¼ of Young Korean Men Feel Hard Done-By

  • By Kim Eun-gyeong

    April 20, 2022 12:48

    One in four men in their 20s think that Korea discriminates against males now, a survey suggests, though one-third of women also feel disadvantaged by the system.

    The latest survey was conducted by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family among 8,358 people over 15. The proportion of respondents who feel there is more equality rose to 34.7 percent, up from 21 percent five years ago, but more people in the younger age groups felt resentful.

    Some 46.8 percent of men in their 20s felt there is more gender equality, while 24 percent felt Korea discriminates against males. But only some 22.4 percent of women in their 20s felt there is more gender equality in society, while 73.4 percent felt Korea is not equal for females.

    This gulf of perception between the sexes was cunningly exploited by presidential candidates in the run-up to the last election. 

    Overall, more men than women in all age groups said there is gender equality in Korea, but the gap between 20-somethings was the highest at 24.4 percentage points. Among 40-somethings, 47 percent of men felt women are still treated unequally, while 14.2 percent of teenagers said there is less equality for men.

    More older women appreciated growing equality, with the proportion at a solid 54.1 percent among those in their 60s. But an overwhelming 92.1 percent of women felt violence against females is a serious problem, compared to 79.3 percent of men.

    Gender stereotypes also improved. The proportion of people who thought that men should be the breadwinner fell from 42.1 percent in 2016 to 29.9 percent, and the proportion who said even working women are mainly responsible for childcare plummeted from 53.8 percent to 17.4 percent.

    Yet the reality did not reflect these changed attitudes. The survey showed men spent on average 2.4 more hours a day at work than women, while women spent 1.6 more hours than men on household chores.

    Stay-at-home mothers with children under 12 spent 3.7 hours on daily average on household chores and childcare compared to 1.2 hours for fathers. Even working mothers spent twice as much time as fathers at 1.4 hours versus 0.7 hours.

    Choi Moon-sun at the ministry said, "Young men tend to be sensitive to fairness issues as they seem to experience more of a burden of expectations heaped on them by society and suffer from difficulties finding jobs or buying homes."

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