Traditionally, Korean parents have preferred to give birth to sons rather than daughters, but now it seems like the tables may be turning.
The Korean preference for male offspring stems from a variety of social and economic factors like sons inheriting family wealth and property, and carrying on the family name.
In the past, some families even went as far as gender testing during pregnancy in order to determine whether or not to bring the baby to term and ensure the birth of only a first-born son.
Recent research shows, however, that a lot more parents these days would prefer to have daughters.
One reason for this change is that people believe that daughters are more likely to take care of their parents in their old age.
One young mother shared the following:
“There’s really no use in having a son because they just grow up to leave you to take care of their wives.”
Another possible reason for this change is the increasing number of Christians in Korea, who are not concerned with traditional Buddhist traditions including one in which a male son would make offerings to dead ancestors.
Recent numbers show evidence that the times are indeed changing. Back in the 1990s, the ratio of boys to girls in Korea was 116.5 to 100.
This year’s numbers show a drastic change, with 105 boys for every 100 girls!
It looks like the winds are changing. One step closer to gender equality.