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Volume :13 Issue : 51 1999      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Spouse Preference Among Kuwaitis

Auther : Humoud F. Al-Qashaan

A gradual change within the freedom of spouse selection has been reported with its respective influence, on the degree of contiinuity and change in the family institution. Traditionally, the choice of a marital partner was made predominantly by kinship or tribal arrangement. However, with the rapid socioeconomic changes associated with the discovery of oil in Kuwait, as well as increase modernization, the emphasis has gradually shifted from extended family ties to nucleation, and the circle of marriage choice has become progressively wider.

This study has been conducted with the purpose of examining the preferences of young Kuwaitis in the selection of their future spouses, taking into consideration five hypothesis: 1) Males more than females should have more power and freedom in their potential spouse selection. 2) Males more than females will place higher values on youth and physical attraction in their potential spouses. 3) Economic status will play a major role in experiencing freedom in choosing the potential spuuse. 4) As an Islamic culture, males will value chastity higher than females in their potential spouses. 5) Religious commitment will show higher levels of preference, among both Kuwaiti males and females, when compared with other characteristics, i.e., premarital relationships, physical attraction, high-income family, social status, and relative of potential spouse.

A questionnaire including the above characteristics was distributed among 193 students of the introductory courses at the Social Work and Psychology Departments of Kuwaiti University. A preliminary presentation resulted in mixed opinions.

Since Kuwait is experiencing rapid socioeconomic changes, characteristics of the potential spouse were found to have mixed results. The postion of Kuwaiti females, in a society with increasing opportunities for higher education, has increased their freedom in the choice of a potential spouse. Nevertheless, Kuwaiti males are still the initiators of the marriage proposal. Income was found to have no significant impact on the choice of a spouse. Educational level was a strong factor in the spousal. Kuwaiti males value youth and physical beauty since it is linked with fertility and reproduction. However, females tend to emphasize financial security. Chastity is valued highly by both sexes. As an Islamic society, after puberty, Kuwaitis are restricted, in establishing any kind of relationship with the opposite sex. Religious commitment was rated as the highest factor and found to be the stronges choice characteristic in a potential spouse, by both sexes.

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Dec 05, 2019

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