Norms in South Korean culture
November 27, 2012 7:21 AM Subscribe
Korean culture filter: Are you familiar with Korean culture from 30 years ago? Can you tell me if these experiences were normal in terms of the social culture at that time?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My husband was born in South Korea in the early 70's, and moved to the U.S. in the early 80's, around the first grade. He recently told me about several incidents that occured when he was a child, where family friends, men, would grope his genitalia, in the presence of his father for sure, and sometimes other family members (his [older] sisters; he is not sure if it ever occured in the presence of his mother).
He thinks that it most commonly occured right when the person would arrive for a visit, like during the greeting phase of when you arrive somewhere. The man would put his hand down my husband's pants, and would say something joking like "Let me see how you've grown". In all such incidents, his memory of the events is that it was over quickly - within a matter of seconds. He doesn't think it was always the same person who groped him; he thinks that it was a common occurence, and happened with several people. He isn't really sure how old he was when it started, he remembers it from around 4 or 5, and the last incident he remembers happened when he was about 9.
He does remember one specific time that he protested being grabbed, and his father told him to stop protesting, that it was okay.
These incidents occured both in Korea, and after they came to the U. S., but with Korean friends.
So... was it common within the Korean culture for adults to grope children in this manner? My husband literally has no one he can ask about these incidents. Any family members who might remember them would certainly vehemently deny that they ever occured. Obviously he will be pursuing therapy. The reason for asking this question is to try to get a sense of the context of these incidents, so that he can go forward with processing his feelings around these experiences.