What is hypergamy?

Marrying up to increase status

Hypergamy is when a person marries up, whether it be for financial or social reasons. It is the opposite of "hypogamy," which is when a person marries down.

Where did hypergamy come from?

Since the dawn of time, people have been entering into marriages to improve their own standing. But the term's origins date back to 19th century India, which was coined to describe women who marry partially or mainly to secure a better life.

Nowadays, hypergamous relationships are less common in developed societies since there are more opportunities for women to gain independence, and social caste-like systems have largely diminished. Although it's less common, hypergamy has become a controversial term since it undercuts the push for women's independence from dependence on marriage to make a living. For example, women may be labeled as gold diggers (a derogatory term) if they marry for financial security.

However, some women embrace hypergamy because one of the key characteristics they look for in a partner is the ability to provide security for them. Other critics argue that hypergamy is shallow and unfair to people without attractive financial resources.

While women are often labeled as "hypergamy," men may also marry up to increase their standing. These guys might be called "sugar babies."


Should I be worried or impressed that hypergamy women are attracted to me even though I don't have any money?
Hypergamy tweet

Hypergamy tweet

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Updated July 19, 2021

Hypergamy Definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Hypergamy" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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