Marriage - Wikipedia
marriage between people in different social categories marriage. a legal relationship, usually involving economic cooperation, sexual activity, and child. Marriage. Common-law marriage. Dissolution of marriage Marriage is usually understood as a relationship of mutual emotional support, merged In most cases, receiving state recognition of a marriage involves obtaining a. Marriage, sociologically speaking, is formal social, sexual, legal, and Marriage is a socially supported union involving two or more A marriage is often based on a romantic relationship, though this is not always the case.
More recent studies have found 53 societies outside the 28 found in the Himalayans which practice polyandry. It is associated with partible paternity, the cultural belief that a child can have more than one father.
If every brother married separately and had children, family land would be split into unsustainable small plots. In Europe, this was prevented through the social practice of impartible inheritance the dis-inheriting of most siblings, some of whom went on to become celibate monks and priests.
Of the societies reported by the American anthropologist George Murdock inonly the Kaingang of Brazil had any group marriages at all. Child marriage A child marriage is a marriage where one or both spouses are under the age of Child marriage was common throughout history, even up until the s in the United States, where in CE, in the state of Delawarethe age of consent for marriage was 7 years old.
Twelve years later, inJohn filed for divorce. Today, child marriages are widespread in parts of the world; being most common in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africawith more than half of the girls in some countries in those regions being married before In developed countries child marriage is outlawed or restricted. Girls who marry before 18 are at greater risk of becoming victims of domestic violencethan those who marry later, especially when they are married to a much older man.
Same-sex marriage and History of same-sex unions As noted above, several kinds of same-sex, non-sexual marriages exist in some lineage-based societies. This section relates to same-sex sexual unions. Some cultures include third gender two-spirit or transgender individuals, such as the berdache of the Zuni in New Mexico. We'whaone of the most revered Zuni elders an Ihamana, spiritual leader served as an emissary of the Zuni to Washington, where he met President Grover Cleveland.
We'wha had a husband who was generally recognized as such. The Codex Theodosianus C. Examples include the Celtic practice of handfasting and fixed-term marriages in the Muslim community.
The Islamic prophet Muhammad sanctioned a temporary marriage — sigheh in Iran and muta'a in Iraq — which can provide a legitimizing cover for sex workers. The matrilineal Mosuo of China practice what they call "walking marriage".
Cohabitation and Common-law marriage In some jurisdictions cohabitationin certain circumstances, may constitute a common-law marriagean unregistered partnershipor otherwise provide the unmarried partners with various rights and responsibilities; and in some countries the laws recognize cohabitation in lieu of institutional marriage for taxation and social security benefits. This is the case, for example, in Australia.
However, in this context, some nations reserve the right to define the relationship as marital, or otherwise to regulate the relation, even if the relation has not been registered with the state or a religious institution. In some cases couples living together do not wish to be recognized as married.
This may occur because pension or alimony rights are adversely affected; because of taxation considerations; because of immigration issues, or for other reasons. Such marriages have also been increasingly common in Beijing. Guo Jianmei, director of the center for women's studies at Beijing University, told a Newsday correspondent, "Walking marriages reflect sweeping changes in Chinese society.
There is variation in the degree to which partner selection is an individual decision by the partners or a collective decision by the partners' kin groups, and there is variation in the rules regulating which partners are valid choices.
Social status Main article: Hypergamy Some people want to marry a person with higher or lower status than them. Others want to marry people who have similar status. In many societies women marry men who are of higher social status.
There are other marriages in which the man is older than the woman. Prohibited degree of kinshipCousin marriageAffinity canon lawand Avunculate marriage Societies have often placed restrictions on marriage to relatives, though the degree of prohibited relationship varies widely. Marriages between parents and children, or between full siblings, with few exceptions,         have been considered incest and forbidden.
Such marriages are illegal in most countries due to incest restrictions. However, a small number of countries have legalized it, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Malaysia and Russia. In various societies the choice of partner is often limited to suitable persons from specific social groups. In some societies the rule is that a partner is selected from an individual's own social group — endogamythis is often the case in class- and caste-based societies.
But in other societies a partner must be chosen from a different group than one's own — exogamythis may be the case in societies practicing totemic religion where society is divided into several exogamous totemic clans, such as most Aboriginal Australian societies. In other societies a person is expected to marry their cross-cousina woman must marry her father's sister's son and a man must marry his mother's brother's daughter — this is often the case if either a society has a rule of tracing kinship exclusively through patrilineal or matrilineal descent groups as among the Akan people of West Africa.
Another kind of marriage selection is the levirate marriage in which widows are obligated to marry their husband's brother, mostly found in societies where kinship is based on endogamous clan groups. Religion has commonly weighed in on the matter of which relatives, if any, are allowed to marry. Relations may be by consanguinity or affinitymeaning by blood or by marriage. On the marriage of cousins, Catholic policy has evolved from initial acceptance, through a long period of general prohibition, to the contemporary requirement for a dispensation.
