Half of Korean men in their 20s show anti-feminist tendencies
SEOUL — Over half of South Korean men in their 20s have anti-feminist attitudes and engage in a “hostile” form of gender discrimination, a recent survey shows.
According to the results of an online survey conducted by the Korean Women’s Development Institute, 50.5 percent of respondents in their 20s fell into this category, whereas such attitudes were less prevalent among older men. For example, only 38.7 percent of those in their 30s and 18.4 percent of those in their 40s fell into the same category. For men in their 50s, that figure fell to 9.5 percent.
According to the report, respondents who displayed both “hostile gender discrimination” and anti-feminism had strong negative sentiments toward women and animosity toward women who challenged male authority.
“Half of men in their 20s do not consider women to be weaker than men or require (extra) consideration based on hostile gender discrimination,” the institute said in the report.
The institute also said men who showed such tendencies strongly disliked the idea of women challenging their personal authority.
“To men in their 20s, women appear to have equal, and sometimes more, authority than men, but (they also have) higher demands,” the institute said.
“(Men in the group) have a strong tendency to consider (women’s rights groups) as groups that attack men through feminism.”
The other categories that respondents fell into were called the “benevolent patriarchy” group and the egalitarian group.
Men with a “benevolent patriarchy” mindset consider women to be weaker, and give favorable treatment to women who do not challenge male authority. Egalitarians, on the other hand, do not consider women weaker and display no hostility toward feminism or toward women who challenge male authority.
Of the 3,000 male respondents, across age groups, 44.4 percent fell into the benevolent patriarchy category.
The hostile anti-feminists comprised the second-largest group, accounting for 28.4 percent of respondents of all ages. Egalitarians accounted for 27.7 percent.
The survey also showed that men in their 20s were the most likely to express interest in gender equality issues, with 73.3 percent saying they had such an interest. The average for all age groups was 67.1 percent.
But less than half of all respondents said they considered inequality and bias against women to be serious problems. Among men in their 20s, only 42.5 percent said they were serious problems.
The disparity between the number of men in their 20s with an interest in gender issues and the number who considered inequality a serious problem — 30-plus percentage points — indicates that men’s interest in the issue is unrelated to bias against women, according to the institute.
“Men in their 20s are a group who experienced rapid changes in traditional masculinity and have strong anti-feminist and hostile gender bias tendencies,” the institute said.
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