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A Critique of

Arranged Marriage

Harold Lakeman
20th December, 2017


Lakeman

Introduction

The following pages will cover my personal distaste for arranged marriage, not due to any

inherent cultural bias, but most explainable by my own internal convictions. This paper is

applicable to one published by Aimi Aqilah Mohd Zulkifli in 2011 [1], however, my ideas can be

applied to the total argument of arranged marriage in general.

Argument

In Aimi Aqilah Mohd Zulkiflis 2011 paper, Arranged marriage ( argumentative essay), the

author admits that although reluctant to the idea of arranged marriage at first, based on personal

observance, they changed their mind once hearing testimony from others. This transitional period

from the authors initial opinion to the one they developed later on was brought on not by

internal motives, but by those of society. In this, lies an issue. One should never shift opinions

based on traditionalism, however, this shift sadly often occurs, not only in this context.

Even western marriages, which generally occur out of love, are not natural. Marriage by itself

is nothing more than a cultural practice. If controlled, it can be healthfully executed, but often

isnt in modern society. Another argument this author purports to hold is that arranged marriage

leads to both a guaranteed mate and guaranteed satisfaction, the second of which is wildly

untrue. Only certain humans are able to benefit from arranged marriage, notably those who dont

prioritize emotional connection in a relationship, but rather social conformity. For most, arranged

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marriages are brutally unfair, suffocatingly forced, and extremely lonesome. I, and many alike,

would agree that a life of solitude would be exceedingly preferable in comparison to the

obligations of an arranged marriage.

Due to innate personality characteristics that clash with each other, arranged marriages

somewhat random matchups tend towards incompatible relationships. The patriarchies of India,

Pakistan, and regions of the Middle East are what I believe to be the sole beneficiaries of

arranged marriage, pressuring young women and men into the traditions of a destructive time. A

time which has no constructive place in modern society.

Multiple studies have been done on the topic of arranged marriage[2], with the general

consensus agreeing that arranged marriages have lower divorce rates than love marriages, thus

these arranged marriages are somehow considered successes. The notion of these low divorce

rates as successes is laughable considering that the same factor that promotes arranged marriages

is the one that causes lower divorce rates: Social Claustrophobia. Because societal expectations

in regions practicing arranged marriages are based considerably around being perceived as

stable, traditional, and successful, the victims of these marriages are more likely to accept a life

of suffering in loneliness than being ostracized from society.

Conclusion

There is no greater threat to the furtherance of romantic happiness than the proposition of

arranged marriage. This practice has led to the destruction of the youths happiness, and more

importantly, youthful idealism. Considering that human advancement is largely motivated by

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subconscious sexual factors[3], one can even make the argument that a nation under the

influence of arranged marriage (and similar patriarchal ideals), will be theoretically less

influential in creative and intellectual spheres. Of course, cultural practices should be allowed to

be retained, so long as they dont cause any severe harm, and Im not necessarily claiming that

arranged marriages should be banished completely, but Im making the argument that they are

less fulfilling than sexual choice, and sometimes, less fulfilling than total lifetime solitude.

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References

[1]Aimi Aqilah Mohd Zulkifli. Arranged Marriage ( Argumentative Essay). Scribd, Scribd, 16
Jan. 2011, www.scribd.com/doc/46942970/Arranged-marriage-argumentative-essay.

[2]Dholakia, Utpal M. Why Are So Many Indian Arranged Marriages Successful? Psychology
Today, Sussex Publishers, 24 Nov. 2015,
www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-behind-behavior/201511/why-are-so-many-indian-
arranged-marriages-successful

[3]https://www.psychologytoday.com/sites/default/files/attachments/95822/sexual-selection-crea
tivity-and-humor.pdf