Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lying to get sex no longer illegal in South Korea

Reuters is announcing that it is no longer against the law to promise to marry a woman as a means of getting her into bed. This law stemmed from a time when a woman's value was largely tied up in her chastity: If she appeared not to be virginal, she might have difficulty marrying a man from a good family. Her virginity was valuable, so a man who promised marriage in order to obtain it — sex between engaged persons was not rare, though other forms of premarital sex were far less common — was seen as a thief.

Yes, people really did go to jail — some of them recently — for this crime. But no more, a reflection of more liberal sexual mores and a greater sense of personal privacy on matters of love and sex. From Reuters:
South Korea's Constitutional Court struck down on Thursday a half-century-old criminal code provision that made it illegal to promise to marry a woman in return for sex.

The court said the code violated women's constitutional right to sexual freedom and the state must refrain from interfering in such personal matters.

The plaintiffs, two men who brought the appeal against criminal convictions, argued that premarital sex should be a personal and moral issue and not subject to prosecution.

The criminal code provides for up to two years in jail or 5 million won ($4,300) in fines for "anyone who engages in illicit intercourse with womenfolk who does not otherwise habitually engage in lewd conduct with the pretence of marrying her."
I suppose this could be useful information for some people. Not necessarily me. I don't think I've ever lied about something like that in order to get a woman into bed. I might have exaggerated the value of my portfolio, but that's it. Anyway, this same court has been a little inconsistent, especially regarding another law on sex between consenting adults that many people also see as archaic or even demeaning to women:
The same court upheld a provision in the criminal code last year that made extramarital sex illegal, saying it was not excessive punishment because the society still viewed such conduct as improper.
Ironically, the ban on extramarital sex was intended to protect women by insuring that their husband's don't philander, but in fact it is often cheating wives that run afoul of this law. At any rate, beware of cougars.


  1. Beware of cougars? I wonder what Sonagi would say...

  2. but in fact it is often cheating wives that run afoul of this law


  3. Beware of cougars?! Bring them on, I say.


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