First Son Syndrome

I’m sure you’ve come across first son syndrome in Korea. It is evident everywhere. Korea is a patrilineal country. It is also a modern country, the ideal is to have no more than two children, one of each – a boy first and then a girl. If you have a girl first then you should keeping trying until you have a boy. Abortion of female fetuses is OK – one of the reasons why the Korean infant mortality rate stays so high, actually.

First sons don’t have to hold their own dick. Everyone will do everything for them. Their whole childhood they are spoiled and coddled. You will see even small infants and toddlers slap and hit their mothers and any adult or child around them. Not only are they not chastised for such beastly behavior, they are encouraged – “my little son, you are the victor over me and everything – you are the first son”. Grandparents are the worst offenders of spoiling the child.

After a childhood of never being shown how to act courteously to others, to respect women, and to understand that they are responsible for their own actions, these spoiled, arrogant boys become men. And they are totally kicked in the teeth.

After a youth of no responsibility, of no skill development for leadership, they are expected to lead others and accept all the stress along with this role. Whether within the family, at school or at work, these beasts only know how to bully in order to get their way. They have not developed or been encouraged to develop skills that will help them to be quality leaders of others. They will not be leaders who will give encouragement and congratulations to team members who have succeeded, but rather will steal the limelight from their team members and take credit for their work.

They will not be leaders who have ideas, but who manipulate and coerce others into doing hare-brained plans of imitation within outrageous time frames. If these plans are not followed, the first son loses his charm and then berates and maybe even beats his “juniors”. One of the responses I hear for physical beatings by teachers or superiors is that they are showing they “care”. Thus the abused says of the abuser. Some deep psychological studies are needed to address this behavior as well as the attitude.

While culture has changed in Korea, and men and women are more equally valued, the first son syndrome is still alive and well. Questioning how first sons are socialized within the family unit needs to be changed. This spoiling of the child and then thrusting leadership onto them, does not make for healthy men or a healthy society.

BTW I love Korea. I am not a man-hater. Let’s get these guys some help!


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