St Joseph’s College in Bengaluru has initiated an investigation into the institute’s alleged circulation of study material that endorses dowry, ANI reported on Saturday.

“The [sociology] department and the college are opposed to such obscurantist and oppressive patriarchal views as are contained in the page cited,” the college’s Public Relations Officer Kiran Jeevan was quoted as saying. “Such views have never been part of the college syllabus.”

The statement comes after a Facebook post on Wednesday claimed that study material distributed to sociology students of St Joseph’s College of Arts and Commerce in Bengaluru said that the dowry system had advantages.

The alleged study material starts off saying dowry is accepted as an evil practice generally but it has some supporters. It then goes on to list the advantages of the dowry menace according to these supporters.

“The marriage of ugly girls who would otherwise have gone without a partner is made possible by offering heavy amount of dowry,” it states. “It is a useful and effective method of attracting good, handsome and sometimes unwilling boys for marriage.”

Claiming that dowry could be a form of self-employment, the page states that it gives a newly-wed a foothold financially, and also “increases the status of a woman” in the family. “As a woman brings substantial sum at marriage, she is treated well just for her economic contribution...It affects the love and affection her husband bears for her,” it continues. “A poor girl who does not bring huge dowry in her marriage does not usually receive the same attention and affection that is bestowed up on a rich girl.”

Students said they did not know which book the material was from, according to The News Minute. “Lecturers usually photocopy pages from different books and distribute it to the students,” a student was quoted as saying.

The college, however, refuted the allegations initially before releasing a statement. Head of the Department of Sociology, DR Berin, said, that the college does not hand out study material.