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Gendered Trends and Patterns of Attitudes Toward Remarriage Among the Divorced in South Korea

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Existing studies from Western contexts have shown that divorced men and women have different views on remarriage, with men being more open to remarriage and women being more opposed to it. However, it is unclear whether these findings can be generalizable in more gender-traditional contexts. More importantly, there is a lack of research on whether and how the gender gap in attitudes toward remarriage has changed over time. This study aims to fill these gaps by exploring trends in the attitudes of divorced men and women toward remarriage over the last two decades in South Korea. Moreover, this study also examines how sociodemographic characteristics are differently associated with remarriage attitudes in divorced men and women. This study utilizes multiple waves of the Social Survey data ranging from 1998 to 2020, provided by the Korean National Statistical Office. Overall, our results support existing findings that divorced men are more open to remarriage than are divorced women. However, we found that remarriage attitudes have converged over time between divorced men and women, mainly driven by the diminishing interest of divorced men in remarriage. Our findings are consistent with recent demographic trends that gender gaps in remarriage rates have decreased in several countries. This study also confirms gendered patterns in associations between sociodemographic factors and remarriage attitudes among the divorced.

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An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2nd Korean Studies Young Scholar Graduate Student Conference at the University of Pennsylvania in 2022. We wish to thank Emily Hannum and the participants at this conference for their helpful comments. The work by Sangsoo Lee was supported by Laboratory Program for Korean Studies through the Ministry of Education of Republic of Korea and Korean Studies Promotion Service of the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS-2016-LAB-2250002). The work by Jaesung Choi was supported by the SKKU Excellence in Research Award Research Fund, Sungkyunkwan University, 2020.

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Correspondence to Jaesung Choi.

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Lee, S., Choi, J. Gendered Trends and Patterns of Attitudes Toward Remarriage Among the Divorced in South Korea. Popul Res Policy Rev 42, 11 (2023).

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