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The Importance of Marriage in The Societies Around The World and The Issues Surrounding Arranged Marriage

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According to Myers: ‘Marriage is an important institution in almost all societies in the world. In the United States, for example, over 90% of persons choose to marry at some point in their lives. The results of numerous studies suggest that people tend to be both healthier and happier when they are married.” But I don’t think this is true in the case of arranged marriages.

Arranged Marriages are planned and agreed to by the families or guardians of the bride and groom, who have little or no say in the matter themselves. This has been happening historically for a very long time. It is found most commonly in South Asian countries such as Pakistan, India, and Nepal (Zaidi, 499).

According to Yeoh: “Globalization and increased mobility’s have multiplied cross-border transactions not only in the economic sphere but have also a major impact on human relationships of intimacy. This can be seen in the increased volume of differently mediated forms of international marriage, not just straddling ‘east’ and ‘west’, but within Asia and across different ethnicities and nationalities. International marriage raises a host of social issues for countries of origin and destination, including challenges relating to the citizenship status and rights of the marriage migrant.”

One of the main reasons families do this because selling their daughters is very beneficial. The family receives large sums of money from the groom’s side of the family in exchange for a woman to marry. These payments can generally affect the woman’s welfare and wealth distribution of the society. Estimates that have been recently conducted had documentation of transfer money of one marriage amounting to six times the annual income in South Asia. This is quite a large incentive for parents to sell their daughter for (Anderson, 151). Some may find these actions harmless, but that is far from the truth. Most women from Pakistan would prefer not to have an arranged marriage. They claimed they would much rather fall in love and marry (Zaidi, 506). This is a global problem and something needs to be done about it.

Gorney (2011) noted that “child marriage spans continents, language, religion, caste. In India the girls will typically be attached to boys four or five years older; in Yemen, Afghanistan, and other countries with high early marriage rates, the husbands may be young men or middle-aged widowers or abductors who rape first and claim their victims as wives afterward, as is the practice in certain regions of Ethiopia. Some of these marriages are business transactions, barely adorned with additional rationale: a debt cleared in exchange for an 8-year-old bride; a family feud resolved by the delivery of a virginal 12-year-old cousin. Those, when they happen to surface publicly, make for clear and outrage-inducing news fodder from great distances away”. (p.2)

Before the last century, the selection of the bride and groom was closely controlled by the parents for Lebanese Muslims. Children sometimes as young as five years old were forced to marry whoever their parents chose for them. Today, arranged marriages are quite as controlled as they previously were. The main reason for this is because parents realize the marriage will run more smoothly, if the child has some say as to whom they will marry. The marriage will have higher success rate if the child has some choices. However, some families still maintain strictness with their children on whom they can marry (Nasser, 387-388).

The average engagement for these marriages is anywhere from 1-4 years. This is because of social, financial, and gender-related reasons. Previously the woman would rely on the man to provide for her but in modern times this is not always the case. Women are seeking out education opportunities and becoming more independent. This enables the couple to somewhat escape from needing their families. Both the men and women study abroad and enhance their likelihood of being able to make their own decisions and gain more freedom (Nasser, 387-388).

The Lebanese generally arrange marriages for more practical reasons not religious. Parent’s want to keep the marriages within the family. According to the Quran in the women 23 there are certain women who you cannot marry that exist in the family. The exact statement claims : “Forbidden to you (for marriage) are : your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your brothers sisters, your mothers sisters, your brothers daughters, your sisters daughters, your foster mother who gave you suck, your foster milk suckling sister, your wives mothers, your stepdaughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in-but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in them.” The man will sometimes even ask his parent to find him a wife in some cases (Nasser, 387-388).

During the Elizabethan era, it was not uncommon at all of parents of a higher class to arrange marriages for their children. They did this to ensure that they would keep their economic status within the area. Marrying outside of a class was considered very bad. They wanted to also keep their bloodlines strong, so often times they would marry inside the family. Generally the parents of the bride would offer their daughter to the son of a family of the same wealth and prestige. Many of these practices still exist today. In the cases of royalty it is almost demanded (LarsonJewlers, 2015).

This idea was also used in many Indian societies as well. Previously, in India, and arranged marriage was viewed as a way of promoting a caste system. It was utilized to keep the upper caste people together and protect the community by keeping social status. So parent would marry their children into the same caste of similar social background. This practice was also used with the lower castes eventually too. Even today, the rituals and customs vary depending on which caste you are from (iloveindia.com, 2015).

According to a study done on Indian’s who were in an arranged marriage and Americans who weren’t, the results concluded that they both shared about an equal amount of happiness. This was because by being in the marriage they went through so much together which brought them closer. However, the beginning of the marriage was sort of awkward for most (Madathil, 227-228).