Religious views of the end of marriage It is also worth noting that different religions have different beliefs regarding the breakup of marriage. For example, the Roman Catholic Church does not permit divorce, because in its eyes, a marriage is forged by God. The Church states that what God joins together, humans cannot put asunder.
As a result, people who obtain a civil divorce are still considered married in the eyes of the Catholic Church, which does not allow them to remarry in the Church, even if they participate in a civil marriage. In some special cases, however, Catholics can be permitted an annulmentwhich declared the marriage to be invalid. Islam does allow divorce; however, there is a verse stated in the Qur'an describing divorce as the least desirable act allowed between people.
The general rule is for a man to allow his wife to stay until the end of her menstrual period or for three months, if she so wishes, after the divorce. During this period they would be divorced in that they would simply be living under the same roof but not functioning as man and wife. The Qur'an scholars suggest that the main point is to prevent any decisions by the woman from being affected by hormonal fluctuations, as well as to allow any heated arguments or differences to be resolved in a civil manner before the marriage is completely terminated.
However, there is no obligation on the woman to stay; if she so wishes she may leave. The man is also obligated to give his wife a gift or monetary sum equivalent to at least half her mahr gift or monetary sum which is given to the wife at the commencement of the marriage.
Specific conditions as to how a divorce is conducted also apply if a woman is pregnantor has given birth just prior to the divorce. Marriages are typically entered into with a vow that explicitly limits the duration of the marriage with the statement "till death do you part. Marriage and economics The economics of marriage have changed over time.
Historically, in many cultures the family of the bride had to provide a dowry to pay a man for marrying their daughter. In other cultures, the family of the groom had to pay a bride price to the bride's family for the right to marry the daughter.
In some cultures, dowries and bride prices are still demanded today.
Marriage | Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia | LII / Legal Information Institute
In both cases, the financial transaction takes place between the groom or his family and the bride's family; the bride has no part in the transaction and often no choice in whether or not to participate in the marriage. In most subsistence societies, children are a financial asset because they can work in the family farm or business.
In modern urban industrial life, children have become viewed as an economic liability and as preventing both parents from working. As a result, adults are choosing to have less children causing families to be much smaller, and sometimes just the husband and wife. In many modern legal systems, two people who marry have the choice between keeping their property separate or combining it. In the latter case, called community property, when the marriage ends by divorce each owns half.
If one partner dies, the surviving partner owns half, and for the other half, inheritance rules apply. In some legal systems, the partners in a marriage are "jointly liable" for the debts of the marriage. This has a basis in a traditional legal notion called the "Doctrine of Necessities" whereby a husband was responsible to provide necessary things for his wife.
The respective maintenance obligations during and eventually after a marriage, such as alimonyare regulated in most jurisdictions. Whom one may marry—exogamy and endogamy Societies have always placed restrictions on marriage to close relatives, though the degree of prohibited relationship varies widely.
In almost all societies, marriage between brothers and sisters is forbidden and termed incest. Ancient EgyptianHawaiianand Inca royalty are the rare exception, with this privilege being denied commoners. Thus it may be understood as having served to concentrate wealth and power in one family. In many societies, marriage between some first cousins is preferred, while at the other extreme, the medieval Catholic church prohibited marriage even between distant cousins.
The present day Catholic Church still maintains a standard of required distance in both consanguinity and affinity for marriage. Genetically, these practices have proven to be healthy for society. In the Indian Hindu community, especially in the Brahmin castemarrying a person of the same Gothra is prohibited, since persons belonging to the same Gothra are said to have identical patrilineal descension.
In ancient India when Gurukul was in existence, the shishyas the pupils were advised against marrying any of Guru's children as shishyas were considered Guru's children and it would be considered marriage among siblings. Many societies have also adopted other restrictions on whom one can marry, such as prohibitions on marrying persons with the same family name surnameor persons with the same sacred animal.
In Ugandapeople are exhorted to marry outside of their own clan. In South Korea it is generally considered taboo for a man to marry a woman if they both have the same family name. A large percentage of the total South Korean population has the surname "Kim" an estimated 20 percent; rendering 20 percent of the Korean population ineligible for marriage to each other. Anthropologists refer to these sorts of restrictions, limiting whom one may marry, as exogamy.
It has been suggested that the incest taboo may serve to promote social solidarity.
Societies have also at times required marriage from within a certain group. Anthropologists refer to these restrictions as endogamy. An example of such restrictions would be a requirement to marry someone from the same tribe. Racist laws adopted by some societies in the past, such as Nazi-era Germanyapartheid -era South Africa and most of the southern United States and Utah prior towhich prohibited marriage between persons of different races miscegenation could also be considered examples of endogamy.
