The traditional notion of appropriate gender roles -- the idea that husbands should work outside the home and their wives should stay home to look after the family -- is weakening among South Koreans, a survey showed.
In a poll conducted through telephone interviews with 2,000 adults -- 990 men and 1,010 women -- between June 25 and July 6 last year, 68.8 percent of the respondents said they did not agree that it was the husband’s job to make money and the wife’s job to take care of the family, according to a report by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs.
Some 33.6 percent said they “do not agree at all,” and another 35.2 percent said they “do not agree much.”
Only 31.2 percent said they agreed with the idea. (Of the total, 21.7 percent “generally agreed” and 9.5 percent “fully agreed.”)
Of the women surveyed, 70.2 percent disagreed, as compared with 67.3 percent of the men.
The percentage of people who rejected the male breadwinner model was higher among the younger generation -- 90.1 percent of those aged 29 or below, 78.8 percent of people in their 30s, 74.3 percent of those in their 40s, 60.4 percent of those in their 50s, and 49.5 percent of people in their 60s and above.
Among unmarried people, 86.9 percent disagreed, as compared with 64.8 percent of married respondents and 36.5 percent of divorced or widowed respondents.
Parenthood also seemed to make a difference in how people thought about gender roles. Some 84.5 percent of people without children disagreed with the statement, as compared with 62.5 percent of parents.
In general, the richer the respondents were, the more likely they were to reject traditional gender roles. The only exception was the high-income group, to which only 32 respondents belonged.
The rate of disagreement was 74.1 percent in the upper-middle income group and 52.7 percent in the lower-income group.
To the idea that “a women with a career must also place more emphasis on family than on her work,” 47.6 percent agreed while 52.4 percent disagreed.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org