Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Korean Stripper

Last night my wife fielded an odd call. Apparently a young man was cold calling businesses such as ours trying to get a job. His skills were somewhat odd, and his terms even odder.

This man offered to be a male stripper. Uncommon enough in Korea to turn a few heads. Not to uncommon for an expat to conceive of such a job. However it was rather odd for him to be cold calling businesses asking for work. My wife, being game, decided to get some basic information, and this is where it got really strange.

First, he would only doff his clothes only for women. Understandable. However he would only do so if there were five or fewer people (all women) in the room. Why only five? Because it would be "embarrassing" to do it for more than five women.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Prostitution Statistics In Korea

There is an off repeated urban legend amounts foreigners, and perhaps even men in general, in Korea. The legend in short is that many women in Korea engage in prostitution at some point in their lives. Mostly I have always regarded this as disgusting trash, and a degrading stereotype. I instantly loose respect for somebody who relates this "profundity".

On the other hand, and nobody is noting this, if you crunch the numbers there may be something to that. According to Joonang Ilbo today there are 240,000 women working in red-light districts in Korea. Add this to other statistics, mainly the breakdown of age by sex. There are roughly 8,000,000 women between the age of 20-40 in Korea. If you assume that 20-40 is the prime age of such workers (a safe assumption, especially considering that those under 20 are most likely undercounted if counted at all), this means that 3% of all Korean women this age work in Red-light districts. Or in more real terms 1 in ever 33 women of that age are such employed.

Now if you add to that the turnover factor (those going in-and-out of the business, no pun intended), and the prostitution out side identified red-light areas, it gets even more disturbing. Perhaps there is something to that urban legend.

That said, to be honest I wonder if this is just one more number flubbed in Korea to support somebody's ideas, flubbed so badly that it is easily called in doubt by those who want to research it, and given to an unquestioning press who never confirm their facts. Wow! Imagine that in Korea!!!