The Pattern of Female Nuptiality in Oman

M. Mazharul Islam*, Atsu S. Dorvlo, Ahmed M. Al-Qasmi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine Omani patterns of female nuptiality, including the timing of marriage and determinants of age at a woman's first marriage. Methods: The study utilised data from the 2000 Oman National Health Survey. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate statistical methods, including logistic regression analysis, were used for data analysis. Results: One of the most important aspects of the marriage pattern in Oman is the high prevalence of consanguineous marriages, as more than half (52%) of the total marriages in Oman are consanguineous. First cousin unions are the most common type of consanguineous unions, constituting 39% of all marriages and 75% of all consanguineous marriages. About 11% of the marriages are polygynous. Early and universal marriage is still highly prevalent in Oman. Three-quarters (75%) of married women respondents aged 20-44 years were married by age 20, with their median age at their first wedding being 16 years. However, women's average age upon marriage is gradually increasing. The change is especially apparent in more recent marriages or among younger cohorts of women, and for certain socio-cultural groups. Multivariate analysis identified female education, age cohort, residential status, region of residence, types of marriage, and employment as strong predictors of Omani women's age at marriage. Conclusion: The growing number of young adults, accompanied by their tendency to delay marriage, may have serious demographic, social, economic, and political ramifications for Oman, highlighting the need to understand the new situation of youth, their unique characteristics, and their interests and demands. Culturally appropriate policies need to be implemented to address the issues and challenges of unmarried young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-42
Number of pages11
JournalSultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • Consanguinity
  • Marriage
  • Nuptial
  • Oman
  • Polygyny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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