Effects of Rape on Men

The article, “Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis” by Jayne Walker, John Archer, and Michelle Davies shows some significant differences between male and female rape victims in the UK. 852 reported male rape victims may seem very small in number, compared to 11,441 reported female rape victims (in 2002) (Walker et al. 495), but the public ignorance on the male victims may be causing different and possibly more pain in them individually.

Many of the male victims responded that they were shocked at the time of the assault by realizing how vulnerable they can be, probably being the major reason for 82.5% of the victims responding self-blaming for not being able to prevent the assault, 77.5% having low self esteem, and 68% feeling damaged with their masculinity (Walker et al. 501). The common stereotypes of men that expect them to be strong, active, and situation-handling seemed to be making the male victims suffer in different ways, compared to female victims, by making them to think that they failed to fulfill their expectations as men.

To me, it also seemed like an egg-and-chicken problem. Because of the lower number of reported rapes on men and the masculine stereotypes, people are generally much less aware of the issue. If a male becomes a rape victim, he is less likely to report or even just talk about his experience, because he cannot easily find a good place to start looking for help. The article also mentions that some “felt that their complaint was not taken seriously and [they] regretted their decision to tell the police” (Walker et al. 500).

Another interesting difference between male and female victims were questioning one’s sexual identity after being raped. Some formerly heterosexual male victims who experienced erection and ejaculation during the rape were confused with their sexuality because such bodily reactions were considered as enjoying. It is impossible to know how these male victims felt during and after the rape, but I thought they could also regard their erections as just a physiological response that are not different from having swollen face after being punched, or feeling tired after a sprint. Even Male babies are known to be capable of having erections when accidentally stimulated, but nobody would think that the babies were enjoying the accidental arousal.

Among the statistics, I was also surprised by the fact that 20% and 45% of the assaults happened at victim’s and perpetrator’s home, respectively (Walker et al. 497). As the article describes, this suggests that at least 65% of the victims could not imagine himself getting raped by their perpetrators. It actually reminded me of the “Project Unspoken: I am tired of the silence” clip by Respect Program. In the video, male and female students and staffs are being asked what they are doing in daily basis to prevent themselves from being sexually assaulted or harassed. Almost every male responded that they are not doing much in daily basis whereas all female participants could respond without much hesitation.

In order to provide greater help to male rape victims, we should become more knowledgeable about the issue. In order to do so, we would need more research on the victims and the nature of assaults, which will become possible when male-male rape becomes more acknowledged by the society as an issue.



Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis by Jayne Walker, John Archer, and Michelle Davies

Project Unspoken: I am tired of the silence by Emory University Respect Program (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCCaKuWQLp8)

The Sexual Violence Continuum

In the article, ‘Re-visioning the Sexual Violence Continuum’ by Lydia Guy, our society is described as ‘rape culture’. ‘Rape culture’ is defined by the author as “complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women” (Guy 10). The author provides a diagram to show her realization that such continuum should include the whole feminism “to illustrate the concept of rape culture” (Guy 10). Since “successful primary prevention of sexual violence requires recognition of the problem” (American College Health Association 5), such diagram, which includes all possible causes of rape, should tell everyone how they are promoting rape culture and prevent sexual violence.

At first, ‘Sexist Jokes,’ ‘Rigid Gender Roles,’ and ‘Sexualized Media Depiction’ could seem a little far fetched, because of the commonness of the three concepts. The article did not mention any specific examples for these three or how they are parts of ‘rape culture’, but I see sexist ‘memes’ (such as ‘overly attached girlfriend meme’ jokes) quite regularly on my friends’ Facebook updates (sexist jokes), and know several married couples who rely on husbands’ income and wives’ housekeeping (gender roles), yet are still satisfied with their lives. Sexualized media depiction is pretty much everywhere these days, from advertisements like sexy beer commercials (below) to movies like 007’s with ‘Bond girls’ (the media depiction). Realizing how closely we are involved in the ‘rape culture’, I could not avoid asking myself, ‘am I promoting somebody to get raped by looking at these and not doing anything about it?’ ‘Are my friends and the couples I know making some women to get raped?’

These are open questions that are quite debatable, but what I realized was that, on the article’s diagram, these three ’causes’ of rape I mentioned are at least five steps away from rape. The distance between ‘Sexist Jokes,’ ‘Rigid Gender Roles’ and ‘Sexualized Media Depiction,’ and the actual rape is significant that it could be the reason why many of us are blinded in seeing the fact that the atmosphere created with such attitudes is creating the rape culture. This diagram not only includes everyone in the society, but also the fact why we have not realized the role of our culture on sexual violence.

