Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The editorial in the Catholic Peace Weekly lamented what the Korean Health and Family Welfare Department found in its 2009 report. In 2005, unmarried men who said they plan to get married was 82.5% in 2009, it went down to 75.7%; for women it was 73.5% and went down to 73.1%.
The average age of men marrying in 2005 was 31.8, in 2009 it was 32.1; for women in 2005 it was 29.7 and in 2009 it was 30.6. The men in 2005 who said children were important 54.2%, it went down to 24.3% in 2009; women went from 42.1% to 24%. Only one in four want children.
What was evidenced in the survey was that the families with the larger monthly income have less of a desire for children. It was suggested that they want to educate their children well and the expense is too much for their income, and so the desire to forgo children.
To change this trend means there has to be a movement against avoiding marriage and marrying late. The editorial stressed the understanding of family life has to change . The young people have to understand the importance of family life.
This is a strange development in Korean life in a very short period of time. The editorial ends with a quote from Pope John Paul's Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio #14: "Thus the couple, while giving themselves to one another, give not just themselves but also the reality of children, who are a living reflection of their love, a permanent sign of conjugal unity and a living and inseparable synthesis of their being a father and a mother."