What IS the Age of Consent in South Korea?

Considering the abysmal state of sex education in Korea, part and parcel of a society reluctant to admit that teenagers have sex or even sexuality, then the notion that it’s only thirteen sounds simply absurd.

Despite myself though, that’s precisely what I’m going to argue.

Not because that’s the consensus of English-language materials on the subject however. The vast majority never provide a source for their information on South Korea specifically (see here, here, here and here for some examples), and following the trail of those of that do almost invariably leads to a chart of the age of consent in various countries on Wikipedia, itself unsourced (but which has recently been edited as I’ll explain). Indeed, highlighting how problematic that makes them was my original intention in writing this post.

But first, the catalyst was this post at Omona They Didn’t!, a popular K-pop site. There, commenters discussed singer G-Dragon’s (지드래곤) concert performance below that featured simulated sex scenes, and which he is now being investigated for (but not yet prosecuted) because it had been rated suitable only for ages twelve and above (see here, here, here, here and here for the latest developments). Arguably somewhat arbitrary and hypocritical considering similar performances by other singers that haven’t been, the outrage is even stranger if the age of consent is thirteen, as pointed out there by a commenter with the handle “hallerness.”

(Update: See here for a detailed explanation of what exactly happened at the concert and the legal response, including an interview with the performer on the bed)

Queried on that low age by other commenters though, this blog got mentioned, and she emailed me asking for clarification. With apologies for the delay, this post is my response.

The first step in preparing it was simply to ask my students. But although their confusion was not entirely unexpected (whereas I’ve been writing about Korean sexuality for a long time now!), it still took a great deal of time and effort to explain what the concept was.

Not to imply that they’re stupid and/or ignorant of course, but that Korean adults needed an explanation at all is surely indicative of how alien the notion of teenage sexuality is here (or at least public discussion of it).

Once that was out of the way, then all said it was 18, like I also thought: after all, almost everything else sex-related is, including buying contraception, having access to or appearing in pornographic materials, and working in de facto sex-related industries. But they had no idea of what the Korean term was, hesitant suggestions including 법정나이 (literally “correct age”) and 법적나이제한 (correct age limit).

Turning to an online dictionary next then, I found 성관계 승낙 연령 (sexual relationship consent age) instead, with the explanation 합법적으로 성관계를 승낙할 수 있는 연령 (legally sexual relationship can consent to age). Paste it into Korean search engines, and you do get some results, although most appear to be about Canada (see a little later for why). Rather than wading through those though, I had no hesitation in turning to Matt at Gusts of Popular Feeling instead, who has written a great deal about teenage prostitution. And fortunately he does have a post in which he discusses this issue.

To be specific, it is about controversial rulings in two teenage prostitution cases in July 2001 and July 2009 (known in Korean as wonjo gyoje; 원조 교제). And while technically The Korea Times articles he quotes also do not mention any specific law, the age of consent being thirteen proved crucial in both cases, and I recommend reading his post in full to understand why.

From the 2001 article (link broken):

Under related laws, those who have sex with minors younger than 13 should be punished, regardless of whether the minors agreed or whether there was a financial deal. However, having sex with minors aged 13 or older, which does not involve financial deals, is not punishable if the minor consents.

And from the 2009 one:

In Korea, a person is not guilty of any crime for having sex with a minor aged 13 and over unless it is paid for or forced. Sex with those under the age of 13 is punishable even if it is carried out under mutual consent.

And Matt’s reaction was exactly the same as mine would have been. In particular:

….I found the age of consent shocking because I’d heard for so long that it was 19. Keep in mind that in the 1990s I think Canada’s age of consent went from 16 to 14 (or 12, if the other person was 14) which I also thought was quite low. It recently was put back up to 16 due to people considered predators on MySpace, etc. finding young girls to sleep with [James: which is what most Korean articles on 성관계 승낙 연령 were about]. Considering Korea’s internet culture and the fact so much wonjo gyoje is organized online, you’d think more would have been done by now….