There are many reasons why arranged marriages should be outlawed. I think the main one that bothers me is that so many parents are able to just sell their children for profit. I myself, believe in true love. That should be the only reason to marry. I find it quite disturbing that parents encourage situations where their child is just sold to some stranger who could do anything to her. Payments for the marriages come in several forms and sizes but can be categorized in two groups. Firstly is money transferred from the bride’s family to the grooms, which is called dowry. Or from the grooms side to the family of the brides, bridprice. Bride price occurs in two-thirds of societies. Dowry only occurs in less than four percent generally. (Anderson, 152).

The effect that arranged marriages have on young girls:

  1. Responsibility
  2. Unwanted Babies
  3. Bad treatment
  4. No education
  5. Happiness vanishes from their lives

There are several other things that women in arranged marriages must sacrifice during the marriage. Generally once she marries she takes on several responsibilities. The husband is usually demanding. She must cater to his needs which includes cooking for him, cleaning for him, and often times she is forced into having sex with him. One of the reasons parent want arrange marriages is so that they can have grandchildren quickly. So often times the husband will demand many kids. These girls take on the role of being a mother young, and sometimes this is not what they desired. Women, most likely have little say in these cases.

The women are controlled in a sense. They have to be obedient to their husbands. When they disobey there will always be some sort of punishment. It can be verbal or physical depending on the case. The women are made to feel hopeless. What can they do at this point, everything was decided for them and they must fulfill their family’s wishes.

Women will lose opportunities to further their education most likely. Since they will be having children, and managing a household, there becomes little time to earn a degree. Several women aspire to enhance their knowledge but lose out. Typically, a women would rather get a degree before marrying but this doesn’t happen in arranged marriages. There are cases however, where her husband and her alike attend the same university. Many times these girls are still children. They lose their innocence and childhood too quickly with arranged marriages. These girls should be out playing and having fun with friends, but instead they are having babies and being a woman.

Another negative connotation about arranged marriages is because there is a certain racist factor guiding them. Many families want their children to stick to a single race. Dating is not okay for Muslims and this is why many do stay in the same race when marrying. This is not enhancing globalization at all. We need people to mix together as well. We need people to leave their countries and enter into other ones as well. Racial factors should not play any role in who you can and cannot marry. It should be based solely on love. Judgments on other cultures can sometimes be completely inaccurate, but parents are stuck in their one mind thinking.

Some people argue that a positive aspect of arranged marriages is that the parents have complete control on who enters the family. They say that the parents would choose a good mate for their child. I disagree with this because the child should have the choice on who they should marry. Why should the parent get to decide this? The parent doesn’t have to live with this person. Also, how can the parent know for sure that this person will be a good match? Someone can easily pretend to be something they are not, and then change once the marriage has occurred. This idea is absolutely absurd.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I think that arranged marriages are prehistoric concept. We as a world are advancing and do not need practices such as this. In a sense, I can see why some people like the idea of them, but the reality is completely different. There are many more negative consequences of these marriages than benefits. Girls should never be used as property. Parents should never even consider selling their children. Arranged marriages negatively affect world globalization.

Solution to the problem:

The first step to solving this problem is education. People need to become informed on issues such as this. Even if you are not in a situation like this, several people are and they have no voice. You need to find your stance on the topic and fight for it. I do not agree with arranged marriages and I don’t think I ever will be. Second, if you are a parent’s rethink about the decision, because your son/daughter future is in your hand. The last step, look into different cultures such as the Europeans, and American society and the way they treat their kids.

“The small things that we can do, and together we will come up with enough…” by William Albert Allard. If there many people start to protect their children from arranged marriage this world would be a better a place to live in. I totally respect all the other opinion, but there is right and wrong and things have to be change someday. Our kids are very important they have to be treated the right way. Without abusing them and allowing them to live a normal life just like the kids in western countries. Children under age are like flowers in spring with different colors, places, cultures, and personalities. They deserve to live their childhood without no one staling it from them.

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The Importance of Marriage in the Societies Around the World and the Issues Surrounding Arranged Marriage. (2019, Jun 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-importance-of-marriage-in-the-societies-around-the-world-and-the-issues-surrounding-arranged-marriage/
“The Importance of Marriage in the Societies Around the World and the Issues Surrounding Arranged Marriage.” GradesFixer, 12 Jun. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-importance-of-marriage-in-the-societies-around-the-world-and-the-issues-surrounding-arranged-marriage/
The Importance of Marriage in the Societies Around the World and the Issues Surrounding Arranged Marriage. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-importance-of-marriage-in-the-societies-around-the-world-and-the-issues-surrounding-arranged-marriage/> [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021].
The Importance of Marriage in the Societies Around the World and the Issues Surrounding Arranged Marriage [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jun 12 [cited 2021 Nov 30]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-importance-of-marriage-in-the-societies-around-the-world-and-the-issues-surrounding-arranged-marriage/
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