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Interracial Relationships Difficult for International Korean Students

Interracial dating,
Photo by Jirka Matousek
By Seungwon Kim


When it comes to interracial marriage, a lot of Koreans have to deal with social pressures from their parents and friends. I have noticed that many Korean girls studying in America have worried about their reputation if they date White men.

Jenny, a Korean international student studying in New York, once posted her concern on Facebook that her parents and relatives were being judgmental about her dating a White boyfriend. Since her parents were conservative and didn’t want a son-in-law from a different racial background, they scolded her.

In my opinion, lots of Korean parents feel uncomfortable with Westerners being part of their family because of cultural differences. Culturally, Koreans tend to be more respectful toward elders so they serve their parents and their spouse’s parents in general. However, since Western cultures are based on individualism, Korean parents might assume that their son-in-law or daughter-in-law would not serve them very well.

Interestingly, a lot of Korean guys were leaving comments on Jenny’s Facebook post complaining about interracial relationships. One of them stated that because several Korean girls prefer Caucasian guys to Korean guys, he was jealous of Caucasians while he was in the States. He also said that it was hard for him to have an American girlfriend because it seemed there were few American girls interested in Asian guys. However, it is a lot easier for Korean girls when it comes to interracial relationships so it made him think Korean guys were inferior to American guys. He didn’t like seeing Korean girls with American boyfriends.

Korean students dating African Americans may even feel stronger pressures. Korea has a five thousand year history as a homogeneous nation. Koreans do not treat racial issues sensitively unlike people in multicultural nations, such as America and Canada. Although Korea is considered a developed nation, they are underdeveloped when it comes to multiculturalism. According to the report from YTN, a Korean media outlet, a lot of Koreans discriminate against African Americans living in Korea. Marriage to an African American would be taboo to many Koreans.

Although Jenny wanted advice from her peers, most of them were being jealous of her relationship with her American boyfriend and complained about it. She recently decided to delete her posts because of the negative response. I wonder if there is a solution for interracial relationship because I still don’t have an answer for Jenny’s concern. Please leave your comments if you had similar situation or if you have any reasonable solutions.


  1. RE: Interracial relationships difficult for international Korean students: “they are underdeveloped when it comes to multiculturalism”. This underdeveloped statement was developed by progressive individuals. Many progressive ideas turned out to be a regressive one. The multiculturalism idea has already proved to be regressive in Europe. If homogeneity and respect for elders works for the Koreans for 5000 years why adopt ideas from cultures who exist few hundreds years..

    • RE: Video Viewer’s comment on Interracial relationships difficult for international Korean students: I don’t understand why you are saying the multiculturalism idea has been proved to be regressive in Europe. ;;;; I don’t feel any atmosphere like that living in here

    • RE: Interracial relationships difficult for international Korean students: According to the constitution of South Korea, multicultural people should also be treated equally. The Korean government is still working on policies for immigrants because this is an inevitable phenomenon in international society. Everyone immigrates to another country to find a job or to study. Some people might think those immigrants are stealing their jobs but we can’t just expell immigrants without any legitimate reasons.

      Also in 2007, the UN warned the South Korean government to educate Korean students to be more open-minded toward foreign students studying in Korea because a lot of them were bullied by Koreans just because of their dark skins or cultural differences. Korea will be blamed by international society if they don’t do anything about this bullying issue because this is against the human right. Although everyone knows there were a few fallacies with multicultural polices in Europe, they also realize that it is part of human rights to treat multicultural people equally. Korean politicians still have to work on the multiculturalism idea by making reasonable policies.

    • RE: Interracial relations difficult for international Korean students: No culture is perfect and cultures change over time by adopting ideas (adopting an idea doesn’t mean adopting a whole culture) your argument is purely prejudiced if you dismiss an idea because it happens to come from a country that isn’t yours. Inter racial relationships have proved progressive as they provide greater genetic variation. Which means lower risks of disease and medical conditions. Also in my opinion a child receives more knowledge in a way if they are educated in two cultures and two religions and can pick what is right for them. And also the child learns that you can love those who are different to you and not be self-righteous but instead learn. What evidence is there that inter racial relationships are regressive? The answer is.. None

  2. RE: Interracial relationships difficult for international Korean students: Due to hi incompatibility IR is overrated but people persists because they think the Asian are in the wrong and white privilege should be considered over Asian beliefs.

  3. RE: Interracial relationships difficult for international Korean students: I am from a conservative third world MUSLIM country and I recently got married to a white guy.
    Beside the difference in race, I also had to deal with the religious difference. I kept my relationship secret from my relatives until we got married and everyone in my family did welcome him. I am glad my family and relatives are not as conservative as everyone else in my country. I know families in my country who stopped talking to their children because of getting married to someone from different religion, it doesn’t matter even if they are from the same race..People in my country don’t think white guys can be serious enough about relationship or family.

  4. RE: Interracial relationships difficult for international Korean students: the only way to challenge narrow-mindedness is with reason. Race is a socially constructed concept (some physical traits), a relationship is between two people who love and respect one another and if culturally a persons parents are part of the deal then the partner should respect that also. Love and respect are all that matters in all relationships. Another reason that guy might have found that women weren’t as attracted to him as american’s living in america might have nothing to do with race he might just be less attractive than most people (as most people around him would be american’s in america) and find it easier to except himself if he blames race.

    • RE: Interracial relationship difficult for international Korean students: Porn in USA already has influenced the racial pairing. Everyone knows there’s a race component to relationships . Say otherwise is lying or denial

    • RE: Interracial relationships difficult for international Korean students:
      Race isn’t just social construct it’s actually a real visual identifier , social gathering, and biological marker

      • Re: Interracial relationships difficult for international students: There are no biological markers for race.

        I’ll say it again.

        There are no biological markers for race. There are features that are common to people that come from a certain country, but no real difference. We’re all just human. That’s why vaccines and medicines work the same regardless of race. It’s a social construct based on appearance. It just opens the door to be prejudiced,

  5. RE: Interracial relationships difficult for international Korean students: Asian women love white men… but their own sons are Asian men. LOL @ Eurasian men with whore mothers like me.


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