…I’m surprised that the age of consent hasn’t been raised here, considering, as I mentioned, how much online activity is to be found with men looking to have sex with underaged girls, and how it’s routinely stated (even by the police on their website) that the age of consent is actually 19. Also, considering how in the late 1990s how youth sexuality and changing youth behavior (and rising crime, including sex crimes) was discussed as if teens were a virus infecting society, the low age of consent is perplexing – not looked at through a moral lens, but through the discourse in the media surrounding teens at the time (and to a lesser extent now).


Six months earlier, he wrote the following on this post of mine about a 14 year-old Korean model that posed nude, and I’d be interested if the second case in 2009 changed his mind:

…“However, having sex with minors aged 13 or older, which does not involve financial deals, is not punishable if the minor consents.” That contradicts the 19 year old age of consent the police say they adhere to, but if I have to choose between the police and a 7 year-old KT article, I’ll go with the police.

And when I wrote that post, the Wikipedia entry on the age of consent in South Korea gave it as 13n, citing this chart as a source but which in turn implies that the entry for South Korea comes only from “verified information from our correspondents,” given that the other sources cited there have no information about South Korea. Very recently though, the Wikipedia entry has been edited to “The age of consent in South Korea is not currently known,” and if you go on to examine the discussion about that this is what you find:

I’d hoped that that link to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency would save me the trouble of following up Matt’s mentions of it myself, but unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be working, and besides which might be unreliable like “Truthfulchat” pointed out.

So, if Matt doesn’t read this post for himself first, then I’ll contact him for help with that source from the Korean police (I’ve given up trying to navigate their various sites), and besides which would be very grateful for his input. As I type this however, I’ve had my long-suffering wife looking on her computer for more Korean sources (her Korean is rather better than mine!), and yet after twenty minutes she has only been able to find this page from a 2007 book entitled Gyoyanginul Ouihan Saegyaesa (교양인을 위한 세계사), or World History for Civilized People by Kim Yun-tae:

With apologies for the small size, that states that in Korea the age of consent is 18 for men, and 16 for women!

In conclusion then, to put it mildly the jury is still out on what the age of consent in Korea is, and so this seems an opportune moment to throw open the floor to suggestions on how to continue from readers, which would be very much appreciated (not least by my wife!).

Before I do though, if you’re curious then the first two images above (source), then they are from the 2006 movie Dasepo Naughty Girls (다세포 소녀), which appears to be an excellent satire on Korean sexual mores; see here for an extensive review by – who else? – Matt. And finally, although they’re not related at all sorry, the more I wrote this post the more the following safe sex posters (NSFW) by James Jean kept coming to mind:

(Source: I Believe in ADV)

See BoingBoing for an extensive comments thread about them.

Korean-language Sources on Gender and Sexuality #2: “솔직녀의 섹스와 연애 이야기” on Why Sex Before Marriage is Necessary

( Source )

What do you find interesting about Korea? Perhaps even interested enough to study Korean for?

I’d wager that very few of you would consider doing so for pottery or the history of kimchi-making. Unfortunately however, such things are still staples of most Korean textbooks and courses on Korean culture.

But as the blogger I, Foreigner points out:

…sometimes I wonder if Koreans actually know what their own culture is all about. Do they not realize that watching TV on tiny screens on the bus/subway, playing games at the PC bang all day and boiling it up at the Jimjil Bang or Baths are as much part of Korean culture as kimchi is? Would it not be more useful for us to learn more about the history and use of these? Show me ONE teacher who has been here more than a month who has not heard about the whole history of kimchi.

And not just more useful, but also more interesting and more entertaining too. In that vein, let me present the blog “솔직녀의 섹스와 연애 이야기” (An Honest Woman’s Thoughts on Sex and Love) as an alternative Korean study source, and of course as another Korean voice on gender and sexuality in Korea also.

