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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. For Hindus, marriage is a sacrosanct union. It is also an important social institution. Marriages in India are between two families, rather two individuals, arranged marriages and dowry are customary.

The society as well as the Indian legislation attempt to protect marriage. Indian society is predominantly patriarchal. There are stringent gender roles, with women having a passive role and husband an active dominating role.

Marriage and motherhood are the primary status roles for women. When afflicted mental illness married women are discriminated against married men. In the setting of mental illness many of the social values take their ugly forms in the form of domestic violence, dowry harassment, abuse of dowry law, dowry death, separation, and divorce. Societal norms are powerful and often override the legislative provisions in real life situations. Since time immemorial marriage has been the greatest and most important of all institutions in human society.

It has always existed in one form or another in every culture, ensuring social sanction to a physical union between man and woman and laying the foundation for building up of the family — the basic unit of society.

The Hindus have idealized marriage in a big way. In the patriarchal society of Rig Vedic Hindus, marriage was considered as a sacramental union, and this continued to be so during the entire period. In the Shastric Hindu law,[ 2 ] marriage has been regarded as one of the essential sanakaras sacrament for every Hindu. Every Hindu must marry. The institution of marriage is considered sacred even by those who view it as a civil contract. Man is only half, not complete until he marries. Manu declared that mutual fidelity between husband and wife was the highest dharma.

According to Mahabharata, by cherishing the woman one virtually cherishes the Goddess of prosperity herself. She is the source of Dharma, Artha, Kamaand Moksha. The husband is known as bharthi. He is supposed to support his wife.

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He is also known as pati because he is supposed to support her. The sacramental aspect of marriage under Hindu law has three characteristics: 1 That it is a sacrament union, which means that marriage is not to gratify one's physical needs; but is primarily meant for the performance of religious and spiritual duties; 2 a sacramental union implies that a marriage once entered cannot be dissolved on any ground whatsoever; and 3 a sacramental union also means that it is a union of soul, body and mind.

It is a union not only for this life, but for all lives to come. The union is not only for this world, but also for other worlds. Performance of certain Sastric ceremonies, which have been laid down in detail in Griha Sutras, are necessary for a Hindu marriage. Marriage has been an important social institution. It is the basis for the family. The functions of marriage include regulation of sexual behavior, reproduction, nurturance, protection of children, socialization, consumption, and passing on of the race.

Hindu marriage is regarded as a means to establish a relationship between two families. Free intermixing between two sexes is a taboo. Thus most marriages are arranged by parents or relatives, even in the educated class. For most people in India, marriage is a one-time event in life, which sanctified and glorified with much social approval.

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Marriage is a social necessity; marrying children is the primary responsibility of parents in India. Daughters should be married as soon they become young in early twenties and sons married as soon as they start earning. Married couples are accorded respect in the community. Non-solemnization of marriage is a social stigma. Social values, customs, traditions and even legislation have attempted to ensure stability of marriage. The goal of marriage in Hinduism is to foster, not self-interest, but self-restraint and love for the entire family, which keeps the family united and prevents its breakdown.

India is largely a patriarchal society. The traditional dyad is the husband with high masculinity and the wife with high femininity. A recent study by Issac and Shah[ 3 ] reported a positive link between androgyny and marital adjustment, and a trend for couples to move toward gender-neutral dy. Dowry is a custom in Hindu marriage since times immemorial.

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These two aspects got entangled and in due course assumed the frightening name of dowry. For obtaining dowry compulsion, coercion and occasionally force had to be exercised. Ultimately most marriages became a bargain. Over the years dowry has turned into a widespread social evil. Surprisingly, it has spread to other communities, which were traditionally non-dowry receiving communities.

Demand for dowry has resulted in cruelty, domestic violence, and death by homicide or suicide. The prescription of marriage is more stringent for women. Women must get married. After marriage, her husband's home is her home. In India, marriage and family dominate the life of women.

After marriage, husband and relatives control all outside relationships. No wonder non-solemnization of marriage of young daughters, separation or divorce is very stressful not only for the woman, but for the entire family. Marriage brings security and dignity to Indian women. Unmarried status in India is stigma especially for females. The sociologist Susan Wadley after examining the identity of women in folklore, myths, and legends rooted in history, observed that the Indian woman is constantly made to adopt contradictory roles — the nurturing roles as daughters, mothers, wives, and as daughter-in-laws, and the stereotyped role of a weak and helpless woman.

The latter is fostered to ensure complete dependence on the male sex. Consequently, the constant movement from strength to passivity le to enormous stress placing the woman's mental health under constant threat. Sati was prevalent in Ancient India.

Ramasamy Periyar paved the way for social reform. In India, the first movement of marital rights of women centered on three major problems, child marriage, enforced widowhood, and property rights of women. The Dowry Prohibition Act[ 7 ] was enacted to curb the dowry menace. The law was found to fail to stall this evil. Dowry Death B [ 8 ] was later enacted. Where the death of the woman occurred in unnatural circumstances within 7 years of marriage and it is shown that she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or his relatives in connection with any demand for dowry, it would be pd to be a dowry death, deemed to be caused by the husband or his relatives.

Marriage is the greatest event in an individual's life and brings with it many responsibilities. Mental disorders can either result in marital discord or may be caused by marital disharmony. In predisposed individuals, marriage can cause mental-health problems. Greater distress is seen in among married women compared to married men and greater distress in single women as compared to single men. The ever married suffered more than those who were never married. This causes misery and stigma and further complicates their problems by making them more susceptible to development or exacerbation of psychiatric disorders after marriage.

Batra and Gautam[ 12 ] found a high prevalence of neurotic disorders among divorce-seeking couples. The neurotic problems encountered were either antecedents or consequences of marital disharmony. In a prospective study of subjects with obsessive-compulsive disorder being married ificantly increased the probability of partial remission.

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There is research evidence to suggest that for men, marriage confers protection against depression, while it appears to be associated with higher rates of depression in women. There is some evidence that within marriage, the traditional role of the female is limiting, restricting and even boring, which may lead to depression.

Studies in China and India report that single individuals are not more vulnerable to suicide than their married counterparts. In countries like India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, where arranged marriages are common, the social and familial pressure on a woman to stay married even in abusive relationships appears to be one of the factors that increases the risk of suicide in women.

When dowry expectations are not met, young brides can be harassed to the point where they are driven to suicide. Alcohol use in India on social occasions has a long-history.

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