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MARRIAGE Marriage  (also called  matrimony  or  wedlock ) is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. [1]  The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal.


LEGITIMACY OF OFFSPRING The anthropological handbook  Notes and Queries  (1951) defined marriage as "a union between a man and a woman such that children born to the woman are the recognized legitimate offspring of both partners ."  In recognition of a practice by the Nuer of Sudan allowing women to act as a husband in certain circumstances (the Ghost marriage), Kathleen Goughsuggested modifying this to "a woman and one or more other persons . ] In an analysis of marriage among the Nayar , a polyandrous society in India, Gough found that the group lacked a husband role in the conventional sense; that unitary role in the west was divided between a non-resident "social father" of the woman's children, and her lovers who were the actual procreators. None of these men had legal rights to the woman's child. This forced Gough to disregard sexual access as a key element of marriage and to define it in terms of legitimacy of offspring alone: marriage is "a relationship established between a woman and one or more other persons, which provides a child born to the woman under circumstances not prohibited by the rules of relationship, is accorded full birth-status rights common to normal members of his society or social stratum.


COLLECTION OF RIGHTS "To establish a legal father of a woman's children. To establish a legal mother of a man's children. To give the husband a monopoly in the wife's sexuality. To give the wife a monopoly in the husband's sexuality. To give the husband partial or monopolistic rights to the wife's domestic and other labour services. To give the wife partial or monopolistic rights to the husband's domestic and other labour services. To give the husband partial or total over property belonging or potentially accruing to the wife. To give the wife partial or total over property belonging or potentially accruing to the husband. To establish a joint fund of property – a partnership – for the benefit of the children of the marriage. To establish a socially significant 'relationship of affinity' between the husband and his wife's brothers.


RIGHT OF SEXUAL ACCESS In a 1997 article in  Current Anthropology  Duran Bell describes marriage as "a relationship between one or more men (male or female) in severalty to one or more women that provides those men with a demand-right of sexual access within a domestic group and identifies women who bear the obligation of yielding to the demands of those specific men." In referring to "men in severalty", Bell is referring to corporate kin groups such as lineages which, in having paid brideprice , retain a right in a woman's offspring even if her husband (a lineage member) deceases (Levirate marriage). In referring to "men (male or female)", Bell is referring to women within the lineage who may stand in as the "social fathers" of the wife's children born of other lovers. (See Nuer "Ghost marriage"


TYPES OF MARRIAGE Monogamy is a form of marriage in which an individual has only one spouse during their lifetime or at any one time (serial monogamy). Anthropologist Jack Goody's comparative study of marriage around the world utilizing the Ethnographic Atlas found a strong correlation between intensive plough agriculture, dowry and monogamy. This pattern was found in a broad swath of Eurasian societies from Japan to Ireland. The majority of Sub-Saharan African societies that practice extensive hoe agriculture, in contrast, show a correlation between "Bride price," and polygamy . [  A further study drawing on the Ethnographic Atlas showed a statistical correlation between increasing size of the society, the belief in "high gods" to support human morality, and monogamy . In the countries which do not permit polygamy, a person who marries in one of those countries a person while still being lawfully married to another commits the crime of  bigamY . In all cases, the second marriage is considered legally null and void. Besides the second and subsequent marriages being void, the bigamist is also liable to other penalties, which also vary between jurisdictions.


SERIAL MONOGAMY Governments that support monogamy, may allow easy divorce. In a number of Western countries divorce rates approach 50%. Those who remarry do so on average 3 times. Divorce and remarriage can thus result in "serial monogamy", i.e. multiple marriages but only one legal spouse at a time. This can be interpreted as a form of plural mating, as are those societies dominated by female-headed families in the Caribbean,  Mauritius  and  Brazil  where there is frequent rotation of unmarried partners. In all, these account for 16 to 24% of the "monogamous" category . Serial monogamy creates a new kind of relative, the "ex-". The "ex-wife", for example, remains an active part of her "ex-husband's" life, as they may be tied together by transfers of resources (alimony, child support), or shared child custody. Bob Simpson notes that in the British case, serial monogamy creates an "extended family" – a number of households tied together in this way, including mobile children (possible ex's may include an ex-wife, an ex-brother-in-law, etc., but not an "ex-child"). These "unclear families" do not fit the mould of the monogamous nuclear family. As a series of connected households, they come to resemble the polygynous model of separate households maintained by mothers with children, tied by a male to whom they are married or divorced .


