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Unemployed Korean men find it harder to get married than jobless women, a study has found. The idea is simple: Korean men are expected to be family breadwinners, so the unemployed ones are perceived as incapable of providing financial support.
Developed by the Korea Women’s Development Institute, the study found that nearly 86.7% of unemployed Korean women aged 30 to 34 were married, while only 19.4% of their male counterparts had been in wedlock.
Jobless men and women aged 25 to 29 were in the same page. In this age group, 48.8% of women were married, in comparison to 4.1% of men.
In addition, the study revealed that more unemployed women (86.7%) were married than female professionals (57.2%) in the 30 to 34 age group. Interestingly, the trend is reversed among men, as 54.2% of the working were married, compared to 19.4% of the jobless.
Researcher Kim Young-ran told Korea Herald, “So the ‘unemployed’ women in this data includes married women who once had careers but ended up quitting after getting married for whatever reasons.”
“The data also reflects the trend where many women with professional careers, especially those in their 30s, delay marriage and child-bearing. That’s one of the reasons why the proportion of those who are married is smaller among working women than unemployed women.”
Korea’s social norms say that the groom’s family should have a house ready for newlyweds.
Employed in Seoul, Kim Jun-kyu shared what seems to be the issue: “I think the biggest problem is that when you are unemployed, you are ineligible to apply for any bank loans. And when you can’t get loans, it’s very difficult to get housing.”
Meanwhile, a recent survey found that almost half of married women believe marriage is a choice, Korea Bizwire reported. Findings were published by Korea Institute for Health & Social Affairs.
With 11,009 married women aged 15-49 participating, poll results revealed that 44.4% believe marriage is an option while 6% argued that it’s better to not get married.
The biggest chunk of the poll (49.2%), however, believed that marriage is better or a must. Researcher Song Min-young explained:
“Positive views of marriage outweigh negative views, but neutral responses were quite common. The results reflect recent social values that marriage is not matter of fact but an option.”