Jane Schreibman

The Freakonomics Of The Indian Marriage Market

The practice of taking dowry has long been declared a criminal offence. Yet, it shows no signs of abating even in educated families, with the bride’s side continuing to bestow it in the form of cash, gold, luxury cars, apartments and so on to the groom’s eager family. Why is this? Is there any economics behind it? Is dowry like a scarcity rent? Does the relative bargaining position of women vis-à-vis men affect a woman's ability to find her preferred match?
Photographed by Victoria Phipps © via Getty Images

A Legal Right To Rape

The Supreme Court of India recently dismissed a plea by a woman to declare marital rape a criminal offence. The petitioner alleged that she was repeatedly subjected to sexual violence by her husband, including having torch lights pushed into her. Sadly, she has no legal recourse: according to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not sexual assault, even if it is without consent.

More Indian Brides Are Now Educated; Public Attitudes Need To Change

More women are going into higher education than ever before and that rise is set to continue. This is a success story for India, yet our research, published in the journal, Demography, highlights that the custom of men marrying women who are less educated than they are remains widespread. Population projections by age and educational attainment suggest that by 2050 a high proportion of Indian women will be as educated, if not more so, than men. So isn't it time that men (and their families) started to celebrate this fact, viewing a good education as yet another attribute in a bride?