Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Marriage market in Iran

The marriage market in Iran is not proceeding as planned, the Guardian reports: Premarital sex on rise as Iranians delay marriage, survey finds

"The survey also revealed that the average marrying age had risen to 40 for men and 35 for women, a blow to the government's goal of promoting marriage to shore up society's Islamic foundations."

The rise in age of marriage might be a result of religious barriers being raised to courtship between unmarried men and women. But there are other hypotheses to consider:

"Many blame economic circumstances for their failure to marry, citing high inflation, unemployment and a housing shortage along with cultural traditions that expect brides' families to provide dowries and husbands to commit themselves to mehrieh, an agreed cash gift."

"However, Hojatoleslam Ghasem Ebrahimipour, a sociologist, told Shabestan news agency that the trend was due to the availability of premarital sex, and feminism among educated women. "When a woman is educated and has an income, she does not want to accept masculine domination through marriage," he said."

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