More women say marriage is not a must

By Suk Gee-hyun
  • Published : Mar 17, 2014 - 21:08
  • Updated : Mar 17, 2014 - 21:08
More young Korean women see marriage as an option, a study showed on Monday.

According to a survey by The Herald Business, about 45.5 percent of the 264 freshmen questioned at Duksung Women’s University said marriage is not a must, five percentage points higher than in a similar survey conducted on women in their 20s and 30s last month.

More than 39 percent of the students who said marriage is optional answered that they want to “bet on their life for social success,” followed by 16.6 percent saying they want to live single without being tied to someone else.

The rate of those who answered they are not confident in their ability to handle work and parenting at the same time recorded 17 percent, the survey showed. 

“People in their 40s or older took marriage as granted. Marriage was the means and goal of self-realization. But more young college students are thinking that they should not get married if that gets in the way of their career,” said Seol Dong-hoon, sociology professor at Chonbuk National University.

In the same survey, about 33 percent said marriage is necessary, followed by 21.5 percent who answered that they are not sure.

With the changing notions of marriage, the preferred suitable marriage-age has also increased, with 70.1 percent of the students considering getting married between 28 and 31. In a similar survey of female college students taken in 1994, the average preferred age for marriage was 25.6, according to the Korea Society Culture Research Center.

In variables that affect choosing a partner, about 46 percent of the students said “personality” is the most important factor, while 24.5 percent and 9.8 percent chose “career” and “wealth,” respectively.

Overturning the widespread notion that women prefer men with higher education, only 0.8 percent said one’s school and education is important.

“Like any generation, college students prioritize love over men’s background. But as they near a marriageable age, it changes more realistically,” Seol said. 

By Suk Gee-hyun (