Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Double Standard for Wedding Rings?

Popular media highlights the absence of a wedding ring on a married female as a sign of separation, impending divorce, and marital distress.

Woman scorned. Elin Woods is snapped without her wedding ring as she is seen…for the first time yesterday since husband Tiger admitted his infidelities. 

Actions speak louder than words and it looks like Brooke Mueller and Charlie Sheen are done…[as the] star's wife showed up…without her wedding ring.

…the first photo of Sandra Bullock without her wedding ring since her husband Jesse James' affair scandal broke.

Men on the other hand, do not receive the same scrutiny when a ring is absent.  Many married men do not own and/or do not wear wedding rings.

Does a double standard exist?  Is it customary that women wear rings and not men?  If so, are we reverting back to the historical notion that only women wear rings in order to signal that they are "taken"?

The True Meaning of Wedding Rings

Why do people wear engagement rings and wedding band?  Many theories exist as to the history of this tradition.  In American culture, rings symbolize accomplishments and celebrations. People wear rings to display children (mothers rings), graduation (class rings), commitment (promise, engagement, wedding rings), virtue (purity rings), and friendship.  The tradition of wearing rings has a long history and varies from culture to culture.

Some interesting facts about wedding rings:  
   -Women wore rings as they were property of their husband
   -Ring shapes (circles) were thought to have magical properties
   -Wedding/engagement rings are worn on the third finger of the left hand
         -frees the right hand (dominant) for work, sword fighting, etc.
         -the left hand is closest to the heart in the chest
         -Egyptians believe the 3rd finger has a straight line to the heart
   -Wedding bands cost more to produce than engagement rings, but
           retailers set prices higher on engagement rings due to consumer 
   -Average cost of engagement ring - $3,215
   -Average cost of wedding band- $1,129 (bride) & $907 (groom)
   -Most engagement rings have diamonds and more than 66% are white 
      The symbolism of wearing a wedding ring means more to some than others.  While some prefer not to wear a ring, others feel the ring is almost as important as the relationship it represents.