Polygamy Polygamy is a marriage which includes more than two partners . ]  When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, the relationship is called polygyny, and there is no marriage bond between the wives; and when a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called polyandry, and there is no marriage bond between the husbands. If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it can be called group marriage . A molecular genetic study of global human genetic diversity argued that sexual polygyny was typical of human reproductive patterns until the shift to sedentary farming communities approximately 10,000 to 5,000 years ago in Europe and Asia, and more recently in Africa and the Americas .  As noted above, Anthropologist Jack Goody's comparative study of marriage around the world utilizing the Ethnographic AtlaSfound that the majority of Sub-Saharan African societies that practice extensive hoe agriculture show a correlation between "Bride price," and polygamy . [  A survey of other cross-cultural samples has confirmed that the absence of the plough was the only predictor of polygamy, although other factors such as high male mortality in warfare (in non-state societies) and pathogen stress (in state societies) had some impact . Marriages are classified according to the number of legal spouses an individual has. The suffix "-gamy" refers specifically to the number of spouses, as in bi-gamy (two spouses, generally illegal in most nations), and poly-gamy (more than one spouse).


POLYGYNY Although a society may be classified as polgynous , not all marriages in it necessarily are; monogamous marriages may in fact predominate. It is to this flexibility that Anthropologist Robin Foxattributes its success as a social support system: "This has often meant – given the imbalance in the sex ratios, the higher male infant mortality, the shorter life span of males, the loss of males in wartime, etc. – that often women were left without financial support from husbands. To correct this condition, females had to be killed at birth, remain single, become prostitutes, or be siphoned off into celibate religious orders. Polygynous systems have the advantage that they can promise, as did the Mormons, a home and family for every woman ." Nonetheless, polygyny is a gender issue which offers men asymmetrical benefits. In some cases, there is a large age discrepancy (as much as a generation) between a man and his youngest wife, compounding the power differential between the two. Tensions not only exist  between  genders, but also  within  genders; senior and junior men compete for wives, and senior and junior wives in the same household may experience radically different life conditions, and internal hierarchy. Several studies have suggested that the wive's relationship with other women, including co-wives and husband's female kin, are more critical relationships than that with her husband for her productive, reproductive and personal achievement.


POLYANDRY Polyandry is notably more rare than polygyny, though less rare than the figure commonly cited in the  Ethnographic Atlas  (1980) which listed only those polyandrous societies found in the Himalayan Mountains. More recent studies have found 53 societies outside of the 28 found in the Himalayans which practice polyandry. [31]  It is most common in egalitarian societies marked by high male mortality or male absenteeism. It is associated with  partible paternity , the cultural belief that a child can have more than one father. [32] The explanation for polyandry in the Himalayan Mountains is related to the scarcity of land; the marriage of all brothers in a family to the same wife ( fraternal polyandry ) allows family land to remain intact and undivided. 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)


SAME SEX MARRIAGE As noted above, several kinds of same gendered, non-sexual marriages exist in some lineage based societies; this section relates to same gendered sexual unions. However, some cultures include third gender (two-spirited or transgendered) individuals, such as the  berdache  of the  Zuni  in New Mexico; is the marriage between a berdache and a man a "same sex marriage"? We'wha , one 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 . While it is a relatively new practice to grant same-sex couples the same form of legal marital recognition as commonly granted to mixed-sex couples, there is some history of recorded same-sex unions around the world . [ Ancient Greek same-sex relationships were like modern companionate marriages, unlike their different-sex marriages in which the spouses had few emotional ties, and the husband had freedom to engage in outside sexual liaisons. The  Theodosian Code ( C. Th.  9.7.3) issued in 342 CE imposed severe penalties or death on same-sex relationships  but the exact intent of the law and its relation to social practice is unclear, as only a few examples of same-sex marriage in that culture exist.Same -sex unions were celebrated in some regions of China, such as  Fujian

Temporary marriage:

Temporary marriage Several cultures have practiced temporary and conditional marriages. Examples include the  Celticpractice of  handfastingand fixed-term marriages in the Muslim community. Pre-Islamic Arabs practiced a form of temporary marriage that carries on today , a fixed-term marriage contract. The prophet Muhammad sanctioned a temporary marriage – sigheh  in Iran and muta'a in Iraq – which can provide a legitimizing cover for sex workers . [  The same forms of temporary marriage have been used in Egypt, Lebanon and Iran to make the donation of a human ova legal for in vitro fertilization ; a woman cannot, however, use this kind of marriage to obtain a sperm donation . [  Muslim controversies related to Nikah Mut'ahhave resulted in the practice being confined mostly to Shi'ite communities. The matrilineal  Mosuo  of China practice what they call "walking marriage".

