Monday, October 06, 2008

Ask a Korean! News: Interesting Statistics about Prostitution in Korea

This article was interesting:

According to a survey conducted with men who completed the John School program for being arrested for sex purchase in 2006, a typical John is in his 30s, college-graduate, working as an office worker earning $1,800~2,400 a month, and purchased sex at a massage parlor after drinking.

In the Ministry of Justice survey conducted on the 5th, among the 1289 men who responded to the survey, those in their 30s were most numerous, with 645 (50%). They were mostly college graduate (774, 60%) and high school graduate (363, 28.2%).

Among occupations, the most numerous was office workers, with 438 among 1272 who answered (34.4%). 324 of the 1290 (25.1%) who answered said they earn between $1810~2400 a month.

Average number of sex purchase was 15.8, slightly higher compared to the 2005 survey, which was 11.1 times. Most common answer was "2 or 3 times", with 290 out of 1221 (23.8%) who answered, but there were 34 (2.8%) who replied "over 100 times."

For a question that asked for multiple answers for the place of sex purchase, over half of the 1290 who answered (765, or 59.1%) selected massage parlor, 703 (54.5%) selected red light districts, and 577 (44.7%) selected entertainment bars. [The Korean's note: Korean word for the "entertainment bar" is 유흥주점, which is a legalistic term for what is better known as "room salon".] For a question that asked for three main reasons for sex purcahse, 798 out of 1293 (61.7%) selected "drinking".

Via Dong-A Ilbo.

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  1. How do they afford prostitutes on such low salaries. They seem to be making below the average for 회사원.

  2. I wonder if the article distinguished between 'happy ending' massages and full-on intercourse. I suppose the prices differ quite a bit. I wonder even more about the prostitutes themselves, if they are imported Southeast Asians or if they are Korean. I've wondered a lot about this since reading the book 'Sex Slaves' about the sex industry in Southeast and East Asia.

  3. Artic Penguin: I know this is from 3 years ago but I thought I would answer since I happen to be doing a project on this subject right now. According to one study of Russian and Filipina entertainment workers, only .5% worked in room salons. 94% worked in Nightclubs (Mostly Russians) and Gijichon establishments (G.I bars/juicy bars, and mostly Filipinas).

    If you can find it try to read:
    Foreign women’s life and
    work in the entertainment
    sector of Korea from the
    human trafficking perspective
    by Dong-Hoon Seol and Geon-Soo Han

    It is, I think, 40 pages? It talks about the Russian and Filipina experiences as prostitutes in Korea starting from how they got into the business, and detailing what services they actually provide, which types of customers they see, what types of abuses they suffer, and all kinds of other stuff. It was really interesting and eye opening.

    Here is a link to the google book version:


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