(Image via twinkiesandeggs)