What does Hypergamy mean?

Getting married to someone of higher social rank to boost your own status

Hypergamy means when a person marries someone of a higher social or financial status. It’s the opposite of “hypogamy,” which means marrying someone of a lower status. This concept has been around forever, but it really became popular in India during the 19th century, where it was used to describe women who married to improve their lifestyle.

In modern times, especially in developed countries, hypergamy is less common. Women have more opportunities to be independent and the social class system isn’t as strong as it used to be. But it’s important to note that the term has sparked some debates. Some people say it goes against the idea of women being independent and not needing to rely on marriage for financial stability.

For example, if a woman marries for money, she might be called a gold digger, which is a negative term. But not everyone sees hypergamy as a bad thing. Some women see it as a practical choice, looking for a partner who can provide for them.

Others think hypergamy is unfair to those who don’t have a lot of money. It’s not just women who can be hypergamous, though. Men can also marry up for better social or financial standing. When they do, they might be referred to as “sugar babies.”

Example for using ‘Hypergamy’ in a conversation

Hey, did you hear about hypergamy?

Yeah, it’s when someone marries up to increase their status.

Exactly! It’s like marrying someone for financial or social reasons.

Right, it’s the opposite of marrying down, which is called hypogamy.