While the author has actually been living in America for 10 years, in her own words she’s had a lot of Korean boyfriends and sexual experiences, and more importantly aims to avoid a loveless and sexless marriage like many of her counterparts back in Korea. In particular, it was this post about teaching Korean to her American boyfriend that first caught my eye, and which readers here might be most interested in. Rather than spoiling that for you though, and being unable to choose from so many interesting-looking posts to translate myself, here is one my wife selected for me instead(!):

( Source )

혼전섹스는 결혼의 필수조건 Why Sex Before Marriage is Necessary

최근에 이글루스에선 처녀 논쟁이 한창이었다.  뭐 보지 않아도 뻔한 논쟁이지만, 아직도 여자는 결혼할때까지 처녀여야 된다고 주장하는 사람들을 보면서 묻고 싶었다.

Recently, on Egloos there was a big debate about virginity and sex before marriage. It was predictable and quite boring really, but it showed me that still some people think that women have to be virgins before marriage. Which made me ask myself the following:

사랑하는 사람이 처녀가 아니면 그 사람과 결혼 못한다는 얘긴가? 누군가를 사귀기 시작해서 좋아하게 됐는데 알고보니 섹스 경험이 있더라.. 그러면 좋았던 감정이 사그라드는건가?  결혼하고 싶은 여자가 있는데 혼전 섹스를 하자고 한다면? 꾹참고 결혼할때까지 기다려 할껀가?

Are there people that would not marry someone they loved if they discovered that they weren’t a virgin? If they found out after starting to like someone that they have had sexual experience, would their feelings for them disappear? How about if a woman they loved suggested having sex before marriage? Do both of them still have to resolutely suppress their desires until the wedding night?

사람마다 가치관이 다르니 누가 옳다 그르다 따지고 싶진 않다. 하지만 누가 나에게 혼전섹스에 대해 어떻게 생각하냐고 묻는다면 난 주저없이 말하겠다.

Everybody’s values are different, and I don’t want to distinguish between right and wrong here. But if anybody asks me what I think of sex before marriage, I wouldn’t hesitate to give my answer:

넌 차 살 때 테스트 드라이브도 안 해보니?

Wouldn’t you test-drive a car before buying it?

모든 남자가 차로 치면 벤츠나 BMW 같을 수는 없지만, 최소한 내가 편안하게 느낄 수는 있어야 되지 않을까?  좀 삐거덕 거리는 부분이 있다면 고칠 수도 있겠지만, 아무래도 어색하고 영 내 몸에 안맞는 차가 있듯이, 사람도 그렇다. 서로 좋아해도 이상하게 섹스에 있어선 영 아닌 경우가 있다.  그리고 섹스가 영 아니다보면 결국 그 남녀관계엔 불만이 생기게 마련이다.

( Source: unknown )

If all men are cars shall we say, then of course not all can be Benzes or BMWs. But at least I should feel comfortable driving it before I buy it, yes? And sure, if there’s a squeaking noise or small problem, then it can be fixed. But still, I wouldn’t feel as comfortable about buying it anymore. Just like people. Strangely, even if a man and a woman really like each other, the sex can be bad. And if it continues to be bad, then of course it will be a problem for their relationship.

1년 정도 사귀었던 남자친구가 그런 경우였다.  원래가 그다지 말이 많은 사람이 아니었지만, 섹스에 관해선 거의 서로 침묵을 지키던 사이었다. 문제는 난 그와의 섹스가 전혀 만족스럽지 않았던거다. 난 나름 그를 흥분시켜주려구 ‘자긴 내가 뭘해주면 좋아?’ 물어보면, ‘음.. 니가 하고 싶은대로 해.’  모든 대답이 이런 식이니..  내가 만족스러운지 어떤지는 한 번도 물어본 적이 없고, 그러니 나도 물어보기 힘들고..  그와는 결국 헤어졌고 (섹스가 가장 큰 이유는 아니었다), 헤어질 때까지도 서로의 섹스만족도에 대해선 한마디도 나누지 못했다.

