It’s World Population Day and what’s that got to do with love you would say. Well, for one thing, our skewed sex ratio may have massive implications for finding love. According to researcher Christophe Guilmoto (who published his paper in Demography Magazine, 2012), India and China are experiencing a rare demographical phenomenon called the ‘marriage squeeze’.
India currently has about 106 males per 100 females but in a state like Haryana, it could be worse – 114 males per 100 females. This means fewer women for men to marry. Any change is demographics has a snowballing effect that impacts things exponentially over time. In other words, sex selective abortion has meant that India is currently missing 43 million women who might have been alive (mass murder anyone?) and according to Guilmoto’s calculations, even if the sex ratio stabilized today, by 2050 there would still be 30% more single men than single women. By 2060, we’re likely to have 191 single men per 100 single women!
While it’s hard to predict the massive repercussions of the marriage squeeze when it really peaks, one can anticipate social changes in the near future. In fact, some are very much happening as we speak.
- Fewer women coupled with better literacy rates among them may mean the death of dowry (yay!).
- Add to this, the tradition of women marrying one level ‘up’ (in terms of education and/ or financial status), we have our next implication. Men would need to work harder to get an education and build their financial status.
- Khap panchayats, move over. Our society will now embrace inter caste marriage more and more.
- According to research, a sex ratio skewed towards males tends to fuel promiscuity while one skewed towards females promotes loyalty.
- Finally, there may be added pressure on men to court women longer and win them over (smiling yet?).
With these changes on the anvil, finding a potential partner becomes more and more about getting to know a person and being there for each other. Caste based arranged marriages as a format are likely to progressively dwindle, particularly in urban India.
It’s ever more about building your personality, interests and understanding yourself better that will take precedence over simply being of ‘marriageable age’ or ‘well settled’. It is about being an attractive person and individual now.
How do you think this phenomenon might impact you? Would be glad to hear about that or any other thoughts that cross your mind.