Why do Indian parents pick young girls - older boys as a potential couple for marriage?
The scenario has widely changed, but I will answer it according to the mentality of people who married in India in 1950s or 1960s and so.
Back in that time, education was a challenge. Not everyone had access to schools and colleges, and parents would marry their girls as early as at 11 or 12 yrs of age, after she'd have completed her third or fifth standard or so! The guys were usually mature and older, because it was believed that a mature/old guy can ‘handle' the responsibility of a wife, a marriage and can sustain his home, bring money, and live a good life. With girls, it was believed that a mature/old woman will raise ‘questions', she will demand to work out if she will be educated enough, and if she will be qualified, she will think of her husband as an inferior person than her. This ego clash might destroy their relationship, so the uneducated and younger the girl - the better! Again, this didn't happen everywhere, but majorly this was the mentality (my grandparents told me this thing, although my grandmother was more educated than my grandfather, she was a school teacher in her time - but they were the ones who broke the stereotypes, and mother of my grandfather didn't like my grandmother as she used to teach children even after her marriage!)
The scenario changed over time, education was now considered important, and people understood that two educated people can make a better home, so they did start educating their girls, but the norm did not change towards ‘age factor'.
- Even now they think that an older girl will dominate her husband, she will demand money or freedom (which might lead to infidelity) and a younger husband, will not be able to control his older wife.
- Their relationship might break because a younger guy can even get attracted to a younger girl over time, and he might not be interested in his older wife anymore!
- Also, a woman has a limit to her reproductive capabilities, while men can be fertile for longer. An older woman's reproductive age is ‘shorter' than a younger woman, so she can be more fertile.
- Moreover, an older man might be more experienced - physically, economically, financially and socially, so they consider him to be a better match.
There are many theories and variants to support this argument, I am just presenting the general ones.
But now, things have somewhat changed. I am a year older to my boyfriend, and his family has no issue with that, because age after all, is just a number! :) So it does not matter if you are older/younger, what matters is how much willing you are to work for that relationship and how much do you love your partner...