65% of Korean Couples Worry About Contraception?

The Sweet Sex and Love 2003( Source: realistic dreamer )

A quick survey on contraception use in Korea that was on the front page of Yahoo! Korea recently.

Unfortunately, not only is there no information about the methodology used, but the accompanying article is rather short, and states the obvious several times. One wonders what the point of it was.

I feel certain that it was not intended to be simply sensationalist though, as if it was then presumably it would have attracted more than 11 comments from Korea’s infamous netizens. And however dubious, its results are broadly similar to those of more reliable surveys, which is why I chose to highlight it here.

The notion that contraception is primarily men’s responsibility really does seem to be an ingrained part of Korean sexual culture then?

男·女 65% ‘피임 고민’ 08/10/09

미혼남녀들의 큰 고민 중 하나가 피임.

One big concern [Korean] men and women face is contraception.

20~39세의 미혼남녀 1,127명을 대상으로 ‘피임’에 대해 설문조사한 결과, 대부분의 미혼 남녀가 피임으로 고민해본 적이 있는 것으로 나타났다.

1, 127 single men and women aged between 20 and 39 were given a survey about contraception, and the vast majority replied that they have worried about it at some point. [Here are the questions and results].

피임으로 고민해본 경험?

Have you ever worried about contraception?

남자 59%, 여자 71%가 ‘고민해본 경험이 있다’고 답했다. 또한 남자보다 여자들이 피임으로 인한 고민이 많은 것으로 나타났다.

59% of men and 71% of women replied that that had. It emerged that more women than men had worried about it.

피임, 남자와 여자 중에 누가 더 신경 써야 하는가?

Who should be more concerned about contraception? Men, or women?

The Sweet Sex and Love

남자 79%, 여자 83%가 ‘당연히 남자가 더 신경 써줘야 한다’고 답했다.

79% of men and 83% of women replied that “Of course it is men that have to be more concerned.”

선호하는 피임 방법은?

What type of contraception do you prefer?

주로 쓰는 피임 방법으로 ‘콘돔’이 63%를 차지, 1위로 꼽혔다. 이어 ‘체외 사정’, ‘배란 주기법’, ‘먹는 피임약’ 사용 등이 뒤따랐다.

The most preferred choice was the condom, with 63% of respondents choosing that. That was followed by the withdrawal method, the rhythm method, and the oral contraceptive pill.

성관계시 피임이 중요한가?

Is contraception important in a sexual relationship?

남자 95.10% 여자 100%가 ‘중요하다’고 답해, 남녀 모두 피임의 중요성에 대해서 인식하고 있는 것으로 나타났다.

95.1% of men and 100% of women replied that it was important. Both men and women perceive it as being important.

이 번 설문조사 결과, 미혼남녀 모두 피임의 중요성에 대해 인식하면서도 정작 피임을 제대로 못해 고민하는 것으로 나타났다. 이는 감정이나 분위기에 휩쓸려 피임을 등한시하는 경우가 많기 때문. 피임도 사랑을 나누는 하나의 과정임을 인식하는 것이 무엇보다 중요할 것이다.

While this survey showed that both men and women perceived contraception as being important, in reality many had experienced difficulties with it. And many people neglected it because of the atmosphere or getting swept away in the heat of the moment also. But people need to acknowledge that using contraception is part of the process of making love (end).


11 thoughts on “65% of Korean Couples Worry About Contraception?

    1. Forgive me for not making it clearer in the text, but I think you’ve missed the point: most Koreans think contraception is entirely men’s responsibility.

      Update: I’ve edited the text a little (1 word!) to make that clearer.


      1. Entirely? Is this a misinterpretation of the response whose translation I corrected? The Korean version uses 더 (more) in both the question and the answer, so men are more responsible but definitely not entirely.


        1. Again, you’re right: I was projecting from the other posts I’ve written on the subject, linked to in my introduction. Something else for me to fix tonight then!

          Update: Just in case anyone’s confused by all the threaded commenting (I sure as hell am!), I added “entirely” to my introduction before Whatsonthemenu suggested a correction of my translation; I’ve changed it to “primarily” since. And I’ve edited the translation to incorporate the correction.


  1. “…79% of men and 83% of men …”

    typo correction: 79% of men and 83% of women

    I would translate “…누가 더 신경 써야 하는가…” as “…who should be more concerned about contraception…”


  2. what exactly is included in ‘difficulties with contraception?” Does that mean pregnancy, or does that mean breaking condoms, missing a pill, etc etc. I don’t think it’s a surprising statistic, but pretty vague


    1. That’s what I’d like to know! According to my dictionary, “고민하다” can mean to face difficultites, but Naver gives this:

      고민(苦悶) agony;anguish;trouble; worry ―하다 be in agony[anguish];be worried
      고민거리 the source of trouble
      큰 고민 a big[great] worry
      심각한[사소한] 고민 a serious[petty] worry
      청춘의 고민 nameless longings of youth;torments of awakened love
      고민 끝에 병들다 worry oneself sick
      고민을 잊으려고 술을 마시다 take a drink to drown one´s agony
      그는 고민스러운 표정을 감추지 못했다 He could not hide his agonized look.
      그는 뇌물 수수 사건으로 고민 끝에 자살했다 Worry about the bribery case drove him to commit suicide.
      너는 그렇게 고민할 필요 없다 You need not worry so much.

      And those are more in line with what my students dictionaries here at work give as well. Hmmm. Perhaps “65% of Korean couples worry about contraception” would have been better then?

      Update: My wife originally thought it meant “ponder,” but changed her mind when I told her what the dictionaries said. I’ve changed the title and some of the text accordingly, and sorry for the mistake!


      1. I’ve always thought of 고민 as worries, but I think it’s bizzarre someone would go to the trouble of asking people for this survey but not delineate what they actually mean! Strange.


  3. “Forgive me for not making it clearer in the text, but I think you’ve missed the point: most Koreans think contraception is entirely men’s responsibility.”

    Sorry, I don’t get that from your post. It seems to me we could just changed this to any nationality and it’s the same the world over. What specifically sets Koreans apart in these answers?


    1. Did you miss the comments under yours? Like I acknowledged in my reply to Whatsonthemenu, I was projecting from other posts I’ve written on the subject; see the introduction for the links. Hence I changed “entirely” to “more,” which is much more accurate.

      Regardless though, I seriously doubt that if you conducted a similar survey outside of (developed) Northeast Asia you have 79% of men and 83% of women replying that “Of course it is men that have to be more concerned [about contraception].” The the order of favored contraceptive methods is pretty reflective of a country seriously misinformed about the contraceptive pill either, as you’re well aware from reading the post before this one.

      But sure, the three remaining replies could indeed be “the same the world over.” They also happen to be in response to thoroughly useless, inane questions though, yes?


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