To many people, evidences could be too limited to say that all ‘Sexist Jokes,’ ‘Rigid Gender Roles,’ and ‘Sexualized Media Depiction’ are connected to rape. Even if there are conclusive evidences, as the author says, changing these concepts that have been remaining in our culture for a long time, would make rape-prevention more difficult than many of us think. However as Lydia Guy wrote, “rape does not happen just because one individual chooses to rape another”, but “happens because there are attitudes and norms that allow it to happen” (Guy 10), we should be aware of the roles of the norms and stereotypes in sexual violence, so that we can be more knowledgeable in the relationship between our culture and rape. With more physical or just hypothetical but specific evidence, more people will be more actively preventing sexual crimes.


Works Cited

(1) Re-visioning the Sexual Violence Continuum by Lydia Guy, BA

(2) Shifting the Paradigm: Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence by American College Health Association

1979 Sex Survey

An article about a sex survey in the Emory Wheel (January 30,1979) was quite interesting in several ways and made me engage in some critical thinking. The ‘informal consensus’ on 165 students (80 females and 85 males) of Psychology 214 class compiled by Dr. David Edwards of the psychology department had some interesting statistics.

First interesting point was the difference between responses of male and female students in their frequencies of sexual intercourse. Forty-three percent of the females answered that they were having sexual intercourse several times per week, whereas only 14 percent of the males were having sex with such frequency. After reading this, I could not refrain from asking, who were the females having sex with?

If we assume that most of the students with active sex life were engaging in sexual intercourse that involves 1 woman and 1 man (because the article also mentions that 99 percent of both females and males considered themselves as heterosexual, and only 5 percent and 11 percent of females and males, respectively, had tried same-sex relations at least once in their lifetime), this can be interpreted in many ways.

It can mean that the small number of male students were having multiple partners when female students were being ‘loyal’ to their only partners. It may sound somewhat humiliating to the old Emory alumni who were in that class, but the difference in frequency reminded me of the statistics from primate social psychology class I took last semester. In macaques and capuchin monkeys’ societies, so called, alpha males and the ones very close to him mates with all of the females in the group, that shows similar statistics to that of the psychology class.

However, since the survey asked only a specific group of students, many other possibilities exist. The male students in the psychology class may had not been much sexually attractive, and the females could had been having sex with males in other classes or even the ones outside the campus. The male students themselves could had not been interested much in sexual intercourse, if we consider the 94 percent male masturbation rate (in contrast to 47 percent in females) that suggests that males were perhaps satisfied with fulfilling their sexual desires alone.

We should also note that the big difference (47% female vs 14% male) is from the response to “having sexual intercourse several times per week”. This could also mean the opposite of my first suspicion. Most male students could had been having sex once or twice per week (which is less than ‘several times’) with single partner and female students could possibly be having multiple partners.

The fact that women were having sexual intercourse more frequently just looked too contrasting to what I expected to find, probably because of the sexual stereotype I have that women, especially in times like 1979, should be more conservative than their concurrent males or present women.

Another aspect that surprised me was the openness of the article. Although 1979 can be seen as quite recent, this is the first article that I found in the archive that openly wrote about sexual research or surveys with questions about oral sex, masturbation, and same sex relations. About a month ago, I found and wrote about an article from the Emory Report, February 8th, 1934, tilted “Fair Sex Analyzed In Experiment at Tufts”, but that was merely a joke about female stereotypes. Since this time, the facts and numbers about the students’ sexual lives are discussed in the official university news paper, I believe there had been much changes between 1934 and 1979. I am also happy that I should be able to find more articles about sexual identity in later Emory Wheel.

Emory Wheel Sex Survey 1979

Emory Report 1934

Attitude toward STD

People should not be embarrassed about their sickness. Being open-minded to talk about what they are suffering from would make the patients more willing to seek treatments, become knowledgeable about what they are carrying, and hence possibly prevent further spread of the disease. We all know these but the nature of STD not only makes it difficult for patients, especially females, to comfortably talk about their disease, but also damages them psychologically and culturally. The main reason comes from the promiscuity stigma or even “judgements such as irresponsible, naive, or stupid” (Nack 488) that the disease brings to the patient, even though sexual intercourse is not the only way of transmitting the infections. The article, “Damaged Goods: Mixing Morality with Medicine” by Adina Nack, made me think more about the causes of psychological and social damages that STD can bring to an individual.

