The level of the bride price in a place does not reflect economic strength, but depends on whether there is a shortage of women, whether women can be retained, and parents Do you regard “begging for a woman for your son” as your life mission. Elephant Association (ID: idxgh2013) : This article from the micro-channel public number , Author: Zhu does not change, the head Picture source: Visual China

In recent years, the price of country betrothal gifts continued to soar. Twenty years ago, the bride price was generally only a few thousand yuan, but now it has risen to more than 100,000 yuan or even 200,000 yuan. In addition to the bride price, the man’s family often has to pay high expenses such as the house, car, jewelry, “three golds”, durable consumer goods, and banquets. A marriage will cost the man’s family at least two to three hundred thousand yuan.

In the Gaocai Li area, the amount of the dowry is equivalent to more than 10 times the annual disposable income of the rural per capita. If you add in expenditures for building houses and buying cars, marriage expenses are equivalent to more than twenty times the average annual income per capita.

In the past two decades, the bride price may have been the only household expenditure item whose price has risen faster than housing prices in major cities.

Moreover, the amount of the bride price shows huge urban-rural differences and regional differences. Many people who grew up in big cities may not know what a betrothal gift is; and the rural residents who practice high beauties are also surprised that urbanites are not fashionable.

The amount of dowry in various provinces, cities and regions also shows huge differences. The beauties in rural areas of North China have already exceeded 100,000 yuan, and even more than 100,000 yuan and 200,000 yuan are common.

In 2017, there was a murder case involving newlyweds in Tangyin County, Henan Province. The bridegroom and the bride had a dispute over the distribution of the 110,000 yuan gift on the wedding eve, and the bridegroom beat the bride to death.

At the same time, the price of the bride price in Yingde City, Guangdong in 2016 is usually around 10,000 to 20,000 yuan. In Hubei Enshi, Yichang and other places, it is even okay to give or not to give gifts.

Why Country BridegroomMore and more expensive? Why does the bride price show such a big difference between urban and rural areas and between regions?

This is because the social function played by the bride price has changed. In rural areas, especially in poor rural areas, women of marriage age are becoming increasingly scarce, which has driven the price of bride price soaring.

Where does the gift go

In ancient China, marriage by marriage was the most important form of marriage. In other words, the man sends certain gifts and money to the wife’s home as a dowry. If the woman accepts the dowry from the man, the marriage contract is considered to be established.

For example, the “Law of the Tang Dynasty” stipulated in the Code of Tang Dynasty that hiring money is a condition for confirming the establishment of a marriage. This marriage system lasted until the end of Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China. The “Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China” during the Republic of China still stipulates that an engagement or marriage must have a marriage certificate from a matchmaker or accept employment money in order to be legal and effective.

This is because, in the traditional Chinese agricultural society of male farming and female weaving, unmarried men and women belong to their parents’ families. When the newly married small family was established, it also meant that two major changes had taken place in terms of economic rights:

On the one hand, the newly married small family will gradually become financially independent from the in-laws’ big family, and the bride price is the transfer of intergenerational wealth from the old family to the newly married small family.

On the other hand, when a woman marries into a man’s house and lives with her husband, the woman’s family is short of a labor force. The bride price is equivalent to compensation for the loss of the woman’s family labor.

In this case, isn’t the bride price a kind of business marriage? Isn’t paying beauties just buying a wife? Isn’t receiving the betrothal just selling your daughter?

It depends on where the bride price eventually goes, whether it goes to the family of the woman’s parents to support the wife’s brother in marrying and the parents-in-law to provide for the elderly, or to the family of a small couple to support the future expenses of the newly married family.

In poverty-stricken areas, the man’s family has to rely on the price of the bride price to attract the wife’s family because of the poor family situation, and the woman’s parents have to insist on a higher bride price in order to make up for the loss of labor and prepare the bride price for their son’s wife. The family of the woman’s parents.

In areas with better economic conditions, people are more inclined to allocate most of the gifts to newlyweds.

Affected by social welfare level restrictions and traditional concepts, Chinese young people are highlyParents who rely on economically “nibbles the old” to establish new families, while aging parents in the future rely heavily on the care of their children to provide for the aged, especially in rural areas.

With the improvement of living standards in recent decades, the wedding gifts in the central and eastern regions of China are often used to support newlywed families. At this time, the nature of the bride price is more inclined to transfer wealth from the family of in-laws to the newly married family, which is a kind of “grabbing the old and helping the young” between two generations.

Is the bride price soaring because there are fewer women?

In 1950, Article 2 of the New China’s “Marriage Law” stipulated that it was forbidden for anyone to obtain property through marriage issues. Since then, the bride price is no longer a condition to confirm the establishment of the marriage, nor is it encouraged by the government. But the folk custom of the beauties still persists.

Especially since the reform and opening up, the form of the bride price has been renovated, and the amount of the bride price has also increased. In many areas, the increase in the lottery has exceeded the increase in people’s income several times, and even far exceeds the increase in housing prices.

Is this because compared with men of marriage age, women of marriage age have become fewer and scarce, so that the bride price for a wife has also increased?

According to statistics, this is indeed the case. Since the 1980s, China’s male-to-male sex ratio (female=100) has deviated from the normal level of 103~107 for a long time. In 1990 It was over 110, and it was over 120 at the beginning of this century.

