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South Korea: sex, society and reform

20 0 19
By David Tizzard

The recent revelations of a series of privately operated digital chat rooms in which teenagers and young women were operated as "slaves" for the pleasure of more than 250,000 men have rightly incensed the South Korean public. But worryingly this latest scandal seems to be the continuation of a long-standing trend rather than a sudden new development.

The Korean National Police Agency reported an average of 18 cases of spy cam porn per day in 2015. More than 16,000 people were arrested between 2012 and 2017 for being involved in such activities. The cases of Goo Hara and many others still ring in society's ears.

Soranet was the country's largest pornography website and ran from 1999 to 2016, host to more than one million users at various stages. The female co-founder was sentenced to four years in prison last year for aiding and abetting the distribution of obscene material.

The Nth room is a continuation of such trends ― well-known and very visible to most lawmakers and the public. Ultimately, there seems to have been some degree of social normalization of this deviance. That is most worrying.

In 2018, SBS cited the Ministry of Gender and Equality's statistics regarding cases of sexually exploitative videos against South Korean teenagers and children. Perhaps the most shocking thing was not the frequency of which such things occurred, but rather the punishments.

For those found guilty of committing such acts, 7.9 percent were fined, 35.5 percent were sent to prison, and 56.6 percent were given probation. Considering the nature of these crimes, one wonders why most of the perpetrators do not receive any jail time.

For those convicted, Article 14 Section 2........

© The Korea Times