Matrimonial websites break caste barriers | india | Hindustan Times
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Matrimonial websites break caste barriers

A study says couples getting married through matrimonial portals in India are less rigid about caste and mother tongue, as against those tying the knot through traditional channels, reports Praveen Donthi.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2007 02:12 IST
Praveen Donthi

CALL IT a virtual revolution. Matrimonial portals may have partially succeeded in eroding what 60 years of laws and reservations have not – caste prejudice.

A University of Chicago study has found couples getting married through matrimonial portals in India are less rigid about caste and mother tongue, as against those tying the knot through traditional channels.

The study conducted by Divya Mathur, an Indian student at the University of Chicago, as part of her PhD thesis states that less than 50 per cent of couples who find their match through a matrimonial website marry within the same caste and mother tongue. On the other hand, in 90 per cent marriages happening through regular channels like “relatives and friends”, caste and mother tongue are overriding factors.

The respondent base included about 30,000 matrimonial profiles, 3,000 people who found spouses through such websites and interviews of 6,000 people.

There were some other surprises as well. A son is much less likely to marry a “college-educated” or a working woman in cases where parents take marriage decisions. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to get married to men with similar education and careers, regardless of who did the match-making, the survey said. “Higher education” is likely to hurt a woman’s prospects in the “marriage market” as parents prefer brides who have “less bargaining power”, Mathur found.

“It started out as an interest in studying how online matchmaking affected the marriage market and, in particular, whether it changed marriage patterns i.e., who marries whom,” Mathur told the Hindustan Times. “The findings related to concerns about caste and mother tongue were striking given that matrimonial sites make it very easy to search only within a particular caste or mother tongue, and yet people appear to care less about it,” said Mathur.