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There Are No Cinderellas in Marriage

Posted July. 12, 2005 03:15,   


Actual surveys show that Korean society is still conservative when it comes to marriage.

Studies also show that most men and women at a proper age for marriage are inclined toward homogeneous marriage, seeking partners with similar social, financial and cultural backgrounds.

These are the results of an analysis done by University of Seoul urban sociology professor Lee Yoon-suk using computer aided research (CAR) on 9,462 members of the matchmaking company Sunoo from 2003 to 2004. A total of 668 out of the 9,462 are married and the rest are single men and women who are currently dating their partners with marriage in consideration.

According to the analysis, 80.2 percent of couples at a fit age for marriage (late 20’s to mid/late 30’s) were those in which the male was one to four years older than the female. In less than one percent, the female was older than the male. A total of 86.1 percent said the male had a higher yearly salary, and only two percent reached the opposite.

About 40.3 percent chose as their partners those who had graduated from a high school in the same region as they had. This phenomenon was particularly prominent in Seoul, the Yeongnam area and the Honam area.

Religion was also a major factor in homogeneous marriage. Up to 52 percent chose partners who shared a common religion.

Kookmin University sociology professor Lee Myung-jin explained, “Patriarchal family values in which the man is the breadwinner of the family and the woman takes care of education in the household still exist in our society, and the fact that there is a strong inclination to chose a partner whom one feels is similar socially and culturally has been proven.”

Jae-Young Kim Se-Jin Jung jaykim@donga.com mint4a@donga.com