Chapter

Sexual Enslavement and Reproductive Health: Narratives of Han among Korean Comfort Women Survivors

Chunghee Sarah Soh

in Sexual Inequalities and Social Justice

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780520246140
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939141 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520246140.003.0005
Sexual Enslavement and Reproductive Health: Narratives of Han among Korean Comfort Women Survivors

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The Asia-Pacific War (1931–1945) witnessed a boom in forced prostitution of Japanese, Dutch, and Korean girls, with the last nationality constituting the bulk. This chapter seeks to discern the effect that sexual enslavement has had on reproductive health of comfort women (the term for these women in common parlance) survivors by analyzing their life-historical testimonial stories with a focus on the Korean cases. From a macrolevel structural perspective, class and ethnic discrimination under colonialism were the fundamental variables that precipitated their recruitment into military prostitution and sexual slavery in the first place. From a microlevel sexual and social psychological perspective, in contrast, there are intragroup differences that further complicate the causal factors for social inequality and personal suffering of former comfort women. The common thread between the subjects and the researcher in terms of pervasive gender discrimination in patriarchal societies such as Korea, inducts the inquiry into participatory research.

Keywords: Asia-Pacific war; comfort women; sexual enslavement; survivor; macrolevel structural perspective

Chapter.  8051 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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