Wundervölker, Monstrosität und Hässlichkeit im Mittelalter (German Edition)

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Civil marriage recognizes and creates the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony before the state. When a marriage is performed with religious content under the auspices of a religious institution it is a religious marriage. Religious marriage recognizes and creates the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony before that religion.

Religious marriage is known variously as sacramental marriage in Catholicism , nikah in Islam , nissuin in Judaism , and various other names in other faith traditions, each with their own constraints as to what constitutes, and who can enter into, a valid religious marriage.

Some countries do not recognize locally performed religious marriage on its own, and require a separate civil marriage for official purposes. Conversely, civil marriage does not exist in some countries governed by a religious legal system , such as Saudi Arabia , where marriages contracted abroad might not be recognized if they were contracted contrary to Saudi interpretations of Islamic religious law.

In countries governed by a mixed secular-religious legal system , such as in Lebanon and Israel , locally performed civil marriage also does not exist within the country, preventing interfaith and various other marriages contradicting religious laws from being entered into in the country, however, civil marriages performed abroad may be recognized by the state even if they conflict with religious laws in the case of recognition of marriage in Israel , this includes recognition of not only interfaith civil marriages performed abroad, but also overseas same-sex civil marriages.

The act of marriage usually creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved, and any offspring they may produce or adopt. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny , child marriages , and forced marriages. In modern times, a growing number of countries, primarily developed democracies, have lifted bans on and have established legal recognition for the marriages of interfaith , interracial , and same-sex couples.

Some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through divorce or annulment. In some areas, child marriages and polygamy may occur in spite of national laws against the practice. Since the late twentieth century, major social changes in Western countries have led to changes in the demographics of marriage, with the age of first marriage increasing, fewer people marrying, and more couples choosing to cohabit rather than marry. Historically, in most cultures, married women had very few rights of their own, being considered, along with the family's children, the property of the husband ; as such, they could not own or inherit property, or represent themselves legally see for example coverture.

In Europe, the United States, and other places in the developed world , beginning in the late 19th century and lasting through the 21st century, marriage has undergone gradual legal changes, aimed at improving the rights of the wife. These changes included giving wives legal identities of their own, abolishing the right of husbands to physically discipline their wives, giving wives property rights, liberalizing divorce laws, providing wives with reproductive rights of their own, and requiring a wife 's consent when sexual relations occur.

These changes have occurred primarily in Western countries. In the 21st century, there continue to be controversies regarding the legal status of married women, legal acceptance of or leniency towards violence within marriage especially sexual violence , traditional marriage customs such as dowry and bride price , forced marriage, marriageable age , and criminalization of consensual behaviors such as premarital and extramarital sex. The word "marriage" derives from Middle English mariage , which first appears in — CE. Anthropologists have proposed several competing definitions of marriage in an attempt to encompass the wide variety of marital practices observed across cultures.

In The History of Human Marriage , Edvard Westermarck defined marriage as "a more or less durable connection between male and female lasting beyond the mere act of propagation till after the birth of the offspring. The anthropological handbook Notes and Queries 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 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.

Economic anthropologist Duran Bell has criticized the legitimacy-based definition on the basis that some societies do not require marriage for legitimacy. He argued that a legitimacy-based definition of marriage is circular in societies where illegitimacy has no other legal or social implications for a child other than the mother being unmarried. Edmund Leach criticized Gough's definition for being too restrictive in terms of recognized legitimate offspring and suggested that marriage be viewed in terms of the different types of rights it serves to establish.

In article in Man , Leach argued that no one definition of marriage applied to all cultures. He offered a list of ten rights associated with marriage, including sexual monopoly and rights with respect to children, with specific rights differing across cultures. Those rights, according to Leach, included:. In a 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 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.


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See Nuer " ghost marriage " [6]. 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. 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.

Governments that support monogamy may allow easy divorce. Those who remarry do so on average three times. Divorce and remarriage can thus result in "serial monogamy", i. 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.

Serial monogamy creates a new kind of relative, the "ex-". The "ex-wife", for example, remains an active part of her "ex-husband's" or "ex-wife'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 exes may include an ex-wife, an ex-brother-in-law, etc.

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 is a marriage which includes more than two partners. If a marriage includes multiple husbands or 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, to 5, years ago in Europe and Asia, and more recently in Africa and the Americas.

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. Societies show variable acceptance of polygamy as a cultural ideal and practice. According to the Ethnographic Atlas , of 1, societies noted, were monogamous; had occasional polygyny; had more frequent polygyny; and 4 had polyandry.