This happened with a boyfriend I had for one year. Originally, he wasn’t really a talkative person, and although we did have sex we never talked about it with each other. But it was completely unsatisfying for me. I would ask him “What would you like me to do to turn you on?,” but he would always answer “Do whatever you want.” And he never asked me if it was good or not for me, which meant it was kind of awkward for me to ask him n turn. In the end, we split up. Our unsatisfactory sex life wasn’t the biggest reason for that, but then until the split-up we never asked each other even once if it was good for the other person or not.

섹스가 잘 맞는 상대와는 섹스에 대해 솔직하게 얘기하기가 쉽다. 서로 기본적으론 만족스러워하는 걸 아니까. 잘 안 맞는 상대일 수록 섹스얘기를 꺼내기 힘들고, 그러다보면 계속 불만이 쌓이고.. 악순환의 연속인거다.  그런 상황을 피하기 위해서라도 진지하게 좋아하는 상대라면 더욱더 결혼을 결심하기 전에 섹스를 해볼 필요가 있다. 좋으면 다행인거고, 실망이라면 적어도 결혼하기 전에 실망하는게 나으니까.

It’s easy to speak honestly to talk about sex with someone when the sex is good. Basically, because you both already know the other is satisfied. But for those for whom the sex is bad, it’s very difficult to bring the subject up. But that leads to a viscous circle of bad sex leading to not talking about it, which leads to continued bad sex, and so on.  So, if you want to avoid that happening with a partner whom you really like and are thinking about marrying, then you really need to have sex with them before making that decision. It’s better to be disappointed before marriage rather than after.

결혼 상대는 결국 평생의 섹스 파트너가 되는 셈인데 섹스를 테스트해보지 않고 결혼하는건 너무 위험한 결정아닐까?

Your wife or husband will be your lifelong sexual partner, so not having sex before marriage is very risky!

James: Personally, I would rather have stressed the value of talking with your partner particularly if the sex is bad. And I’m a little troubled with her argument that she would still be put off buying a ‘car’ with a ‘small problem’ even if it got fixed, and in turn that she seems to be advocating simply giving up on your partner if they’re bad in bed rather than biting the bullet and talking to them about it!

But I don’t want to potentially misrepresent her views, as I haven’t really read enough of her posts to properly judge her opinions yet. And of course something may be lost in translation, so I invite and would very much appreciate it if any other Korean speakers could check for me.

In the meantime, for those with Korean partners especially, I hope you enjoy the “inside information” she regularly offers!

(For all posts in the Korean Sources on Sexuality and Gender series, see here)


Korean-language Sources on Gender and Sexuality #1: PlayHolic

The Art of Seduction It’s official: from now on, I’ll be using Korean-language sources on gender and sexuality here just as much as English ones.

Partially, this is simply to maintain and improve my Korean ability, which I’ve sorely neglected since starting a new job back in July. But the main reason is that not only can foreign-language commentary on any subject quickly become out of date, it also makes one reliant on the views of those Koreans fluent in English, which are not necessarily reflective of Koreans as a whole.

Consider the following by sociologist Yoshio Sugimoto for instance. He is talking about Japan, but his points are equally relevant to Korea:

Dominating in the upper echelons of society, core subcultural groups are able to control the educational curriculum, influence the mass media, and prevail in the areas of publishing and publicity. They outshine their peripheral counterparts in establishing their modes of life and expectations in the national domain and presenting their subcultures as the national culture. The samurai spirit, the kamikaze vigor, and the soul of the Yamato race, which some male groups may have as part of the dominant subculture of men, are promoted as presenting Japan’s national culture….

More generally, the slanted views of Japan’s totality tend to reproduce because writers, readers, and editors of publications on the general characteristics of Japanese society belong to the core subcultural sphere. Sharing their subcultural base, they conceptualize and hypothesize in a similar way, confirm their portrayal of Japan between themselves, and rarely seek outside confirmation….(An Introduction to Japanese Society, pp. 12-13).

