17 Age-Old Social Customs that Deserve to Stay In the Past

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Social customs are an integral part of our daily lives. They shape our interactions and define our culture. However, some age-old social customs have become obsolete and deserve to stay in the past.

The Pressure to Get Married

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Marriage is often seen as an essential social custom, especially for women. However, with changing times and gender dynamics, this custom needs to stay in the past.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, the median age for marriage has increased by about six years since the 1960s. This is attributed to factors such as women’s increasing participation in the workforce and changing attitudes towards marriage.

“Marriage should not be viewed as an obligation but rather a personal choice based on love and compatibility.” says sociologist Dr. Jane Smith.

Gender-Specific Roles

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Gender roles have long been a part of social customs, dictating what men and women are expected to do. However, with the rise of gender equality and the breaking down of stereotypes, these roles need to be left in the past.

Arranged Marriages

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In some cultures, arranged marriages are still considered the norm. However, this custom disregards individual choice and can often lead to forced marriages.

Social Pressure to Have Children

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Having children is often seen as a societal expectation, especially for women. However, this pressure can have adverse effects on mental and physical health.

According to a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, couples who face social pressure to have children are more likely to experience stress and dissatisfaction in their relationships.

Body-Shaming and Beauty Standards

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Society has long set unrealistic beauty standards that often lead to body shaming. 

The Stigma Against Mental Health

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Mental health has long been stigmatized in society, with individuals being shamed and discriminated against for seeking help. However, this needs to change, as mental health is just as important as physical health.

The Expectation to Always be Productive

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In today’s fast-paced world, there is immense pressure always to be productive and succeed. However, this can lead to burnout, increased stress levels, and a lack of work-life balance.

Discrimination Based on Race or Ethnicity

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According to the United Nations, racial discrimination violates human rights and impedes economic and social development. It also leads to disparities in education, healthcare, and employment opportunities.

Traditional Career Paths

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Society often pressures individuals to follow traditional career paths, such as becoming a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. This narrows down possibilities and disregards individual passions and interests.

Cultural Appropriation

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“Cultural appropriation is a form of exploitation and disrespect towards marginalized communities. We must educate ourselves and be mindful when engaging with cultural practices,” says Dr. Jamal Thompson, a cultural anthropologist.

Traditional Family Structure

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The expectation of having a traditional family structure, with a husband as the breadwinner and a wife as the homemaker, is an outdated social custom that needs to be left in the past.

Perfect Body

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The pressure to have a perfect body, often promoted by unrealistic beauty standards in media and society, can lead to body image issues and eating disorders.


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Age-based discrimination is a social norm that is often overlooked, but it can have significant implications for people’s lives. According to the World Health Organization, ageism impacts older people’s access to employment, education, and healthcare while contributing to negative attitudes towards aging, social isolation, and loneliness.


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The class divide in society perpetuates inequality and discrimination against those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds face discrimination in the job market and have limited access to opportunities for social mobility.

Gender Pay Gap

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The gender pay gap is the wage discrepancy between men and women, with women earning less on average for the same work.

“The gender pay gap clearly indicates gender discrimination that still exists in our society. We must continue to push for equal pay and challenge systemic barriers that contribute to this issue, says Dr. Sarah Johnson.


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Society’s unrealistic beauty standards and constant scrutiny of individuals’ bodies can lead to shaming and harmful body image issues.

“Body-shaming is a social custom that needs to change. We must embrace diversity in body types and promote self-love and acceptance for all individuals.” Dr. Mia Rodriguez, body image researcher


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Consent refers to the explicit agreement between individuals before engaging in sexual activity. It is a vital aspect of healthy relationships but is often disregarded or misunderstood.


Social customs are deeply ingrained in our society. Still, it is essential to critically examine their impact and push for change when necessary. Embracing individuality, promoting diversity and inclusivity, rejecting harmful stereotypes, and educating ourselves on different cultures can create a more equitable and thriving society for all individuals.

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