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South Korean men in 50s most lenient on violence:study

In South Korea, older men with relatively low education levels are more lenient towards social violence, especially sexual harassment, while younger women with post-secondary education tend to be the most intolerant of violence, a study showed Thursday.

People respond differently to violence based on their gender, education levels and age, and young women in their 20s with university degrees are most sensitive to abuse including sexual violence, showed a report released by the Gender Ministry.

The report was written after surveying a total of 3,155 Koreans who attended anti-violence education provided by the ministry last year. 

On a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being “strongly agree,” the participants were asked to rate statements such as “sexual violence is preventable as long as the victim resists the attack.”

The research found that those who are aged 50 or older, regardless of their gender, were most lenient towards violence among all groups.

Men rated 2.94 out of 7 -- with 7 being the most lenient towards violence -- and women were rated at 2.56. Those in their 50s rated 3.17, while Koreans in their 20s rated 2.46. Meanwhile, those who had never attended postsecondary education rated 3.05, while Koreans who attended graduate schools rated 2.52.

The number of reported sexual violence cases have been steadily on the rise in South Korea since 2009. According to Gender Ministry data, the number of cases increased from 17,242 in 2009 to 29,517 in 2014. Meanwhile, the number of reported domestic violence cases has also been increasing, from 8,762 in 2012 to 40,822 in 2015.

To combat domestic violence, child abuse and sexual violence, the Gender Ministry has requested a total of 68,000 public institutions, including high schools, day care centers and municipal governments, to submit reports on the mandatory anti-violence education that all public servants were required to attend last year.

All institutions are expected to submit their reports by the end of February. In 2014, 99.2 percent of all employees at state-run institutions attended the mandatory classes.

By Claire Lee (