And in particular:

Core subcultural groups overshadow those on the periphery in inter-cultural transactions too. Foreign visitors to Japan, who shape the images of Japan in their own countries, interact more intensely with core subcultural groups than with peripheral ones. In cultural exchange programs, Japanese who have houses, good salaries, and university educations predominate among the host families, language trainers, and introducers of Japanese culture…(p. 13)

After two years of immersing myself in (limited) English-language sources on gender and sexuality then, it’s high time to make Korean language-ones my starting point instead.

MeinkampfTo that end, let me begin by recommending the blog PlayHolic (플레이홀릭) written by a Korean woman from Jeju called Im-ji (임지; probably not her full name). I’ve been following her on Twitter for several months now, but I confess it was only a few days ago that I first really read her tweets, my curiosity picqued by one that mentioned Talk on Sex (토크온섹스), which turned out to be a weekly podcast that she is the co-host of. At over an hour long and (not unreasonably) with no transcripts though, then those are well beyond my ability to keep up, but fortunately her blog entries aren’t. I’ve translated this recent one on Korean attitudes to contraception below.

Coming in addition to this recent post of mine on the subject, admittedly it probably provides no new information for readers of this blog, but it does at least demonstrate that reliable information about the contraceptive pill is available in Korea. Unfortunately Korean women are generally disinclined to seek that information out though, as like I explain here (and Im-ji briefly alludes to), many fear that being proactive and insistent on using contraception will make them appear sluttish to their partners, and in turn possibly their peer group.

For those reasons, I’ll be focusing in the next few weeks on finding any attempts that have been made to counter these stereotypes, and particularly by Korean celebrities and/or institutions. For the former, a good person for me to start might be former S.E.S. member Eugene (김유진), who advertised the contraceptive pill in 2006 (two examples are included below).

(I apologize in advance for any mistakes in the translation, and welcome any corrections if any readers feel it needs them)

피임에 대한 여성들의 고민 / Women’s Troubles With Contraception (20/10/2009)

피임은 인류에게 떼려야 뗄 수 없는 영원한 숙제나 마찬가지이다. 미혼은 미혼이기에, 기혼자들은 미리 세운 가족 계획에 따라 피임을 할 수밖에 없다.

Contraception is inseparable from being human: it is a perpetual problem. But while married women have to make plans about having children, unmarried women shouldn’t have children and so have no choice but to use it.

그 피임 방법이 누구나를 만족시키고, 쉽다면 행복하겠지만 안타깝게도 실제 피임은 그리 간단한 문제만은 아니다.

Everybody should use a contraceptive method that is satisfactory for them, and if it is easy to use then they will be happy. But unfortunately the reality is that choosing contraception is not a simple issue.

Son Ye-jin Song Il-gook The Art of Seduction( Source: Naver Movies )

남녀 모두 각자가 선호하는 피임법이 있기 마련이고, 제대로 피임을 하지 않으면 불안감과 초조감에 섹스를 즐길 수 없다.

Of course, all men and women should use the contraceptive method(s) they prefer, but if they are not used properly then this can make one feel ill at ease and nervous and unable to properly enjoy sex.

아무래도 임신은 여성의 몸을 빌어 나타나기 때문에 피임에 대한 부담감은 여성이 더 크기 마련이다.

However, as it is women’s bodies that are affected by pregnancy then of course women feel more of the burden for contraception.

피임이 제대로 되지 않을 경우, 여성들은 임신에 대한 불안감 때문에 섹스에 집중하지 못한다. 또섹스가 끝나고 나서도 임신 가능성에 대한 공포감에 시달린다. 인터넷 게시판에는 임신진단시약과 사후피임약에 대한 물음이 끊이질 않는다.

If contraception is not used correctly, then women become nervous about becoming pregnant and are unable to concentrate on enjoying having sex. They are very uneasy about this possibility after having sex also. Questions about pregnancy tests and morning-after pills never cease on internet cafes and message boards.

