Another problem is that having sexual intercourse is considered not as serious as it was considered in the past. Nowadays, sex has become an everyday commodity that people can easily buy and sell. Due to the difficulty of earning money, many students have fallen into the temptation of engaging in prostitution, which enables them to obtain money in relatively easy ways.
In 2005, Korean Women’s Development Institute investigated the number of women who were engaged in prostitution. According to the survey, about one million women were estimated to engage in prostitution unofficially. Assuming that the people in their twenties or thirties are the most likely group for this kind of work, it is a huge figure. What was even more shocking was that the operation of prostitution is organized, and university students took the lead in engaging in prostitution in some cases. One incident in 2005 gave us a shock. Seocho Police Station arrested a pimp who hired six women and organized prostitution. Surprisingly, the pimp was a university student. In the past, most pimps were in their thirties or forties, but these days, many people in their twenties work as pimps. They use the Internet to collect clients. If you surf the Net, you will see many advertisements and chatting sites. Young children, especially, can have easy access to these sites. This year, Eyeoseonghuimangjikimi, observers consisting of 555 people like students and housewives, found 1,408 obscene Websites. Considering the yet undiscovered sites, it is a huge number.
South Korea enacted “Special Law on Prostitution” and increased the penalties for a pimp in 2005, but prostitution is still around. In addition, the number of overseas prostitution cases has increased. For example, the U.S. State Department investigated the number of foreigners who were engaged in prostitution. It said that South Korea had the largest number of prostitutes in the U.S. In the case of young people, some of them experience prostitution when they go on a “working holiday,” the trend in which students study and earn money abroad. If students go abroad, they need money for their studies and personal necessities. In these circumstances, not a few students have fallen into prostitution. Gradually, their primary focus would be money rather than on the studies.
There is a dark side to the liberal attitudes towards sex. Many South Koreans have had experiences of prostitution both at home and abroad. The fundamental problem is that there is no definite way of preventing it. The large-scale prostitution reflects the big demand for it. Many men and women are buying and selling sex. Prostitution is becoming more organized and covert with time. The saddest thing is that many young people who are involved in prostitution think of sex too lightly.