In the example of the article, the first thought that came to the infected 20-year-old female undergraduate’s mind after finding out about her possible contraction is that “How could this have happened to me? I’m not a slut” (Nack 488). This immediately shows how her attitude was in the past toward STD and STD patients, that only “sluts” get STD’s when people with few sexual experience can actually contract the infections too, even with ‘proper protection’ (condom). I think this phenomenon is quite similar to our attitude toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. People would talk freely about homosexuality with or without correct understanding about them until they find out that someone very close comes out as homosexual. The psychological hardships in both cases (realisation of STD or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people) are likely to be more intense if they had more negative opinions on STD patients or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. According to “symbolic interactionism,” “[i]dentities are meanings attributed to self, by others and by self” (Nack 491), so, when people get infected by STD’s, they may be psychologically suffering more from their own judgement on themselves.

However, the self-judgement and stigma all comes from the societal attitude that made each individual to possess such negative views. In 1980’s, women were viewed “not as victims of the disease but as risk factors to others,” and HIV infections in women were regarded as “simply the natural consequence of the way they choose to live, the ‘wages of sin'” (Nack 492). Today in the United States, we have a lot better understanding about STD’s and their ways of infecting new people, but incorrect and biased condemnation can break the patients’ mentality seriously, causing larger problems.

I once read a news article about a woman in China who had been sexually abused by many people, including her step-father from when she was fifteen years old. When she found out she got infected with HIV somewhere in her life, and found out that she can no longer pursue her dream of a stable life, she decided to take a revenge on the society, especially to men who she thought ruined her life, and started to have sex with more men, possibly infecting 279 more people.

In Korea, I once watched a TV documentary about a man in his 40’s who believed for several years that he had AIDS after comparing his symptoms to what he read on internet. Because of the harsh societal view on people with STD’s, he ran away from his family to not make his family suffer, and started to live in complete isolation. He refused to go to clinic to be tested for HIV, because he did not want to risk himself by letting people find out about his ‘AIDS’. When the documentary producers finally convinced him to get tested, the result showed that he was HIV negative.

Such examples show that people need to understand about the disease correctly and have more mature view on the patients who are the victims of the disease. In order for us to fight off the STD’s, accurate facts about STD should be communicated through media and education, which will hopefully make the patients feel less painful in their minds.



Damaged Goods: Mixing Morality with Medicine by Adina Nack

The Dilemma

The debates on abortion have been around for a long time in many places, but still nobody can easily support one side without just ignoring the other side’s argument. The biology of human reproduction and the importance of the both values, ‘life’ and ‘right’, make the unwantedly pregnant mothers to pick one side by compromising the other. Because the possible implications of choosing one value over the other can mean either ‘murder’ or ‘forced birth’, it seems almost impossible to make a perfect decision. In theory, since, no one has the right to take away lives of human beings, we must not allow any abortion. However, since we are not living in utopia, but reality, we have many kinds of situations where women can end up having unwanted or even dangerous pregnancy that could be aborted to not risk the life of the mother, as seen in the essay by Suzanne Edwards (1). For these reasons, to me, the best way seems to be carefully examining each ‘unwanted pregnancy’, case by case, to decide whether abortion can be legally allowed.

 Perhaps what we should more worry about is how to prevent such situations. Preventing people from putting themselves in this serious dilemma is probably the best we can do. Increasing the level of educations about contraception and family planning and the punishment for rapists, and promoting people for regular gynecologist visits (even though it can sound ridiculous) could be some of the possible ways of avoiding the ‘bad situation’.

I believe in what is called ‘cultural materialism’ which states that every cultural ritual has or is related to some kind of biological function. Many cultures around the world had been attaching much importance to maintaining virginity before marriage. Maybe one of the major reasons behind this common taboo was to prevent unwanted pregnancy when we did not have condoms, plan B’s, and abortion.


(1) What “health of the mother” means by Suzanne Edwards


Is monogamy really that ‘natural’?

I had never really questioned the efficiency or stability of monogamous marriage system of ours before reading the article Why monogamy is natural by an Emory Law School professor, John Witte Jr. I always thought that faithful monogamy was the normal and standard pairing system that is just for everyone and prevents families from degenerating. However, I was not much convinced by the article’s reasoning, and actually became more suspicious about the nature of monogamy. I still think monogamy is the most fitting system, and personally I have never cheated even in my past ‘not-serious’ relationships, but the explanations of the article, which perhaps also include people’s common beliefs, looked quite questionable.

