Sweden: 5% of youth feel they can't freely choose marriage partner

Sweden: 5% of youth feel they can't freely choose marriage partner

The study is available here (in Swedish). The study site summarizes that of those who feel they don't have a choice in marriage, there are more girls than boys, and a majority have a foreign background.

The problem is much more common in religious families. This is true for both Swedish and immigrant families, though the differences are bigger among the immigrants.

The study does give an analysis of the way marriage is treated in Christianity, Hinduism and Islam, but I did not find that it brings statistics per religion. It does give statistics by background. The table below is in percentages.

(click to enlarge)

The study points out that there's a lot of uncertainity in making an analysis of religion, since most youth of foreign background answered that they're from Muslim families. In particular youth of Middle-East, South and East-Asian, and North African origin said their families were Muslim, which are the areas which strongly stand out in this study. There's therefor a great risk that the results from an analysis of religiosity will be misleading.

A relatively large percentage of youth with background in these areas said their families were Christian. Other religions are not as represented. Only a few youth answered that their families were hindu or buddhist.

According to the sutdy, an analysis which was not presented in table form shows that boys and girls from all religions have restricting in choosing a partner.


Nearly 70,000 young Swedes feel they aren’t able to freely choose whom they want to marry, according to a new study, leading the report’s authors to propose Sweden outlaw forced arranged marriages altogether.

“To be able to marry whoever you want to is actually an important human right. For a large group of young people, that isn’t an absolute certainty,” said Per Nilsson, head of the Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs (Ungdomsstyrelsen), in a statement.

The study, entitled Gift mot sin vilja (‘Married against their will’), was carried out by the youth board at the request of the government as part of a broader effort to highlight “honour-related violence and oppression” in Sweden and was handed over to integration minister Nyamko Sabuni on Monday.

It revealed that around 5 percent of young people in Sweden between the ages of 16- and 25-years-old, or about 70,000 young people, don’t feel they have the ability to choose with whom they want to get married.

In addition, 8,500 young Swedes are concerned that they won’t have any say at all when it comes to choosing a spouse.

“Arranged marriage is connected to norms about virginity and the control of one’s sex life, especially for girls,” said Hanna Linell, who helped carry out the Ungdomsstyrelsen study, in an interview published on the organization’s website.

“The girls’ ability to act freely is limited and boys are raised to control their sisters. These gender-specific expectations impact these young peoples’ life as a whole.”

The youth board submitted a number of suggested legislative changes to the government along with the results of the study.

Specifically, the group wants the government to criminalize child and forced marriages in Sweden and to bolster efforts to offer affected youth advice and counseling.

In addition, Ungdomsstyrelsen wants Sweden to scrap the provision in its marriage laws which allows someone under 18-years-old get married upon receiving permission from a county administrative board.


Source: The Local (English)

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