Love and marriage Most cultures agree that love in marriage is desirable and important. The question of when and how love enters a marriage is less agreed upon. In the Western romantic tradition, a couple meets, falls in love, and marries on the basis of their love.
In many Eastern cultures, the marriage between a man and a woman is arranged by parents, elders, religious leaders, or by consensus. It is expected that if both parties live up to their obligations and practice their religion faithfully enough throughout the marriage, love will grow up between them.
Arranged marriages have been practiced in many parts of the world and continue today in some cultures, for example among Hindus and Orthodox Jews.
Those who uphold arranged marriage frequently state that it is traditional, that it upholds social morals, and that it is good for the families involved, as there is widespread acceptance of the marriage and an understanding that the marriage is between two families, not only two individuals.
They also have some traditional criticisms of romantic marriage, saying that it is short-term, overly based on sexual lust, or immoral.
Questioned about such practices, young people participating in arranged marriages often express trust in their parents, who love them and want the best for them and who will choose a good partner for them. They also point to the high divorce rate in Western romantic marriages. Defenders of romantic marriage would hold that it is preferable to achieve an emotional bond before entering into a lifelong commitment.
They speak of the mysterious quality of love that cannot be defined, contained, forced or manufactured. Compatibility is emphasized, which may be where the idea of "trial marriages"—cohabitation undertaken to test out a couple's compatibility, including sexual compatibility—developed. In the Americas and Europe, the prevailing view toward marriage today and for many centuries has been that it should be based on emotional attachment between the partners and entered into voluntarily. The idea of marriage being based upon emotional attachment, however, allows for divorce and remarriage to be easily undertaken when emotional attachment has changed or faded.
It has led to a prevalence of what is called "serial monogamy. Serial monogamy is not looked upon with the same favor as lifelong marriage to one partner; however, it is considered morally preferable to sex outside of marriage, which is generally frowned upon, whether it is adulterous or premarital. Those who believe in romantic marriage will often criticize arranged marriages, even expressing horror at the idea. They consider it oppressive, inhuman, or immoral. Defenders of arranged marriage disagree, often pointing to cultures where the success rate of arranged marriages is seen to be high, and holding that nearly all couples learn to love and care for each other deeply.
Studies of altruism and empathy indicate that people who have strong altruistic feelings toward others in general enjoy "very happy" marriages University of Chicago 's National Opinion Research Center NORC report, Those who cultivate an altruistic, even self-sacrificing, attitude toward their spouses also report "very happy" marriages.
The study points out that marital love is both built upon and fosters altruistic love—an idea that is common in many religions. These findings would seem to affirm that if the partners in arranged marriages practice and uphold the tenets of their religion—most of which emphasize altruistic love—they will grow together in love for one another as well. Marriage preparation Given that the marriage ceremony is one of the most important rites of passage in most culturesit is to be expected that a certain amount of preparation is involved.
Traditionally, preparation for marriage has involved familychurch, and community. Children learn the knowledge and skills to manage a household and support a family from their parents and extended family. When children are raised in communities where their parents and most other adults are married, such practical preparation for marriage occurs naturally.
Spiritual guidance, as well as guidance in relationship development and life skills, may be offered or even required in order to be married in a religious ceremony.
The Catholic churchfor example, requires couples to attend a marriage preparation workshop, often called a "Pre-Cana," as well as private meetings with the priest to prepare the wedding liturgy and ensure that all the Canon law requirements have been met.
The state also has certain requirements in order to legalize a marriage, which in most countries involves obtaining a marriage license. Requirements vary, although they typically include many or all of the following: In some cases, the fee and waiting period may be reduced or waived if couples complete an approved marriage preparation course. While some have argued that prior sexual experience prepares one for the conjugal relationship, in reality this has not been shown to be true.
The majority of religions, and an increasing number of psychologists and marriage professionals, recognize that the sexual relationship has life changing consequences for those involved. Apart from the potential for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases including AIDSsexual activity has an emotional and spiritual impact.
Once a sexual relationship has been entered into, there is no return to the previously pure state of relating like brother and sister. For this reason, maintaining one's virginity prior to marriage is considered a key component of successful marriage preparation. Programs such as the Christian "True Love Waits" encourage young people to make sexual abstinence part of their marriage preparation by signing this pledge: Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate, and my future children to a lifetime of purity including sexual abstinence from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship.
Building healthy marriages With the erosion of marriage in the twentieth century, support for couples preparing for marriage, and continued support during the marriage, is no longer available naturally through their family and community. Instead, couples wishing to build a healthy marriage may participate in programs sponsored by their local church, or by professional marriage counselors.
Key issues that marriage counselors address include sexual relationsrelationships with in-laws particularly between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, finances, and parenting styles in raising their children.
