In Jane Myers article on marital satisfaction, she states a preliminary comparison between arranged marriages in India and marriages of choice in the United States in terms of satisfaction and wellness. “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” (Myers 183). The most frequently studied aspect of relationships and marriage is that of satisfaction and happiness. How couples maintain happiness is is a very important aspect of a relationship. Frequently studied aspects in arranged marriages is the process couples undergo to develop intimacy with their companion and how the love between the two partners develop. Most people would object to being in an arranged marriage because they don’t experience the matter of time needed to develop such emotions and feelings towards their chosen companion. Research from 33 countries on the effects of culture on mate preferences were conducted to around 9,494 adults. The research states “ They found that men and women around the world agree that love and mutual attraction are the most important factors in mate selection. Additional factors that received near-universal support were dependability, emotional stability, kindness, and understanding” (Myers 183). Therefore the factors of love, intimacy, happiness, and satisfaction aren’t as different in an arranged marriage as one would think. In Western societies, romantic love is likely to be the primary basis for mate selection. In Eastern societies, mate selection is accomplished by the family rather than the individuals who are getting married.
Noted in the article, in the countries such as China and India, the parents of the future couple take a great deal of time and put into consideration multiple factors of characteristics, qualities, and traits when choosing their child’s future spouse. The criteria used in this mate selection stated by Udry include subsistence skills, family alliances, economic arrangements between families, and health. They make sure the person they choose is most suitable for their offspring. Men place a high value on “womens chastity, their desire for home and children, and their abilities as cook and homemaker” (Myers 183). In the same societies “women value men with ambition, with good financial prospects, and men who hold favorable social status” (Myers 183) The criteria used to determine the selection vary among different countries due to a system and policies of mate selection in a particular country. In one of the studies of marital satisfaction in arranged marriages and in marriages of choice, hundreds of married couples from Israel were surveyed to establish differences between the two types of marriages. During this study, “they found that the duration of cohabitation, and patterns of spouse selection were only minimally related to marriage satisfaction” (Myers 183). In another study, satisfaction and communication from Indian couples in arranged marriages and in marriages of choice, and American couples in companionate marriages were studied. “They found that persons in arranged marriages had higher marital satisfaction scores, as measured by the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, than either the love-married persons in India or the companionate-married persons in the United States” (Myers 184). Their results indicate that couples in arranged marriages were more satisfied with their relationships than people in Western societies. The research on satisfaction and wellness in arranged marriages and marriages of choice remain equal.
In an article written by Shaifali Sandhya, a study on the Social Context of marital Happiness in Urban Indian Couples is studied. The research emphasizes how personal desires do not impact the happiness of non-Western couples. However, intimacy and conflict play a critical role in the longevity of marriage even for those in non-Western societies. In the study, 91 indian couples were studied. The results noted that “happy couples, compared with unhappy couples, reported agreement, empathy, validation, support, and fulfilled expectations” (Sandhya 74). This suggests that personal desires alter cultural practices. According to the article, even though all cultures place a premium on happiness, maintaining well being is different among cultures. “In line with the culture-specific notion of happiness, such theories would predict that while personal goals such as intimacy and relational attributes such as conflict influence happiness in American couples, the processes of intimacy and conflict will not impact the happiness of non-Western couples” (Sandhya 74). While in the midst of globalization, men and women inherit western trends. Values such as intimacy fancy an importance in their relationship. Argyle defines marital happiness as “an individual’s affective feeling about the marriage as a whole, that is strongly associated with psychological well-being, positive moral, and depression” (Sandyha 75). The individuals that reported happiness , also reported better immune functioning. They also have a more satisfying sexual relationship than unmarried sex. Most people would think that married sexual relationships would be better, and should be better than unmarried sexual relationships. Having a satisfying sexual relationship with your partner also decreases the probability of future divorce. Besides the fact of being in a healthy and stable relationship, it also increases the domain of friendship among the two. The study shows that healthy sexual relationships increase income, work performance, and social support. On the reverse side of things, and unhappy relationship can be destructive. A destructive relationship will create less constructive strategies for resolving conflicts. This can lead to a negative effect on immunity, more regrets in marriage, and can even have an effect on behaviors of children. There are three manifestations of intimacy. These manifestations include: behavioral intimacy, semantic intimacy, and physical intimacy. Research suggests that behavioral intimacy does not exist among Indians. Intimacy in the United States is essential to any relationship, but in India, studies suggest that intimacy as a personal goal is not critical to the marital happiness. In the study, romantic love was not considered critical to the success of marriage and the longevity of marriage.
An article written by Keera Allendorf notes that while arranged marriage were common in the past, in recent decades arranged marriages have become less common and love marriages are now dominant. Though both marriages are different, they are perceived positively. Allendorf explains that a hybrid of the two marriages would be the ideal marriage. The rise in love marriages is being triggered due to a copious amount of reasons. Technological expansion, educational expansion, and foreign influence are some of the main reasons. Many people would agree that the rise in love marriages is due to the change in socioeconomic change. These schemas are heavily shaped by global influences and indicate complex integration of both factors for marital change. Family behaviors have undergone many changes in recent years which has lead to a rising elopement of marriage. Lately, young people have taken it upon themselves to choose who they want to be their future spouse. “For example, in rural Indonesia the percentage of women who had marriages arranged by their parents declined from 67% among women born in 1935–1943 to 39% among women born in 1953 – 1965” (Allendorf 453). In Chitwan Valley, Nepal, those married from 1936 – 1945 did not participate in the selection of their spouse, but those married from 1986 – 1995 participated in choosing their own spouse. In the recent study, Understanding how and why changes take place is an important part of this research. The consequences of these changes are also put into consideration during this study. Ideational elements in family change, also known as schemas, shape the behaviors of these marriage selections and clarify the meaning behind it. Johnson-Hanks define schemas as “the largely underdetermined, and often taken-for-granted, ways of perceiving and acting through which we make sense of the world and motivate our actions”(Allendorf 453). Schemas Include such things as categorizations, social scripts, and such things related to mental representation. In order to understand family change you must understand the concept of schemas and how they shape behavior. In India, marriage practices are decided by the specific region you live in, the religion you believe in, and your ethnicity.
As most people know, arranged marriages are customary for the country of India. The caste system is supported in India to ensure that spouses are of the same Caste as their partner. Although this study has stated that fewer individuals are participating in arranged marriages, they are still widely practiced in India. Statistics show that, “Of the ever?married women aged 25–49 that were interviewed in the Indian Human Development Survey in 2005, less than 5% had the primary role in choosing their husband and only 22% knew their husband for more than one month before they married” (Allendorf 454). Young people are beginning to dislike the idea of not knowing their spouse until the day they are married, so the participation in spouse selection is increasing. Younger cohorts of marriage are more likely to have been consulted by their parents as to who they have chose. Furthermore, elopements do also take place. There is a strong disapproval by the families and sometimes there is even violent reactions, but not all the time. Some communities disapprove, but they don’t show disbelief and violence towards the individuals. There has been many theory as to why the change in marital selection is changing. Theories suggest that this is due to family traditions of modernization. “Industrialization, urbanization, and educational expansion were believed to create pressures for self?choice marriages based on affection, which were seen as well?suited for urban living and industrial occupations” (Allendorf 454). Studied note that some Indian followed these traditions. Young people that live in urban areas and took occupation outside of agriculture were economically independent and able to choose their spouse without their parents say.
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