Forced marriage:

Forced marriage A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married against their will. Forced marriages continue to be practiced in parts of the world, especially in South Asia and  Africa The line between forced marriage and consensual marriage may become blurred, because the social norms of these cultures dictate that one should never oppose the desire of one's parents/relatives in regard to the choice of a spouse; in such cultures it is not necessary for violence, threats, intimidation etc. to occur, the person simply "consents" to the marriage even if he/she doesn't want it, out of the implied social pressure and duty. The customs of bride price and dowry, that exist in parts of the world, can lead to buying and selling people into marriage . In some societies, ranging from Central Asia to the Caucasus to Africa, the custom of bride kidnappingstill exists, in which a woman is captured by a man and his friends. Sometimes this covers an elopement, but sometimes it depends on sexual violence. In previous times,  raptio  was a larger-scale version of this, with groups of women captured by groups of men, sometimes in war; the most famous example is The Rape of the Sabine Women, which provided the first citizens of Rome with their wives. Other marriage partners are more or less imposed on an individual. For example, widow inheritance provides a widow with another man from her late husband's brothers.

Companionate marriage:

Companionate marriage Eva Illouz argues that the 'love' (companionate) marriage emerged at the same time as the rise of capitalism in European and American society. 'Love' is not the raw emotion that Western representations make it out to be, but a cultural construction shaped by the social and economic conditions of modern industrial society. Industrialization weakened the ties between extended families, and made the nuclear family the norm. In this view, love is a culturally constructed label for physiological arousal that is shrouded in cultural symbols that situate the emerging relationship within a particular set of cultural expectations – one of which leads to marriage as an institution. These cultural expectations are shaped by a number of cultural industries, such as advertising, film and television, and the 'wedding industry '. ]  Until the turn of the twentieth century, marriage was viewed as one of the most important financial decisions of one's life, determined in large part by property transfers such as dowry (or dower), and romantic love was viewed as disruptive of the rational economic decision making needed. Under the development of capitalism, this changed:

Economic considerations:

Economic considerations Dowry A  dowry  is "a process whereby parental property is distributed to a daughter at her marriage (i.e.  inter vivos ) rather than at the holder's death ( mortis causa )… A dowry establishes some variety of conjugal fund, the nature of which may vary widely. This fund ensures her support (or endowment) in widowhood and eventually goes to provide for her sons and daughters ." In some cultures, especially in South Asia, in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal, dowries continue to be expected. In India, nearly 7,000 women were killed in 2001 over dowries ,  and activists believe that figures represent a third of the actual number of such murders. Dower Direct Dowry contrasts with  bridewealth , which is paid by the groom or his family to the bride's parents, and with indirect dowry (or dower), which is property given to the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage and which remains under her ownership and control . ] In the Jewish tradition, the rabbis in ancient times insisted on the marriage couple entering into a prenuptial agreement, called a  ketubAh . Besides other things, the  ketubah  provided for an amount to be paid by the husband in the event of a  divorCe  or his estate in the event of his death. This amount was a replacement of the biblical dower or bride price, which was payable at the time of the marriage by the groom to the father of the bride


MARRIAGE LAW Giving a husband/wife or his/her family control over a spouse's sexual services, labor, and property. Giving a husband/wife responsibility for a spouse's debts. Giving a husband/wife visitation rights when his/her spouse is incarcerated or hospitalized. Giving a husband/wife control over his/her spouse's affairs when the spouse is incapacitated. Establishing the second legal guardian of a parent's child. Establishing a joint fund of property for the benefit of children. Establishing a relationship between the families of the spouses. These rights and obligations vary considerably between societies, and between groups within society .  These might include arranged marriages, family obligations, the legal establishment of a nuclear family unit, the legal protection of children and public declaration ofcommitment


DIVORCE In most societies, the death of one of the partners terminates the marriage, and in monogamous societies this allows the other partner to remarry, though sometimes after a waiting or mourning period. In some societies, a marriages can be annulled, when an authority declares that a marriage never happened. A marriage may also be terminated through  divorce As of 2012, the Philippines and the Vatican City are the only jurisdictions which do not allow divorce (this is currently under discussion in Philippines ). ] ) After divorce, one spouse may have to pay  alimoy . Laws concerning divorce and the ease with which a divorce can be obtained vary widely around the world. After a divorce or an annulment, the people concerned are free to remarry (or marry). A statutory right of two married partners to mutually consent to divorce was enacted in western nations in the mid-20th century. In the United States no-fault divorce was first enacted in California in 1969 and the final state to legalize it was New York in 1989 . About 45% of marriages in Britai ] and , according to a 2009 study, 46% of marriages in the  U.S ]  end in divorce.



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