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Can siblings marry in Korea?


Sibling marriage is a taboo subject in most parts of the world. However, in some regions, it is permissible or even customary. This article focuses on Korea’s standpoint on sibling marriage.

The Legal Status of Sibling Marriage in Korea

Sibling marriage is illegal in South Korea, and offenders could face imprisonment for up to three years. The reason for this law is to prevent genetic disorders and abnormalities that could arise from incestuous relationships.

Historical Perspectives on Sibling Marriage in Korea

In ancient Korea, incestuous relationships were common among the royal family members. These marriages were regarded as a way to preserve the purity of the royal bloodline. However, with the advent of modernization, such practices were abolished.

Religious Views on Sibling Marriage in Korea

Korea’s two main religions, Buddhism and Confucianism, prohibit incestuous relationships. They consider such practices immoral and disruptive to social order.

Why Do Some People Consider Sibling Marriage?

Despite legal and religious prohibitions, some people still consider sibling marriage. In some cases, siblings who have grown apart might feel attracted to each other when they reunite as adults. In other cases, siblings might feel that they are soulmates and want to start a family together.

The Risks of Sibling Marriage

Sibling marriage poses significant risks to offspring. Due to the close genetic relationship between siblings, there is a higher likelihood of genetic disorders and abnormalities in children born from such unions.

The Psychological Impact of Sibling Marriage

Sibling marriage can have severe psychological effects on the individuals involved. Such relationships could lead to emotional trauma, isolation from society, and stigmatization.

Alternative Solutions for Siblings Attracted to Each Other

Siblings who feel attracted to each other should seek professional help. They can get counseling to overcome their feelings and avoid the dangers of incestuous relationships. They could also consider finding romantic partners outside of their family.

International Perspectives on Sibling Marriage

Sibling marriage is illegal in most countries worldwide. However, some countries still allow it under specific circumstances, such as if the siblings are adopted or if the law recognizes the relationship as a common-law marriage.

The Genetic Impact of Incestuous Relationships

Incestuous relationships could lead to genetic disorders and abnormalities in offspring. The risk of such problems increases with the degree of genetic relatedness between partners.

Legal and Moral Implications of Sibling Marriage

Sibling marriage has legal and moral implications that could affect society’s well-being. Such relationships could break down the social fabric, destabilize communities, and promote immoral behavior.


Sibling marriage is illegal in Korea for a good reason. It poses significant risks to offspring and could have severe psychological effects on individuals involved. Instead of considering incestuous relationships, siblings should seek professional help to overcome their feelings and find romantic partners outside their family.

Can Koreans marry their cousins?

South Korea has strict laws regarding marriage, with a ban on marriage between third cousins as well as between couples with the same surname and origin region. This ban was lifted in 1997. Taiwan and North Korea also have restrictions on first-cousin marriage.

Is it true that the first son in Korea can t marry a foreigner?

The majority of Koreans are opposed to their eldest son marrying a foreigner, as there is a cultural expectation that the family line will be continued through a marriage to another Korean. Because of this viewpoint, having a multicultural relationship is not widely accepted or normalized in Korean society.

What is the eldest son rule in Korea?

The eldest son in a Confucian family has important responsibilities towards his immediate and extended family, prioritizing his duties towards his parents, older to younger brothers, sons, wife, and daughters in that order. Family well-being is considered more valuable than individual desires, and many family customs are linked to Confucian traditions.

What are the rules for marriage in Korea?

Marriage in South Korea only permits unions between people of different genders, and same-sex marriages are not recognized. Individuals over the age of 18 (males) or 16 (females) can get married with the permission of their parents or guardians.

Can you not marry someone with the same last name in Korea?

There are rules in place that prohibit marriage between individuals who share the same surname and ancestral home, known as dongseong dongbon in Korean. This tradition restricts the ability of men and women with these similarities from getting married.

Why is Kim so common in Korea?

The Kim family name has maintained its popularity due to its history of originating from two different royal families, the Silla dynasty and the Gaya confederacy. Both of these kingdoms merged, resulting in the widespread use of the Kim family name as one of the most popular surnames.

It is important to acknowledge that cultural and societal norms play a significant role in shaping attitudes towards sibling marriage. In some cultures, such relationships are not only accepted but also celebrated. However, it is essential to recognize the potential harm that can arise from these relationships, both for the individuals involved and for society as a whole.

In addition to the risks of genetic abnormalities and psychological trauma, sibling marriage can also lead to legal complications. In many countries, such relationships are considered taboo and are therefore illegal. This can result in legal consequences for those who engage in these relationships, including imprisonment and social ostracism.

It is also important to consider the impact of sibling marriage on family relationships. These relationships can create tension and conflict within families, particularly if other family members do not support the relationship. This can lead to feelings of isolation and exclusion for the individuals involved, as well as further psychological harm.

Ultimately, it is crucial to prioritize the well-being of individuals and society as a whole. While sibling marriage may be appealing to some, it is important to recognize the potential harm that can arise from these relationships and to seek alternative solutions. By promoting healthy romantic relationships outside of the family unit and seeking professional help when needed, individuals can avoid the dangers of incestuous relationships while still finding love and companionship.

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