Conflicts also occur when one or both of the spouses have personal problems, such as drug abuse or alcoholism. Successful marriages take commitment and investment on the part of both spouses. To be successful, marriage partners need to have reached a level of individual maturity, such that they have clarified their own life goals and developed their talents and character sufficiently to be able to pursue them, and to have experienced harmonious relationships with others, such as their parents, extended family members, siblings, and peers.
Without this type of foundation, even the most passionate feelings of love are not enough to build a healthy marriage.
Just as sexual purity is considered by many an important part of marriage preparation, fidelity between husband and wife is important in building and maintaining a healthy marriage. Adultery has been condemned by many religions, criminalized by many societies, and has led to the downfall of many great historical figures as well as the breakdown of numerous marriages.
Healthy marriages are based on trust and commitment; "cheating" on one's spouse violates this relationship in an unforgettable fashion. Marriage and family Main article: Family The purpose of marriage is, ultimately, not just for the sake of the man and woman who participate in the union, it is the road to the next generation, children, and the continuation of one's lineage.
The conjugal relationship of husband and wife is the emotional and physical foundation for building a familyin which children, produced through the love of man and woman, are nurtured and protected until they reach maturity, and embark on their own lives, which also involve the continuation of the lineage. The family, formed through the marriage of man and woman and resulting in children, is a universal institution in human life: As far back as our knowledge takes us, human beings have lived in families.
We know of no period where this was not so. We know of no people who have succeeded for long in dissolving the family or displacing it Civilized society is built upon the family: Children naturally inherit not only their physical characteristics as well as physical and material wealth, they also receive their social heritage from their biological parents. The family, therefore, is the social structure most effective in passing on traditions, beliefsand values from one generation to the next.
On the other hand, children of divorce, single-parent families, and step-families are considerably more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems—they sometimes fail to graduate high schoolabuse drugs and alcoholengage in sexual activity as teenagers, suffer unwanted pregnancies, are involved in violence and crimeavoid marriage and child-bearing, get divorced, and commit suicide at higher rates than those raised by two married parents.
Good marriages and the resulting families have been, and continue to be, essential to the social fabric of human society.
Without marriage there is no stability in the family, and without stable families the next generation is at grave risk in all aspects of life. Challenges to traditional assumptions about marriage In the latter decades of the twentieth century many traditional assumptions about the nature, purpose, and definition of marriage and family were challenged.
These challenges ran parallel to dramatic increases in divorce from 6 percent to over 40 percent of first marriagescohabitation without marriage, a growing unmarried population, and children born outside of marriage from 5 percent to over 33 percent of birthsas well as an increase in adultery 8 percent to over 40 percent. Just a "piece of paper"? Cohabitation as an alternative to marriage Cohabitation is on the rise worldwide.
It has been argued that marriage may be an unnecessary legal fiction—the proverbial "piece of paper"—and that living together is just as viable an option for men and women who wish to have a sexual relationship. Studies show, however, that marriage differs considerably from cohabitation. People who live together before they marry are much more likely to divorce later on than people who did not live together before their marriage.
In some countries, like Swedenthe divorce rate for women who cohabited before marriage is 80 percent higher than for women who did not cohabit before marriage Bennett, Blanc, and Bloom These findings have been repeated in other countries.
What is more, cohabitation does not bring the same benefits to children's well-being as marriage does. In Englandone study showed that children who lived with cohabiting rather than married parents are twenty times more likely to become victims of child abuse Whelan Children of cohabiting couples also experience more poverty and disruption in their future relationships.
The feminist critique Feminists have argued that marriage was part of patriarchy and designed to oppress and abuse women. Some social scientists agreed, seeing traditional marriages and the families formed under them as dysfunctional almost by definition. Divorce was seen as a step toward liberation. There is, no doubt, much truth to the criticism that marriage was part of the general oppression of women.
In many areas of the world, when a woman was in her early teens her father arranged a marriage for her in return for a bride pricesometimes to a man twice her age who was a stranger to her.
Her older husband then became her guardian and she could be cut off almost completely from her family. The woman had little or no say in the marriage negotiations, which might even have occurred without her knowledge.
Some traditions allowed a woman who failed to bear a son to be given back to her father. This reflected the importance of bearing children and extending the family to succeeding generations.
Often both parties have expected to be virgins before their marriage, but in many cultures women were more strictly held to this standard. One old tradition in Europe, which survived into the twentieth century in rural Greecewas for this to be proven by hanging the bloody bed sheet from the wedding night from the side of the house.
Similarly, sexual fidelity is very often expected in marriage, but sometimes the expectations and penalties for women have been harsher than those for men. In some traditions marriage could be a traumatic, unpleasant turn of events for a girl. Young women, in my opinion, have the sweetest existence known to mortals in their father's homes, for their innocence always keeps children safe and happy.