· The changing trend of the ratio of male to female in China since the 1990s, according to the female population=100

According to estimates, there are 13 million more men born in 00 than women born in 00, and 9 million more men born in 1990 than women born in 90. As of 2015, ChinaThere are more than 20 million unmarried men over the age of 30, while only about 6 million unmarried women of the same age.

In the Chinese tradition, there is a tendency to favor boys over girls. Under strict family planning policies, many families will choose the two reproductive strategies of “birth a boy and a girl” and “birth many times until they give birth to a boy.” Will lead to more men than women.

There are more unmarried men and fewer women, and it is difficult for men of marriage age to marry a wife, which is one of the major reasons for pushing up the price of the bride price.

However, the difference in the ratio of male to female population does not explain the geographical difference in the price of the bride price.

For example, according to historical statistics, the situation of more men and fewer women in Guangdong Province is more serious than that in Gansu Province:

· The male to female sex ratio in the population, according to female population=100

However, the amount of beauties in Guangdong is not high, often only tens of thousands of yuan; while in Longdong and other places in Gansu, the amount of beauties is as high as hundreds of thousands. Why is this?

is the bride price soaring because all the women ran away

This is because there is competition for women of marriage age in different regions. Young women will not only find jobs from poor hometowns to rich areas, but they will also marry to rich areas to improve their living conditions.

In affluent areas, even if the local population has more men than women, it is easy to make up for the lack of female population by attracting women from other places to marry. Out of anticipation of future affluent life, foreign women will not ask for extra betrothal gifts.

In poverty-stricken areas, because women of marriage age go out to marry, women are more scarce, and the pressure on local men to get married has increased. In order to get a wife, they will get more gifts, pushing up the price of gifts.

The girl on the mountain married under the mountain,

The girl under the mountain marries the suburbs of the city,

The girl from the outskirts of the city married in the city.

In the neighbouring counties and cities, rural areas are more difficult to attract women of marriage age than towns and mountainous areas than plains, and they rely more on high beauties. In different provinces and cities, the tide of part-time jobs also put young men and women into the national “marriage market.”

Between the sexes, women are more likely to marry and settle in developed areas.

· The Guangdong TV series “Foreign Daughter-in-law and Local Lang” has been filmed for more than 3900 episodes

It is much more difficult for male migrant workers to marry and settle in developed areas. Because, according to custom, the man mainly provides resources such as the wedding house, and the high housing prices in developed areas and settlement difficulties such as settlement, medical care, and children’s schooling are difficult for many migrant workers to afford.

This makes it easier to attract women of marriage age in economically developed areas across the country; while economically backward areas are constantly “losing” women of marriage age, and local men of marriage age have to rely on high gifts to seek marriage opportunities.

The relatively scarce population of women of marriage age and the fact that they are married outside of each other are the external factors driving up the price of the betrothal gifts in the region. However, whether this external factor will be transformed into people’s decision to pay the gift depends on people’s subjective evaluation of marriage options.

is it the bounden duty of parents to marry their children

The customs that have been circulating for many years, and people’s subjective psychological choices under the influence of the customs, are the internal reasons for pushing up the price of the bride price.

For example, the female population in Beijing and Shenzhen once exceeded the male population. In 2018, the sex ratio of men to women in Beijing was 98.7:100; in 2019, the sex ratio of men to women in Shenzhen’s registered population was 274.9:275.8, with more boys and girls.

However, marriage-age women and their families in Beijing and Shenzhen do not choose to “post-post” male families because of the small number of men. Because there is no such custom and tradition.

Different customs have caused people in different regions to have completely different answers to two fundamental questions about bride price:

Why should I pay a high amount of cash to the other party for marriage?

Why should I pay a high amount of cash to the other party for “getting my child to marry”?

The millennia-old custom of “male offering a dowry and female marrying” has made Chinese men accustomed to preparing property for marriage, while women generally do not have such a psychological burden.

As for whether the burden of the bride price mainly falls on the young man himself or the young man’s parents, it depends on the social environment of the parents, how much is given to the son to find a daughter-in-law. value.

In North China, finding a daughter-in-law for a son is related to the face of a person, and it is even regarded as the fundamental task of life. If the son is not married, the older parents will feel shameless and boring to live.

Marrying a daughter-in-law for a son is a parent’s task, mainly a parent’s business. If you fail to marry a daughter-in-law, your parents will not be able to lift their heads up, and will not be able to work, and their hearts will be disgraceful. Others will say behind the scenes that whoever has no materials (that is, no ability), will not marry a daughter-in-law for a child. Marry a wife in order to pass on the family, let’s follow this rule. If you marry a daughter-in-law, you will have offspring. If you don’t marry a daughter-in-law, my generation will be cut off, and there will be no one in the future. If you can’t marry a daughter-in-law, you can’t hold your head up in the village.

—— A 56-year-old woman in a rural village in northern Henan, 2016

· The mentality of parents in northern Henan investigated by Li Yongping and others

Parents who have worked for many years generally have more savings than young children; therefore, when parents regard their son’s marriage as their mission in life, the amount of the gift will become an arms race between parents’ generations, driving up the local price of the gift Higher. This is also the reason why the price of betrothal gifts in North China and Northwest China is increasing.

Reference material:

[1] Yang Hua, Intergenerational Responsibilities, Intermarriage Circles, and Rural “High Price Gifts”, Beijing Social Sciences, Issue 3, 2019.





This article is from WeChat official account:Elephant Association (ID: idxgh2013), author: Zhu does not change