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Teenage Mothers in Korea

The Hani reports that there were 3,479 teenagers who gave birth in 2007, up from 3132 births in 2005 but still under 3853 in 2003. The number of pregnant girls aged 19 and under in centers for unwed teenage mothers dropped from 35% in 2005 to 30% in 2007. Among 63 teen mothers surveyed by the Seoul Women’s University Education Welfare Research Center, 87% indicated that they would like to continue their education but are unable to gain readmission to a secondary school.

  • seouldout

    That may be one of those whacky “unforeseen” outcomes when family members who rape family members are given ‘atta boys by the courts.

  • http://vegametals.com KrZ

    3,479? That’s it? We probably generate that many new baby-mamas every hour in the U.S. They should count their blessings.

  • DLBarch

    This number is almost certainly too low. Given the shame involved in having a child out of wedlock, I’d guess that a lot of pregnancies are carried to term and either not reported, reported as the children of other family members, or abandoned.

    The next question is where are the fucking fathers?!

    DLB

  • Maekchu

    I wonder if Korea is truly reporting the ages correctly for these results. Korea adds one or sometimes two years to a person’s birthday (still haven’t figured out why) which would mean a lot of girls who are actually 19 in the entire rest of the world would be counted as being 20 or 21 in Korean age. This would significantly skew the results and produce much lower results since what the international community recognizes as a nineteen year old would not be reflected in this survey.

    It’s a Korean thing. You will never understand our Han counting.

  • colontos

    @4

    When a kid is born, it’s 1 year old. Then on Lunar New Year, everybody’s age goes up by one. So, depending on when your birthday is and what time of year it is, your Korean age will be one or two years higher than your “American” age or whatever you want to call it.

    Ex: let’s say my birthday is June 1. From Lunar New Year until my birthday, my Korean age will be 2 years higher than my Western age. Then on my birthday, my Western age will catch up one year while my Korean age doesn’t move. So there ya go.

  • cmm

    I saw a stat a few weeks ago that said that about 40% of the babies born in the USA last year were born out of wedlock. I recall it being from a major news network. I was saddened. Has anyone else seen a similar figure?

  • WeikuBoy

    “When a kid is born, it’s 1 year old. Then on Lunar New Year, everybody’s age goes up by one. So, depending on when your birthday is and what time of year it is, your Korean age will be one or two years higher than your “American” age or whatever you want to call it.”

    I am very firm with my classes that this is not merely Korea and the U.S. doing things differently. Rather, this is Korea on the one hand, and the entire rest of the planet (except maybe China and/or Japan) on the other hand, doing things differently. As is the bizarre fixation on blood type, etc. Thus, I say “Korean age” and “outside world” age.

    They need to know.

  • http://sungnyemun.org/downloads/no.php dda

    Ah yes, blood types. What gets me, though, is that when you mention +/- after your blood type, most people in Korea have no clue what I mean… Hello, O+/O- incompatibility…

  • WeikuBoy

    “The next question is where are the fathers?!”

    Does it matter? Could such a couple get married in Korea, even if they wanted to? I don’t mean legally; I mean would it be socially acceptable? In a country where virtually all men marry at age 30-31 and virtually all women marry at 29-30 – whether they want to or not? (And then and only then, following a cookie-cutter one-week honeymoon, produce exactly one child.) In a country where virtually nobody does anything that isn’t socially acceptable?

    Just asking.

    And of course tomorrow The Hani or whatever will run a piece bemoaning Korea’s falling birthrate. I bet they’ll blame it on the IMF.

  • dry

    WeikuBoy: A good number of Indians and South East Asians do it as well. Also, when China is involved, it looks somewhat sad if you have to hand-wave them off in order to consolidate a view that attempts to paint the practice as a small minority.

    As for the other questions, yes.

  • WeikuBoy

    @dry #10

    If you’re going to disagree with everything I said, can you at least provide something perhaps more specific than “a good number of Indians and SE Asians” and “yes”? Perhaps a name? A statistic? An amusing anecdote?

    Hello? Is this microphone on?

    Nor am I even sure “China is involved”. But I’m guessing Korea’s method of counting age might come from China, because almost every other major aspect of Korea’s culture seems to come from China (or else Japan).

  • Maekchu

    Though I don’t profess to know all of the one billion Chinese, I do know quite a few of them and they are equally as bewildered as I am about the Korean age counting. I won’t say none of the Chinese do it, but I have never met a person from China who does it.

    Same for SE Asia. I have traveled quite extensively in SE Asia (just got back as a matter of fact) and again I have never encountered another group of people that adds 1 or 2 years to a person’s age the way Korea does.

    I think it’s the Korea way and the rest of the world way as #7 described. I’m willing to stand corrected as soon as I meet one non-Korean that does this.

    A kid born in December is considered 2 years old here in Feb by #5′s explanation. Seems very unfair to the child and it invalidates any report done on teenage behavior in Korea.

  • http://www.jdlink.co.kr Linkd

    That sounds like the final word to me. TGIF! Time for a cold one.

  • Jewook

    I wonder if Korea is truly reporting the ages correctly for these results.

    it invalidates any report done on teenage behavior in Korea.

    Koreans are well aware that Korean (or traditional) age is inaccurate and different than true age, which is why when age is important actual age is referred to. Like in official documents, health records, news articles, scientific research etc. We usually add the word 만 in front of the age to specify true age.

    I have never met a person from China who does it.

    That’s weird, I’m pretty sure it originates from China. Maybe they just decided not to use it anymore because of its inaccuracy like the Japanese.

  • yuna

    agreed with jewook. less and less you’ll hear an adult asking another, “how old are you?”, instead, usually it’s “몇년생이세요? ” – which year were you born in?

  • WeikuBoy

    Here’s an amusing anecdote. Not long ago my school (excuse me, “our” school) celebrated its birthday. When I was told our school’s age, I asked if it was already considered one year old at the time when construction was completed.

    Funny, right? Yet not even one of my co-workers got the joke.

  • Arghaeri

    “When a kid is born, it’s 1 year old.”

    I like to think of it as in its first year. It then computes more easily, as does going up to 2 on the lunar new year, because you are then in your second lunar calendar new year.

    Anyway, its use is phasing out, most young koreans will give their birthday under the western calendar and more and more western age…a few more generations and it will likely gradually die out, just as their ability with hanja.