SEOUL, March 30 (Korea Bizwire) — There are still false beliefs rampant in corners of Korean society that disabilities can be passed down.
A recent online post mocking a disabled couple for giving birth to a child sparked massive controversy.
The post, titled ‘why disabled people give birth’, questioned the disabled person’s ‘motives for passing down their disabilities’.
The post’s author then asked ‘why the child needs to suffer,’ referring to a YouTube video about a disabled couple giving birth to a disabled child.
While the post bluntly discriminates against the children of disabled persons, the post received more than 1,000 likes, 2.5 times more than the number of dislikes.
These stereotypes against disabled people can also be found in statistics.
The National Human Rights Council of Korea conducted a survey of 605 non-disabled persons in 2019, 69.4 percent of whom believed that disabled couples were more likely to give birth to a disabled child.
Experts argue, however, that these stereotypes lack scientific basis.
“Close to 90 percent of all disabled persons acquire disability after birth. Disability caused by genetic reasons is extremely rare,” said Kim Cheol-hwan, activist from a civic group supporting disabled people’s rights.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare reported in 2017 that only 5.3 percent of disabled couples gave birth to disabled children. A 2016 study by the Korea Disabled People’s Development Institute also reported 5.3 percent rate.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)