Gender differences in consumption of leisure in Korea: Revisiting the concept of ‘cultural voraciousness’

Seung-Eun Cha

leisure activity, cultural voraciousness, gender difference in leisure, age difference in leisure, variety of leisure activities

This study explores gender differences in leisure activity, applying the concept of “cultural voraciousness”, using data from the 2014 Korean Time Use Survey. Drawing on 26,972 diaries kept by adults aged 35-64 years, we measured two aspects of leisure activity: 1) the total daily minutes spent on outdoor leisure, and 2) the sequential complexity index capturing cultural voraciousness (the variety and distribution of leisure activity) within a day. Results showed that Korean men consumed more leisure than women in terms of daily minutes spent on leisure and had more complexity in their leisure activities. The gender gap in leisure time and the complexity score remained large even in later life, when leisure time increased overall, compared with earlier life stages. Another important finding is that socioeconomic factors appear crucial in shaping the leisure consumption of men and women, but the impact of those factors on leisure differed according to gender. Men and women's leisure complexity was associated with current household income. Education was as a significant factor associated with women's leisure time and complexity for all age groups of women.