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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

Since the start of fourth generation of K-POP (will explain later), this genre has been dominated by girl groups which seem to be much more popular than boy groups, by taking the number #1 spot on multiple charts. When I first became a fan, I was more interested in boy groups. Let’s examine the possible reason for the switch in popularity and when we might see a return of boy groups.  

I would like to examine the reason for the switch in popularity and when we might see a return of boy groups.  When you think about K-Pop, hundreds of groups can be named, considering it has been around for about 30 years  What are some of the most major groups? BTS, BlackPink, Stray Kids, Le Sserafim, New Jeans.  

However, members of BTS are now having to start serving in South Korea’s mandatory military service, causing the group to become rather inactive, other than solo activities.  As a result, a gap has been left open, leaving more groups to enter into the number one spot in both the Korean and global charts. As a result, girl groups have recently been taking over these spots.  As a longtime fan of K-Pop, these trends are fast, but clear to see. When I first entered the fandom, I found that many loved boy groups.  

Why? There can be multiple explanations. In my view, at the time, boy groups were getting lots of global attention, such as One Direction. Young (oftentimes female) fans loved to engage with young men singing and dancing. It isa constant phenomenon spanning decades. Perhaps, a twinge of misogyny played a part, where girl groups would be accused of internal tension or being too cute, too sexy to be of any interest to the majority of fans. 

All in all, Boy groups, like BTS, EXO, iKON, Seventeen, etc. held control over and remained popular for years. All these groups were in the third generation. K-Pop is separated into generations as a way to classify the differences in aesthetics, trends, and industry shifts.  We are presently in the fourth generation of K-Pop, set to shift into the fifth generation very soon.  

All that has been observed is the powerhouse that fourth-gen girl groups have become.  New Jeans, Le Sserafim, Gi-Idle, ITZY, STAYC, and more groups get millions of plays and hold out on charts.  And household names, such as TWICE or BlackPink, are continuing their great success.  It is not accurate to say that girl groups have never had their time to shine, but now, their popularity is clear as day amongst the various demographics of fans.  

Out of the top seven most viewed K-pop videos in 2023, five of them are by girl groups/female artists.  Fifty Fifty’s ‘Cupid’ became a worldwide pop piece, getting lots of recognition on TikTok. It also is actively receiving more than 130 million views on Youtube and 600 million plays on Spotify.  The upward trajectory of girl groups has not shown any signs of  slowing down. It will be interesting to see if boy groups will be able to catch up to this phenomenon.  

Genesis is a second-year journalism major and an Africology minor at Temple University. Originally hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Genesis mostly analyzes and brings awareness to social issues. When she's not focusing on school and writing, she likes to explore the different nuances of international cultures, whether through traveling or through her love of KPOP and Spanish Netflix series. She hopes to travel the world and write all about it!