Last week, a military court in Korea convicted and sentenced an army captain to six months in prison for being gay and having sex with other military men. It may surprise some to know homosexual activities in the Korean military is a crime punishable by a prison sentence.
In 2014, famous movie director Kim Jho Kwang-soo held a non-legal wedding ceremony with his partner in Seoul in what was considered a huge win for the LGBTQ community in Korea. Human rights activists have heavily condemned the decision made by the military court to convict the captain and it’s seen as rolling back the progress made by the LGBTQ community in Korea over the years. In the Korean military, consensual sex among members of the same sex is still considered “reciprocal rape” and although this law is being heavily contested by a Korean military court, as at the time of this writing, no official decision has been made by the constitutional court.
In 2015, a Korean TV show made international headlines after a kissing scene with two high school girls caused a major storm in Korea. When we were writing our article about Korean stereotypes, we went out on the streets and asked girls what they thought about shaving. One of the girls we interviewed gave an answer that never made it to that article as we believed some could consider it offensive. Perhaps now is the right time to revisit that topic. “I’m not a porn star so why do I need to shave?” was the response she gave to our question on shaving. In the recently concluded election, although Moon Jae In was expected to win, very few people thought Hong Jun-pyo would come in second place. Many voters supported his extreme conservative views.
In terms of politics, sex, sexuality, education, religion, abortion, adultery, marriage and family values, relationship, porn, prostitution, public display of affection and every aspect of society, how conservative is South Korea? Take our polls below and let us know.
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