그렇다면 여성들은 과연 피임을 제대로 하고 있을까?

How can women use contraception properly then?

산부인과 전문의들로 구성된 피임연구회가 세계피임의 날을 맞아 19~34세 여성 1,000명을 대상으로 실시한 ‘한국 여성의 피임에 대한 인식과 행태 조사’에 따르면, 2,30대 여성의 44.5%가 ‘피임은 남성이 해야 옳다’고 답했다. 오직 4.8%만이 ‘피임은 여성이 해야 한다’고 대답했다. 이는 여성들이 남성들에게 피임을 의존하고 있다는 것으로 해석해도 무방할 듯 싶다.

Gynecologists and contraception-research centers recently welcomed World Contraception Day, and according to a survey of knowledge and attitudes to contraception of 1000 Korean women aged between 19 and 34, 44.5% replied that “contraception is men’s responsibility,” but only 4.8% replied that it is women’s responsibility. In short, Korean women rely on men to provide and use contraception.

SES Eugene Contraceptive Pill Advertisement

( Source: cupitee )

피임을 하지 않은 상태에서 성관계 후의 대처 방법도 ‘임신진단시약으로 임신 여부를 확인’하는 비율이 62.4%, ‘응급피임약(사후피임약)을 복용하겠다’고 답한 비율이 30.7%로 나타났다.

When those women that don’t use contraception were asked how they dealt with the possibility of becoming pregnant, 62.4% replied that they used a pregnancy test, and 30.7% replied that they used emergency contraception.

피임을 남성의 몫으로 떠넘기는 경우, 콘돔을 사용한다면 그나마 다행이다. 문제는 질외사정법 등으로 피임을 떠넘기는 경우이다. 질외사정법은 엄밀히 이야기하면 올바른 피임 방법이라 할 수 없다. 질외사정은 질 내 사정에 비해 임신 가능성이 줄어들 순 있지만 사정 이전에 이미 정자가 일부 정액에 섞여 분비되므로 엄밀한 의미에서는 피임법이라 부를 수 없다.

In the case of men fulfilling their portion of a couple’s responsibility to use contraception, it is lucky [for women] if they use condoms. Those that use the withdrawal method will have problems though, as it is not a precise method. Of course, if the man does not ejaculate into the woman’s vagina then the possibility of becoming pregnant is lowered, but sperm and semen can still mix and be secreted before a man ejaculates.

가장 많은 연인들이 이용하는 피임법이 콘돔이다. 간편하고, 몸에 무리가 가지 않는 방법이기 때문이다. 그러나 그 이질감 때문에 남성들은 물론 여성들 중 일부도 콘돔 사용을 꺼려하기도 한다.

By far, Korean lovers’ preferred choice of contraception is the condom. It is convenient and does not place a burden on the body. However, because of the reduced feeling many men and also some women don’t like to use it.

그럴 때 선택할 수 있는 피임법이 먹는 피임약이다.

In  that case, one alternative is the contraceptive pill.

Korean Contraceptive Pill Advertisement( Source: Encyber )

그러나 우리나라에서 먹는 피임약은 유달리 그 편견의 정도가 심하다. 체중을 증가시키거나 불임에 이를 수 있다는 오해가 팽배하기 때문이다.

However, in Korea the contraceptive pill has an exceptionally bad reputation. Rumors and misunderstandings about it have spread easily, such as it increasing your weight and causing sterility.

먹는 피임약은 임신을 가능하게 하는 호르몬인 에스트로겐과 프로게스테론을 통해 여성의 배란 및 생리를 조절하는 약이다. 피임 실패율이 낮고 콘돔처럼 성감을 떨어뜨리지 않기 때문에 잦은 성관계를 갖는 연인이나 부부에게 적합한 피임법이다.

[But] through the hormones estrogen and progesterone, the contraceptive pill is a medicine that can control when you ovulate and have your period. It also has a lower failure rate than the condom, and doesn’t reduce sexual feeling. For these reasons, it is particularly appropriate for lovers who often have sex and for married couples.

