Originally Answered: Why are arranged marriages so popular in Asia? Why did arranged marriages die out in the U.S (West)?
An arranged marriage is a marriage in which neither the bride nor the groom has any official say over the selection of their future spouses. However, in an arranged marriage, both parties give full consent to the marriage.
Arranged marriages have been a successful traditional aspect of family life in many cultures for many years. Also known as Pragmatic marriage. In South Asia arranged marriages is mostly preferred.
Some intellectuals contend that Arranged Marriages also prevent social mobility. Parents, relatives and other clan elders in their search for the right match inevitably end up pairing individuals from—more or less--the same economic background. Deviations from established practices are not common. As a result arranged marriages are doubly biased against darker and poorer men and women. By preventing social mobility this form of match making also reinforces the status quo within the society. Consequently, established unjust social practices--maltreatment of women, children and other ethnic and religious minorities, for example--remain unchallenged within the society. Society’s every thought, word and action becomes subjective: It conforms to the popular view. In short, people are afraid of rocking the boat; they do not want to end up as pariahs.
The proponents of Arranged Marriages often tout the low rates of divorce. It is the lack of expectation from your future spouse that makes Arranged Marriages resilient, they contend. Since both the man and the woman do not know each other before marriage, the proponents aver, they accept any or all the qualities of their spouse as manna from heaven.
This is blatant sophistry!
Arranged Marriages are frequently practiced in societies, which do not give equal rights to their female population. In such paternalistic societies women are confined to the household or allowed to hold only socially secluded and insignificant jobs. Arranged Marriages are forced upon them and they coerced into living their lives as second-class citizens in their own country.
The real reason for the low rate of divorce is that women are forced to compromise and made to accept maltreatment in societies where Arranged Marriages are practiced. Divorced women do not have access to any moral or financial support systems. Frequently, their own families refuse to accept them back. In such societies, women’s place can only be defined through the men they are related to: A woman is born a daughter. She grows up as a sister. Later on, she becomes someone’s wife and a few years later someone’s mother. In a nutshell, women do not have an independent status in communities where Arranged Marriages are the norm.
If non-Western societies aspire to become freer and more just--like counterparts in the West--they must start with a trenchant critique of their practices. It is high time nations realized that giving equal rights—social and political influence, for example--to one half of their population, i.e. women, will go a long way in solving prevalent social problems.
America was based on freedom and individuality; as a result it is not at all shocking to see that Arranged marriages are greatly misunderstood because they feel that it is against everything freedom stands for. Looking at the path Americans has chosen to live a happy married life is disappointing. Mostly everyone seems to be a victim of so called Cinderella syndrome. This is represented in movies and television sitcoms such as ‘Friends’, where they have displayed women at the age of 30 still waiting for “Mr. Right” and men divorced more then once, because they later realize what they thought was love was merely physical attraction.
About the statistics of divorce rates in arranged marriages, all I can say about South Asia is that out of 100 marriages only maximum 10 would fail and 5 end-up in divorce. So, it is around 5% (no scientific data).
About the demography of data on Arranged Marriage (also my guess works):
1. Africa: 70%
2. America: 5%
3. Bangladesh: 85%
4. India: 75%
5. Iran: 60%
6. Iraq: (No idea)
7. Pakistan: 90%
About why arranged marriages died out in the U.S. I have an analogy to make, without being rude or judgmental about the perception of women in our society, which is a bit unbalanced and I may be the target of criticism by the equal rights proponents. Please read the following example for reason of easy understanding only.
The Indenting Agents all over the world, once-upon-a-time was the only bridge between Manufacturers and End-users of products and services to be sold, bought or exchanged. This is the period after WW-II till the 90s. However, with the spread and availability of information technology and its easy use by the end-users by way of cheaper Radio, TV sets, Telex machines (obsolete now), Fax machines, Desktop computers, Internet, Mobile Phones, Websites, Blog posting etc., both Buyer and Seller of products and services have come to know each other thoroughly before they can make a deal. This has eliminated the role of middlemen (Agents) by about 50% who were working as the ‘matchmaker’ in business for many years.
Hence, most of the business people are getting first hand authentic information quickly on products and services available with price, deliver schedule etc., and can make up their mind quickly based on scientific data. The same thing is also working in social life and these so-called matchmakers’ days have already been finished in western societies and being numbered in developing countries and people are now contacting each other directly and may prefer for having 30-days free-trail before the purchase, or return the goods within its trial period (lol).
In fine, my personal view would be that (without any prejudice or causing any devaluation of human values) have the provision of DPI-Direct Proforma Invoice (no need to have Agent) issued and make all the negotiation by yourself being the end-user or supplier/manufacturer (whichever the case may be) and then at final stage engage the PSI-Pre-shipment Inspection company either at port-of-shipment or on-arrival at your port for checking if the offer matched with actual cargo so that one need not to return-the-goods or services (divorce) or hold-back the payment or deduct penalty for non-fulfillment of contract, in case of L/C (downgrade the wife with maltreatment etc.)
Have a nice study and would like to have a copy of your result, if possible.