hypergamy
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

Hypergamy (colloquially referred to as "marrying up") is a term used in
social science Social science is one of the branches of science, devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociology, the o ...
for the act or practice of a person marrying a spouse of higher
caste Caste is a form of social stratification characterised by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural ...
or
social status Social status is the level of social value a person is considered to possess. More specifically, it refers to the relative level of respect, honour, assumed competence, and deference accorded to people, social group, groups, and organizations in a ...
than themselves. The antonym "hypogamy" refers to the inverse: marrying a person of lower social class or status (colloquially "marrying down"). Both terms were coined in the
Indian subcontinent The Indian subcontinent is a list of the physiographic regions of the world, physiographical region in United Nations geoscheme for Asia#Southern Asia, Southern Asia. It is situated on the Indian Plate, projecting southwards into the Indian O ...
in the 19th century while translating classical Hindu law books, which used the
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had Trans-cul ...
terms ''anuloma'' and ''pratiloma'', respectively, for the two concepts. The term hypergyny is used to describe the overall practice of women marrying up, since the men would be marrying down.


India

In rural India, hypergamy is an opportunity to modernize. Marriages in rural India are increasingly examples of hypergamy. Farmers and other rural workers want their daughters to have access to city life, for with metropolitan connections comes better job opportunities, upper-class social circles, even better housing opportunities and utilities (internet access, reliable electricity, running potable water, heat/cooling). A connection in an urban area creates a broader social horizon for the bride's family, and young children in the family can be sent to live with the couple in the city for better schooling. Hypergamy comes with a cost though: the
dowry A dowry is a payment, such as property or money, paid by the bride's family to the groom or his family at the time of marriage. Dowry contrasts with the related concepts of bride price and dower. While bride price or bride service is a paymen ...
often costs as much or more than an entire house. The high price that has to be borne by parents to arrange a suitable marriage for a daughter has led to increasing rates of abortion of female fetuses.


Rest of the world

A study done by the
University of Minnesota The University of Minnesota, formally the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, (UMN Twin Cities, the U of M, or Minnesota) is a public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Tw ...
in 2017 found that females generally prefer dominant males as mates. Research conducted throughout the world strongly supports the position that women prefer marriage with partners who are culturally successful or have high potential to become culturally successful. The most extensive of these studies included 10,000 people in 37 cultures across six continents and five islands. Women rated "good financial prospect" higher than did men in all cultures. In 29 samples, the "ambition and industriousness" of a prospective mate were more important for women than for men. Meta-analysis of research published from 1965 to 1986 revealed the same sex difference (Feingold, 1992). Across studies, 3 out of 4 women rated socioeconomic status as more important in a prospective marriage partner than did the average man. Women are more selective in their choice of marriage partners than are men (Feingold, 1992; Hatfield & Sprecher, 1995; Hill & Hurtado, 1996; Kenrick et al., 1990).


Mating preferences

Studies of mate selection in dozens of countries around the world have found men and women report prioritizing different traits when it comes to choosing a mate, with both groups favoring attractive partners in general, but men tending to prefer women who are young while women tend to prefer men who are rich, well-educated, and ambitious. They argue that as societies shift towards becoming more gender-equal, women's mate selection preferences shift as well. Some research supports that theory, including a 2012 analysis of a survey of 8,953 people in 37 countries, which found that the more gender-equal a country, the likelier male and female respondents were to report seeking the same qualities as each other rather than different ones. Gilles Saint-Paul (2008) argued that, based on mathematical models, human female hypergamy occurs because women have greater lost mating opportunity costs from monogamous mating (given their slower reproductive rate and limited window of fertility), and thus must be compensated for this cost of marriage. Marriage reduces the overall genetic quality of her offspring by precluding the possibility of impregnation by a genetically higher quality male, albeit without his parental investment. However, this reduction may be compensated by greater levels of parental investment by her genetically lower quality husband. An empirical study examined the mate preferences of subscribers to a computer dating service in Israel that had a highly skewed sex ratio (646 men for 1,000 women). Despite this skewed sex ratio, they found that "On education and socioeconomic status, women on average express greater hypergamic selectivity; they prefer mates who are superior to them in these traits... while men express a desire for an analogue of hypergamy based on physical attractiveness; they desire a mate who ranks higher on the physical attractiveness scale than they themselves do." One study did not find a statistical difference in the number of women or men "marrying-up" in a sample of 1,109 first-time married couples in the United States. Traditional marriage practices in which men “marry down” in education do not persist for long once women have the educational advantage.


Prevalence

It is becoming less common for women to marry older men. (Hypergamy does not require the man to be older, only of higher status, and social equals usually refers to social circles rather than economic equality). In a 2016 paper that explored the income difference between couples in 1980 and 2012, researcher Yue Qian noted that the tendency for women to marry men with higher incomes than themselves still persists in the modern era.


See also

* Eligible bachelor * Erotic capital *
Evolutionary psychology Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach in psychology that examines cognition and behavior from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify human psychological adaptations with regards to the ancestral problems they evolv ...
*
Exogamy Exogamy is the social norm of marrying outside one's social group. The group defines the scope and extent of exogamy, and the rules and enforcement mechanisms that ensure its continuity. One form of exogamy is dual exogamy, in which two groups c ...
* Gold digging * Mating system *
Polygamy Crimes Polygamy (from Late Greek (') "state of marriage to many spouses") is the practice of marriage, marrying multiple spouses. When a man is married to more than one wife at the same time, sociologists call this polygyny. When a woman is ...
* Polygyny threshold model * Resource acquisition ability *
Sexual selection Sexual selection is a mode of natural selection in which members of one biological sex mate choice, choose mates of the other sex to mating, mate with (intersexual selection), and compete with members of the same sex for access to members of t ...
*
Social psychology Social psychology is the scientific study of how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people or by social norms. Social psychologists typically explain human behavior as a result of the rela ...
*
Social status Social status is the level of social value a person is considered to possess. More specifically, it refers to the relative level of respect, honour, assumed competence, and deference accorded to people, social group, groups, and organizations in a ...
*
Socioeconomics Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies social progress, progress, economic stagnation ...
*
Trophy wife A trophy wife is a wife who is regarded as a status symbol for the husband. The term is often used in a derogatory or disparaging way, implying that the wife in question has little personal merit besides her physical attractiveness, requires subs ...
*
Utilitarianism In ethical philosophy, utilitarianism is a family of Normative ethics, normative ethical theories that prescribe actions that maximize happiness and well-being for all affected individuals. Although different varieties of utilitarianism admit ...


Notes


References


External links

* {{Types of marriages, state=autocollapse Evolutionary psychology Mating systems Morganatic marriage Sexual selection