November 02, 2015 11:35
Men from parts of Korea with a strong preference for male children tend to leave all the household chores to their wives, according to a study by Lee Chul-hee, an economist at Seoul National University.
Lee looked at men born in the early to mid-1990s, when the traditional preference for male babies was still strong and abortions of female fetuses common.
He assumed that those men from parts of Korea with a high proportion of male children are more likely to shun household chores due to the traditional male-centric beliefs they were taught at home.
Based on that assumption, Lee compared the hours of household chores done by young men from parts of Korea with a high proportion of male children and those from more egalitarian parts of the country.
He found that women married to men from male-centered parts did on average 34 more minutes of household chores than those from elsewhere.
Women married to men born in largely rural North Gyeongsang Province in 1990 ended up doing a full 65 more minutes of household chores than wives of men born the same year in Incheon.
"The results show that the rising status of women in the workforce does not always lead to increased equality at home," Lee said. "Since the mid-1990s, the traditional preference for male children began to ease, so the gender inequality issue should be resolved rather quickly."
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