The first point was that “unlike most other animals, humans crave sex all the time.” With no further explanation, one can possibly infer that he was meaning that each member can have its designated mate when he/she needs it. However, being assigned with one mate for the rest of his/her life is only eliminating other possibilities outside the relationship. What if the married husband/wife does not want to be involved in sexual activities in a particular occasion? Of course, looking for another mate would mean another ‘opportunity cost’ as evolutionary biologists would say, but how much applicable is that to humans, especially females? These arising questions made the first argument somewhat seem like a reason why polygamy is natural.

The second reason was that “human babies are born weak, fragile, and utterly dependent for many years” and need help from both parents. However, chimpanzee society, which also has fragile infants with extended period of ‘child care’, raise their infants among their group members. Especially female members, together with the mother, take care of the young until it matures. Vast differences between human and chimpanzee do exist and would complicate the argument, but this counter example shows that monogamy is not the only solution for overcoming our vulnerability when young.

The third reason that “most fathers will bond and help with a child only if they are certain of their paternity” seems weak for supporting the argument ‘why monogamy [for humans] is natural.’ I am actually little curious if Brad Pitt will feel offended or really good about himself after hearing the quoted sentence. The author’s argument is quite true if we look at the example of infanticide shown by lions and some primate species who kill babies of other males upon taking over a new group. However human ethics are much more mature than that as shown by good adoption system. Adopting fathers are probably not the most fathers, but we do have many opposing examples of altruistic fathers who take care of children who are genetically not his.

The last point the author mentions is that “men have historically been more prone to extramarital sex than women.” This sentence, again, seems to say that polygamy is the ‘natural’ form of our relationship, at least for men, since extramarital sex would mean that the person’s instinctive desire, which should be ‘natural,’ was not satisfied by his marriage. The author also mentions in the same paragraph that “humans have the freedom and the capacity to engage in species-destructive behavior in pursuit of their own sexual gratification.” However, he is also inevitably saying that humans have the freedom and the capacity to engage in species-productive behavior against their own sexual gratification by submitting to the societal norm, monogamous marital system, which sounds little ‘unnatural’ now.

Polygamy in the history or some primitive societies of Africa or Asia are sometimes viewed as barbaric and looked down upon. However, isn’t something barbaric less artificial and closer to our unpolished nature? One of the readers of the article, ‘reformthesystem’ commented, “In English language, “naturally” is only a synonym for: of course, customarily; not absolutely.” I guess we would need to define the word, ‘natural’ in the first place in order to have a proper discussion of whether monogamy is natural or not. However, I arrived at my own conclusion that monogamy can sometimes be ‘unnatural’ for each individual, but would be ‘natural’ for the human society as a whole, in terms of promoting the stable environment for everybody.


Why monogamy is natural by John Witte Jr.



  I remember myself laughing after seeing a bumper sticker that said “Female Asian Driver, Good Luck Everyone Else!” Even though we know such ‘stereotype jokes’ can be very offensive to some people, many people tend to enjoy them. I am an Asian male student who drives, but I just laughed about the joke, simply because it was funny (or maybe because I was only half-mocked by the sticker). After finding an article called “Fair Sex Analyzed In Experiment At Tufts” in The Emory Wheel printed on February 8th, 1934, I noticed that exactly the same type of joke have been around for at least 78 years. This made me think that some aspects of sexuality maybe are not changing much.

  The article, almost surely written by a man, makes fun of women in general by describing their stereotypical characteristics in a way that a scientist would describe chemicals. Many descriptions such as “Usually covered with coat of paint or a film of powder”, “Boils at nothing and may freeze at any moment”, and “Possesses great affinity [to] gold, silver, platinum, and precious stones of all kinds” may be insulting to many women, but I was surprised by the fact how similar this 78-year old article was to present-day stereotype sexist jokes. This finding, in turn, reminded me of my past realization that the traditional roles of men and women of many cultures do not vary much.

  Growing up in Korea and New Zealand, and attending an American college, I saw almost the same expectations and demands from men and women of all ethnicities I have encountered. Even with major differences among these cultures, including what people wore, ate, and used, the man-woman relationship had pretty much the same theme in their histories. In the time when the East and West did not know about each other, both cultures and even Māori tribes, the natives of New Zealand, assumed that men were supposed to protect and earn money or food for the family, and women were responsible for cooking, raising children, and looking pretty. Even just the idea of marriage and its commitment arising spontaneously in the same way in different cultures tells us that humans have properties toward sexuality that are somewhat inherent and universal (I am referring to each culture’s heterosexual norms). I am not saying we should stick with these stereotypes nor suggesting that we should necessarily break these stereotypes. I think we should at least note what we are born with.

