According to the Journal of Comparative family studies, marriage can be grouped into roughly 4 sections. The first is where mom and dad choose and the kids are not consulted in the matter, this is also known as a forced marriage. The second is where mom and dad choose but the kids have the opportunity to turn down the bride or groom if they desire. The third is where the kids choose and the parents are then consulted on the matter and the fourth is where the kids choose and parents have no say on the matter. While the first style of marriage is more common in Saudi Arabia, the second may be more common in India.
All arranged marriages are not created equal. The amount of time that passes between initial contacts to engagement varies throughout regions and cultures. In some of the Middle Eastern nations the bride and groom are forced to become engaged within hours of meeting each other. This leaves little room for the young individuals to make their own decisions, and is the type of arranged marriage that Western Nations cry out against. In other countries such as Japan the bride is allowed to deny as many potential suitors as she likes even though the pressure to marry is still there. Also, in regions of Latin America, where arranged marriages do happen, the customs are more lax than in the Middle East, and the future bride and groom are able to take some time to familiarize themselves with each other before becoming engaged. In addition, some arranged marriages can be done between people from any socioeconomic class while some have to be from the same socioeconomic class. For Example, In India arranged marriages have to be carried out between two people from the same caste who are unrelated. Another common practice is marriage between 1st cousins in Middle Eastern Nations. While all these forms of arranged and forced marriages exist, American people generally do not partake in these types of actions. Apart from the Amish, less than 2% of American marriages are arranged.
There is an enormous discrepancy in understanding between the countries like America and Asian/African countries when it comes to arranged marriages. Western Media tends to harp on the cases of child kidnappings and child marriages which encourage the negative view that westerners already have towards this type of marriage. Asian and African folk stick behind the fact that arranged marriage has been around longer than any other form of marriage, and is still the predominant type of marriage around the world. The heart of the debate comes down to a difference in upbringing because “for Westerners, you love first before you marry” while “for most Easterners, the philosophy is that you marry first and develop an intimate relationship. You begin to understand each other and grow” (Cha). According to Journal of Marriage & family proponents of arranged marriage argue that it results in lower divorce rates and more successful long term marriages while those against it argue that it results in much more unhappy relationships and the bride is more danger prone.