Arranged mariages and internet dating

According to one survey in the 1990s less than nine percent of all newlyweds have had premarital sex and less than a third do it on their wedding night. Although the male may escape social repudiation if such liaisons become known, the female may suffer lasting damage to her own reputation and bring dishonor to her family.Further, if a woman is sexually linked with a man of lower caste status, the woman is regarded as being irremediably polluted, "like an earthen pot." A male so sullied can be cleansed of his temporary pollution, "like a brass pot," with a ritual bath.The most dramatic aspect of this asymmetrical relationship is the giving of dowry.[Source: Library of Congress *] The wedding is regarded as the beginning of a relationship rather than the culmination of one.Marriages have traditionally been arranged by parents of the same caste in different villages between young people who have never met.In the old days parents had more say over their children's future spouse than their children did.Once a couple decided that they wanted to get married they were not allowed to date or meet each other between the engagement and the wedding day.Even today romance plays little part in selecting a mate, many young people say they are opposed to courtship and they trust their parent’s judgment rather than their own when it comes to selecting a mate.

So-called love marriages are deemed a slightly scandalous alternative to properly arranged marriages. Nayar, Encyclopedia of Sexuality, \*/] Indians are very practical about marriage and the union of bride and groom is often seen as a merger of business and family.

It is estimated that 80 percent of all marriages in South Asia are arranged by the bride and groom's parents.

Many future spouses in India have never met one another before they are introduced by their parents.

[Source: Library of Congress] A girl’s honor is held in high regard.

Wolf whistles can result in a prison sentence for "outraging the modesty of a woman." In the 1990s six people were murdered after a boy reportedly made a lewd remark about a girl at a wedding.

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Prospective mates generally have the power to accept or reject the choices made for them. Within this relationship, bride-givers are considered inferior to bride-takers and are forever expected to give gifts to the bride-takers.

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