Expectations in a Marriage Proposal: A Gender-Based Comparison in Pakistan
- Marriage, Dowry, Socioeconomic status, Marriage preferences, Spouse, Colorism in marriage, Personality traits, Joint family system, Pakistani marriage culture.
To determine the differences in expectations of males and females regarding marriage proposals. It was a cross-sectional study conducted in Karachi. Young people aged between 18 and 45 years were enrolled in the study. An online questionnaire was circulated through a convenience sampling technique. Our sample had 456 participants with n=294 64.5% females. N=387 84.9% were between 18-25 years of age. N=292 64% did not have a preference regarding spouse’s skin tone but n=269 59.0% preferred a taller spouse. Body type was a considerable factor for n=227 49.8%. N=309 67.8% preferred their partner to have a job, own a business and have a career. Love marriage was preferred by n=194 42.5%. Majority of the sample (58.1%) did not have a preference in terms of ethnicity but n=193 42.2% wanted a spouse from the same sect, denomination or caste. N=357 78.3% were against dowry. 52% of the participants said their choices were influenced by societal norms and culture to some extent. Four most important personality traits in a potential spouse were loyalty (75.7%), respect (62.7%), maturity (49.3%) and honesty (46.5%). The findings of this study are reflective of our community and culture as the majority of individuals are under societal influence. Moreover, their preference in traits emphasizes mutual understanding as opposed to physical characteristics. An adequate understanding of an individual's expectations from a marriage proposal decreases the risk of psychological distress associated with the relationship.