Korean society has a big problem with prostitution.
Don’t have time to detail all my thoughts right now, but some data:
- The Korea Times reported this year that Korean men comprise the “No. 1 source of demand for child sex trafficking.”
- Korean also comprises the largest number of women who go abroad to engage in prostitution.
Paradoxically, Korea is simultaneously the largest supplier of both johns and pros.
And why is this happening? Is it cause society is broken? Decadence? Influx of foreigners? The new generation that didn’t grow up in the shadow of the Korean war? The disjointedness of sudden affluence?
I don’t buy these “cultural” arguments. My take is that there’s a much simpler explanation in the form of math and economics.
Korea has the 15th highest economy in the world, but ranks at the bottom of the OEDC for economic inequality between men and women. 21% difference in employment (53% vs. 74%), 40% gap in wages. Maternity pay is only $900 for 12 months.
Women resort to prostitution simply as the only means available to them of transferring wealth. This also gives a rational explanation for why that Korea has the highest plastic surgery rate in the world. In most countries, cosmetic surgery is a luxury, in Korea it’s an investment.
Bonus fact: until last year, being drunk was a valid defense for a man raping his wife. This law was only overturned by the supreme court, not by any popular legislation. One can imagine how difficult it must be to file for divorce and get any alimony.