Friday, May 4, 2012

Majority of Korean Women Want Husband's Salary to be Double Their Own

There is a reason why South Korea has the lowest birthrate and highest suicide rate in the world... because people here have unreasonable expectations for themselves and the people they love.  This is especially true for finding someone to marry and start a family with.

In general, Korean men have unrealistic expectations for women (good cook, traditional family woman, have a career or at least be educated, look stunningly beautiful all the time).  But the same is true for Korean women.  I am told Korean women most commonly look for the "4 million won man", that being his minimum monthly salary.  Being 180cm tall also seems to be the common height requirement these days for a husband.

Then I read this!

About 56 percent of Korean women hope that their spouse’s salaries will be double theirs or more, a recent survey showed. 

The survey of 255 single men and 255 unmarried women said 75.3 percent of all respondents expressed the hope that the salaries of the couple would be pretty much the same.

The survey was jointly conducted by marriage agencies Bien-Aller and Feeling You from April 14 through April 21.

Some 24.7 percent of those polled hoped that spouse’s salaries would be less than theirs.

But as many as 85.5 percent of women respondents said spouse’s salaries should be higher than theirs, while 9.7 percent expressed hope that salaries of the couple will be pretty much the same. 
Okay... whenever these articles come out, I feel like the statistics are always fudged a little bit by the writer.  If 85.5% of women thought their spouse's salary should be higher, and 9.7% thought it should be the same, then 5% of women think their spouse's salary should be lower than theirs?

Since women were half the survey, then only 2.5% of the 24.7% hope their spouses' salaries would be less than theirs.  So, about 22% of Korean men hope their wives make less money than them, while the rest hope for equality (or greater).

I think the most shocking statistic is given in the headline... a majority of Korean women expect their husbands to make more than double what they make.  With expectations like those, how do Korean women ever expect to be treated like equals in the workplace?  Are women here so hopeless about gender equality that they have no fantasy of equal pay and equal opportunity in the workplace?

I infer from this article that a majority of Korean women hope to earn around 2 million won a month, and they hope to marry a man that makes 4 or more million won a month.
Meanwhile, Statistics Korea reported Thursday that the number of marriages involving couples tying the knot for the first time rose to a nine-year high last year mainly due to favorable demographic factors.

According to the report, the number of men and women getting married for the first time reached 258,600, or 78.6 percent of all marriages last year. This is the highest percentage since 78.7 percent reached in 2002.

"The increase of about 4,000 couples is mainly due to the rise in the number of women in the country in their late 20s, which is making it easier for men to find wives," an official at the statistical agency said.

In the past, there were usually more men than women because families traditionally wanted boys instead of girls.
These would be all the black market abortions during the 80's when Korean expecting couples were told by doctors that they were pregnant with a daughter.  Korean couples would then abort the child once they knew the gender in the second trimester and then they would try again to have a son.
The official said this development should carry over through this year before the gender imbalance widens again in 2013.

Another development that helped push up the numbers of newlyweds was that the sluggish pace of economic growth, high consumer prices and spike in housing costs in 2011, had a less-than-expected impact.

Overall, the number of people getting married in the country hit 329,100, up 3,000 or 0.9 percent from the year before.

This marks the second year in a row that the number of people getting married rose compared to the year before. In 2010, marriages shot up 16,300 or 5.3 percent to 326,100, from 309,800 in the previous year when total number of people getting married contracted 5.5 percent.

The report also showed the average age of men getting married for the first time reached 31.9 years, up 0.1 from the year before. For women, the average gain was 0.2 to 29.1 years. (Yonhap)
 There is nothing wrong with getting married at 32.  The longer a person waits to get married, the more mature they are and the less likely they are to regret it... in theory...


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