Arranged Marriage: Right or Wrong?

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Arranged Marriages: Wrong or Right?

There is a wide spread global dispute about the topic of arranged marriages, many arguing that it is wrong, forced, and inhuman, while others defend them stating that they are socially and traditionally correct with their societies. Both sides fight frivolously and are on complete opposite sides of the argument, but what are the facts? Are arranged marriages right or wrong?

Arranged marriages are believed to have been practiced since the dawn of man's existence, and they are still around even today, being practiced in many Middle Eastern and Asian countries (Professor's House). An arranged marriage, as defined by Paul B. Mehndiratta from the Department of Neurology is, “one where parents choose marital partners for their children.” (Mehndiratta 2007). For the most part, in ancient times, arranged marriages were used to seal a pact between two families, or in larger terms, they were used to seal a pact between countries in which two royal members were betrothed (History of Arranged Marriages 2007). In countries where arranged marriage is practiced, it is as normal as freedom of marriage is to Americans. It is an age long tradition that happened for a variety of reasons—to bring two families together, to settle a dispute, to pay a debt, or simply just because the parents thought it was best (History of Arranged Marriages 2007)The two who are arranged to be married by their parents feel that they are honoring and respecting their parents by following through with their parents requests, and besides everyone else is doing it too so it's not out of the ordinary. People who live in countries where arranged marriages are traditional don't even know what the freedom of marriage is. And that's not wrong, it is just the way that their society is.

Typically when people hear about arranged marriages they think of two people being forced to married each other against their will, solely to benefit their parents—no love, just servitude—but that is not always the case. According to Sarosh Abrar, a Hindu writer, there are two types of arranged marriages—love-arranged marriages and pure-arranged marriages. The meanings of each type are easily understood. Love-arranged marriages occur when two people love each other and their parents accept it and decide to wed them. It is basically like a normal western civilization marriage. Pure-arranged marriages are arranged entirely by the betrothed's parents for whatever reason they feel fit, and they can be arranged at any time, from when they are adults, to when they are simply children and do not understand the concepts of marriage (Abrar, Sarosh).

When many people hear of arranging a marriage when the two partners are still children, they think of “child brides,” and how horrible this is. They keep their minds narrow and only see the negative parts of arranged marriages. To a certain extent, these critics are truthful with what they say, but it does not mean that an entire civilization is full of forced marriages and child brides who later become servile slaves to their husbands. There is a large percentage of forced and unhealthy marriages. It is believed that between sixty and eighty percentage of marriages in Afghanistan are forced marriages, and there are also times, of course, then the two who are wedded are not happy or it is an unhealthy relationship. But that does not mean that every marriage in Afghanistan are forced marriages. It does not mean that just because the two who are wedded do not love each other at the time of the arrangement because they are so young won't love each other.

Yes, they may be too young, by American standards, but later as their families allow them to spend as much time as they want together and allow them to just grow together, then a strong romantic bond will most likely occur and their marriage will, I believe, be successful. In fact, divorce rates of arranged marriages in countries that support it, are...
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