About 1 in 4 dating women admitted that they will marry for money, according to the Female Nation Survey, which represents just over 1 million urban SA women who earn more than R6000 per month. The number drops slightly in the demographic of women who've never been married or have never lived with a partner. Of these, shall we call them ‘singles', 1 in 5 said that they would choose a man based on his wealth.
Never bitten, once shy, perhaps?
I ain’t saying she’s a gold-digger
While I personally think 1 in 4 or even 1 in 5 is a shockingly high number, I am going to refrain from getting on my moral high horse. The concept of choosing a partner based on their ability to provide is hardly new. Men and women have been making marriages of convenience through the ages. Entire kingdoms and societies were built on financially prudent matches. In fact, the idea of marrying for romantic love is a relatively new option – and if we look at the current divorce rate, not necessarily a viable one.
So is it fair to judge women who will marry for money as gold-diggers? It is a biological fact that women are generally the ones left holding the baby. And since we do not live in an equal society (women earn less than their male counterparts, they do most of the housework and most of the child-rearing) choosing a partner that is able to provide might not just be shrewd, but actually wise.
Especially when taking into account that the majority of South African families are headed by women. Yep. In 61% of households in this demographic, women are both the primary caregivers AND the primary breadwinners.
Can we then blame those who do not want to end up like their endlessly toiling mothers and sisters or those who do not wish to repeat their own mistakes?
How will you know if it’s about the bling-berbling?
Well unsurprisingly, there is a strong relationship between expecting not to pay and being prepared to marry for money. I guess it's a case of start as you mean to go on? More than half of those prepared to marry for money also expect not to pay on a date – compared to 37% of other daters. And only 46% of those prepared to marry for money think people should take turns to pay, compared to 61% of other daters who believe this is fair.
Getting married, whether it be for love or security, is a social contract which should be discussed between partners. So be sure to make your expectations known if you wish to avoid disappointment.
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