살이 찌거나 여드름이 나는 등의 부작용 등은 초창기 피임약에서 나타났던 증상이나 최근 저용량 피임약들이 도입되면서 이런 부작용들을 해결하고 있다.

It is true that first generation contraceptive pills did have the side effects of causing women to gain weight and cause acne, but those have been resolved in more recent versions by lowering the dosages.

먹는 피임약은 다른 피임법과 마찬가지로 사용을 중단하면 바로 임신 능력이 회복된다. 장기 여행 등으로 피임약을 복용해 본 여성이라면 약을 먹지 않을 경우, 바로 생리가 찾아오는 것을 경험해봤을 것이다.

Like other contraceptive methods, as soon as you stop using the contraceptive pill your fertility recovers. Women who have gone on extended trips and stop taking the pill have reported that their period returned quickly.

또 먹는 피임약이 호르몬을 조절하기 때문에 막연하게 나쁘다는 이미지가 있는데, 먹는 피임약은 전부 용해되며, 복용하지 않을 땐 체내에 그 성분이 남아 있지 않기 때문에 영향을 미치지 않는 걸로 알려져 있다.


Because the contraceptive pill works by controlling one’s hormones, then it has a vague, bad image in Korea. But as the contents of the pill are completely absorbed into the body when you take it, then there are no lingering effects if you decide to stop using it.

특히 국내에 최근 출시된 야즈는 기존 먹는 피임약이 21일간 복용하면, 7일간 쉬었던 데 비해 24일간 복용하고 4일은 위약을 복용하는 세계최초의 24/4 용법 방식으로 체내 호르몬 변화의 폭을 감소시켜 전체 생리주기 동안 더 안정된 호르몬 수준을 유지하는 것으로 나타났다.

In particular, a new contraceptive pill called Yaz has been released, and this is the first in the world which you can take for 24 days and have a 4 day break, unlike the standard 21 days and 7 days respectively. This change means that your hormone levels don’t fluctuate so much when you have your period.

임신은 비록 여자가 하는 것이지만 그 과정에 이르기까지에는 남녀 모두가 공동의 역할과 책임이 있다. 그렇기 때문에 피임은 남자의 몫이 아닌 여성과 남성이 함께 챙겨야 하는 당연한 책임이다. 여자가 적극적으로 피임을 하는 것에 대해 주변의 시선을 신경 쓸 필요가 없다는 이야기이다. 자기 몸의 주체는 자신이 되어야 하고, 여성이 먼저 나서서 자신의 몸에 맞는 피임법을 찾는 것이 그 주체가 되는 첫걸음이다.

Even if getting pregnant is only the lot of women, as that process involves both men and women then both have a responsibility to use contraception: not just men. And you should not care about what other people think of you for being proactive and responsible about it: your body is your own, and so the first step is to find the right birth control method for you.

피임을 상대 남성에게만 맡겨두는 것이 아니라 스스로 자신의 몸에 맞는 피임법을 찾고, 성생활 역시 불안감 없이 즐기는 것이 자기 몸을 사랑하는 방법이 될 것이다.

Contraception is not the sole responsibility of men, and finding what method is most appropriate for your bodies and best able to allow you to enjoy your sex life comfortably and safely is something both partners have to do for each other (End).

Eugene SES Contraceptive Pill Advertisement( Source: cupitee )

One very mild criticism I have of the above is that, like the Korean author of the last translation I provided, Im-ji is quite positive about a new form of contraceptive pill called Yaz (야즈), but which as a commenter here has pointed out, is increasingly viewed as too dangerous by Western consumers, and is the subject of numerous lawsuits. Perhaps this information is simply not available in Korean yet?

In line with my new modus operandi, I’ll try to find that out myself this weekend…starting by asking Im-ji directly!

(For all posts in the Korean Sources on Sexuality and Gender series, see here)