  Today, we are trying to promote equal opportunities for all sexualities, but in certain cases, we cannot do so perfectly. For example, we do not expect male soldier’s combat efficiency from a female soldier, and in fact, that is the reason why female soldiers do not get assigned to frontline infantry positions in the US Army. In creating a society of equal rights for people with all kinds of sexual identities, understanding what we have and have not changed, and what we can and cannot change will be a key to more progressive society. Above mentioned jokes may be written in very casual way, but it could reveal more about how we should approach making changes in our minds.



Growing up in Korea and New Zealand before coming to Emory, I never heard about asexuality before. Sadly, the closest word I encountered before is probably ‘impotence’, which conveys a meaning of dysfunction and is definitely not the same meaning as asexuality. Perhaps because I was not aware of their existence, I thought the proportion of asexual population, one percent, was higher than I expected. Embarrassingly, I thought I was understanding variety of sexualities by talking about LGBT’s, but as I was reading the articles, I had so much to discover.

Asexuality first seemed to be a population of more variety because of the different life styles of the asexual people. Because asexuality is generally defined as ‘a person who does not experience sexual attraction’ (1), it includes all those who does not feel attraction but may or may not have romantic relationships, and do or do not engage in sexual activities. However Prause and Graham’s ‘Asexuality: Classification and Characterization’, had tested more aspects, including Sexual Desire indicator, Sexual Arousability indicator, and Sexual Inhibition indicator. Although asexuality sounds like they are not having any sexual activities, the investigation finds out that an asexual person may still have romantic relationship with a partner without sexual activities. In another examples, an asexual may even have both romance and sexual activities to make the partner pleased, and maybe avoid possible negative opinions from the society.

I thought that this is just as typical as more common, sexual (as opposed to asexual) people. ‘Normal’ people vary almost the same way as asexual people. Some of us have romantic and sexual relationship with the opposite sex or just the romance without the sexual activities before marriage. Fathers and nuns of catholic church, and monks in temples are attracted to their opposite sex, but do not have neither romance or sexual lives. Perhaps this similarity is one of the reasons why some people were not aware of asexuality. Compared to LGBT’s, who are different from heterosexuals in their behaviors, asexuals are different from heterosexuals in whether they feel or not. Since sexual lives are very private part of our daily lives, it will be almost impossible to see if a person is asexual unless we become very close to them.

It was mentioned in the reading that only some of the asexual people are in a romantic relationship because they like their partners ‘as a person’. However, from my narrow point of view, I could not understand the idea of being in a romance with somebody without being attracted to their sexuality. I could assume that LGBT’s are attracted to their partners in the same way as I feel when I see an attractive female, but I wanted to know how asexual person would start a relationship without such feeling.

I expect finding the answer for such question would be hard due to the low number of asexual people intending to participate in a research, and the private nature of the topic. However, as long as they exist in our society, we will more learn about them and start understanding them without prejudice.



(1) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-single/200912/asexuals-who-are-they-and-why-are-they-important

(2) Prause, Nicole, Graham, C. A., Asexuality: Classification and Characterization.

Culture and Sexuality 2

Culture tends to create societies that have systems and laws favorable to the majority. This often seems to be the best way for most people, but it can work against those who is outside the majority. What if the system can be adjusted to make both majority and minority satisfied? I believe there are numerous innovative ways to give equal marriage rights to heterosexual and homosexual couples without taking away much from the majority. I think there are two big reasons why many people are still against homosexual marriages. First, people tend to be repelled from others who are different from themselves, and the second, people do not like changes and taking risks without much possible benefits.

We briefly talked about the first one with the book ‘Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?’. I see Koreans students hanging out with themselves at Emory all the time, and I had seen American soldiers in Korea hanging out only with themselves in certain boundaries. I remember reading an article written by a psychologist, Linda J. Roberts, who compared the faces of couples in long relationships to see if people are attracted to a person who resembled themselves. Her result showed that we, unconsciously, tend to be more attracted to people who look like ourselves. This shows how much value we unknowingly put on ‘similarity to ourselves’ when interacting with other people. For this reason, I believe that some people, or homophobes are subconsciously against the idea of homosexuality, which is the opposite of their sexual orientation. Then why are people accepting different races more easily than homosexuality? The late beginning of the emergence of the issue in homosexuality can be one of the reason, but I think there is more than that. I think people could accept different races more quickly, because accepting different races does not really have anything to lose in their minds. However, I think that being close to homosexual people can mean to the homophobic people, again unconsciously thinking, that they can be approached by homosexuals, creating awkward situation and frustration. I am sure many of us have seen a lot of these scenes on comedy shows or movies. I think this is also why we see less homophobic reactions from males towards lesbians, and more females’ friendships with gay people, because people know that lesbians and gays will not affect men and women, respectively. Some people would say they are against homosexuality because it is unnatural. However, a species of primates called bonobos have homosexuality too, in their natural environments, which actually plays a big role in maintaining peace in their groups.

