Figured it would be good to have a post this topic as I haven’t done one already and Donal’s thread recently brought it up.
Historically, hypergamy — termed in 19th century India — was used to signify marrying up in terms of caste or status. However, colloquially and in social sciences now it means simply marrying up (in whatever capacity).
To put it another way, hypergamy is simply the traits in which women are sexually attracted to men: masculinity, power, status, charisma, looks, money, athleticism, talent, and so on. These are the ways that women will “marry up” because they want to be with a man who is sexually attractive to them.
God created women with a hypergamous instinct and therefore it is good. It is good just as the fact that God created men are attracted to beautiful, young, virgins. This is also the same as the fact that sexual desire is good. This is also the same as the fact that authority is good because of the intention with how God created it, even though fallible humans can use authority selfishly.
The main problem is when hypergamous instincts become an idol. There’s nothing wrong with factoring in sexual attraction in choosing a husband (or vice versa with a wife). However, if it is chosen over good character, strong faith, or other attributes such as roles and responsibilities in marriage or pre-marital sex or other type of sinful activities then it goes off the rails.
Of course, the culture is all about glorifying that which is sinful and evil, so we tend to get the impression that hypergamy is bad. However, it is not in itself bad.