I am recently starting to feel that homosexuality is becoming acceptable to more people. Even with this progressive phenomenon, homosexual marriages are not legalized yet, because simply there is not enough of them to make it happen quickly. Although relatively big part of the majority, heterosexuals, is now accepting the legitimacy of homosexuals, including myself, we simply do not care because our lives are not much affected by whether the homosexual couples are legally married or not. On the other hand, homophobic people will tend to actively show their opinions against homosexuality, since they think they will get negative effects by giving the equal rights to the homosexual couples. However, most of the negative effects they assert seems to originate from themselves. When talking about a child who is adopted by gay parents, people against gay marriages will question the environment for the child and the prejudice the kid have to deal with. However, if people did not discriminate homosexuals in the first place, there will be no such worries.

People who have committed a serious felony are allowed to get married to have a family. We already have people taking advantage of marriage laws in the United States. I think homosexual couples, who have been longing for legal recognition of their relationship for a long time, will do much more than those people when carefully designed law gets passed.

Culture and Sexuality

It seems somewhat paradoxical how culture immensely affects sexuality when romance is usually between just two individuals. Since people’s perspectives are shaped by environments, at least to certain degrees, the two people in a relationship cannot be free from societies and prejudices. The situation Yun Ch’i-ho was facing in his relationship with Miss Tommie would be an example where he struggles between his instinctive attraction to the American woman, and rationality that gives him reasons not to continue the affair.

His mention, “if there are some things in America that I envy more than others, they are, its beautiful women”[1]  clearly shows his attraction to American women, but his self-consciousness of being a Korean discourages him as written in his diary, “no American girl of social standing, of education and of beauty would condescend to marry me”.

In another diary entry, he wrote, on a day in December 1892, he cut and pasted an article that describes China as “thousand years behind in the race of national progress” [2]. Korea, in its 4000-year long history, was constantly invaded by the superpowers around it, but China was the only country that Korea recognized as superior and considered deserving Korea’s submissive approach. Understanding his country’s history and what its people thought in that time, Yun’s exposure to perspectives like this article in the United States, must had contributed much to his self-consciousness that made him write “Yes, humiliations, mortifications, insult and despair are the conditions or fees for being a Corean!”.

Another factor that probably made Yun Ch’i-ho more self-conscious was probably his own culture, which was, if not more, as discriminative as that of America then. Traditionally Korean people viewed interracial marriages, or ‘blood mixings’ as ‘shame of family’, which is strongly against Yun’s affection for Tommie. Although he was educated in the western world and was attracted to an American woman, he most likely was aware of what his relatives would feel for him to have a foreign wife. Though he wrote “The question is not whether I like or dislike to marry”, it seems Yun was the one who ended the relationship when he “was surprised at [his] own indifference to the girl”, and he “couldn’t possibly persuade [himself] to love her”.

Continuing the relationship with Tommie would had also meant that either Yun or Tommie had to leave his or her country. We do not know whether Yun had any intention of staying in the United States, but he saw the chance of an American woman “leav[ing] happy America to live in the dirty habitations of Corea”, “impossibility”. Yun’s ethnicity and the vast cultural difference between Korea and America of the time probably made his decision unavoidable.

According to the book, ‘A Walk of Modern Korean History’ by Kang Joon Man, Yun Ch’i-ho, before coming to America, was drunk in sixty seven nights and slept with women eleven times between 1885 and 1887 [3]. Kang also wrote that Yun had an obsession of recording his daily lives. Now, it seems lucky for us that Emory had the ‘right’ student who had passion for women and left detailed records of it in foreigner’s eyes.

[1] Romance and Race in the Jim Crow South: Yun Ch’i-ho and the Personal Politics of Christian Reform by Andrew Urban

[2] Yun Ch’i-ho’s personal diaries, 1892



[3] A Walk of Modern Korean History (한국 근대사 산책) (2007) by Kang Joon Man