Ten key moments in the history of marriage

The actual practice of polygamy in a tolerant society may actually be low, with the majority of aspirant polygamists practicing monogamous marriage. Tracking the occurrence of polygamy is further complicated in jurisdictions where it has been banned, but continues to be practiced de facto polygamy. Zeitzen also notes that Western perceptions of African society and marriage patterns are biased by "contradictory concerns of nostalgia for traditional African culture versus critique of polygamy as oppressive to women or detrimental to development.

The vast majority of the world's countries, including virtually all of the world's developed nations, do not permit polygamy. There have been calls for the abolition of polygamy in developing countries. Polygyny usually grants wives equal status, although the husband may have personal preferences. One type of de facto polygyny is concubinage , where only one woman gets a wife's rights and status, while other women remain legal house mistresses. Although a society may be classified as polygynous, not all marriages in it necessarily are; monogamous marriages may in fact predominate.

It is to this flexibility that Anthropologist Robin Fox attributes 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.


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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.

Fox argues that "the major difference between polygyny and monogamy could be stated thus: while plural mating occurs in both systems, under polygyny several unions may be recognized as being legal marriages while under monogamy only one of the unions is so recognized. Often, however, it is difficult to draw a hard and fast line between the two. As polygamy in Africa is increasingly subject to legal limitations, a variant form of de facto as opposed to legal or de jure polygyny is being practised in urban centres.

Although it does not involve multiple now illegal formal marriages, the domestic and personal arrangements follow old polygynous patterns. The de facto form of polygyny is found in other parts of the world as well including some Mormon sects and Muslim families in the United States. This is not a lesbian relationship, but a means of legitimately expanding a royal lineage by attaching these wives' children to it.

The relationships are considered polygynous, not polyandrous, because the female husband is in fact assuming masculine gendered political roles. Religious groups have differing views on the legitimacy of polygyny. It is allowed in Islam and Confucianism. Judaism and Christianity have mentioned practices involving polygyny in the past, however, outright religious acceptance of such practices was not addressed until its rejection in later passages. They do explicitly prohibit polygyny today.

Polyandry is notably more rare than polygyny, though less rare than the figure commonly cited in the Ethnographic Atlas which listed only those polyandrous societies found in the Himalayan Mountains. 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.

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. Group marriage also known as multi-lateral marriage is a form of polyamory in which more than two persons form a family unit, with all the members of the group marriage being considered to be married to all the other members of the group marriage, and all members of the marriage share parental responsibility for any children arising from the marriage.

Of the societies reported by the American anthropologist George Murdock in , only the Kaingang of Brazil had any group marriages at all. 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 Delaware , the age of consent for marriage was 7 years old. Child marriages can also occur in the context of bride kidnapping. Twelve years later, in , John filed for divorce.

While child marriage is observed for both boys and girls, the overwhelming majority of child spouses are girls. Today, child marriages are widespread in parts of the world; being most common in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa , with 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 violence , than those who marry later, especially when they are married to a much older man. 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'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.

The Codex Theodosianus C. Several cultures have practiced temporary and conditional marriages. 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". In some jurisdictions cohabitation , in certain circumstances, may constitute a common-law marriage , an unregistered partnership , or 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. Conversely, institutionalized marriages may not involve cohabitation. 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 wide cross-cultural variation in the social rules governing the selection of a partner for marriage.

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. In other cultures with less strict rules governing the groups from which a partner can be chosen the selection of a marriage partner may involve either the couple going through a selection process of courtship or the marriage may be arranged by the couple's parents or an outside party, a matchmaker.

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.

Monogamous

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, [62] [63] [64] [65] [66] [67] [68] [69] have been considered incest and forbidden. Specifics vary: in South Korea, historically it was illegal to marry someone with the same last name and same ancestral line.

An Avunculate marriage is a marriage that occurs between an uncle and his niece or between an aunt and her nephew. 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 , [73] 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 — endogamy , this 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 — exogamy , this 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-cousin , a 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 affinity , meaning 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. In a wide array of lineage-based societies with a classificatory kinship system , potential spouses are sought from a specific class of relative as determined by a prescriptive marriage rule. This rule may be expressed by anthropologists using a "descriptive" kinship term, such as a "man's mother's brother's daughter" also known as a "cross-cousin". Such descriptive rules mask the participant's perspective: a man should marry a woman from his mother's lineage.

Within the society's kinship terminology, such relatives are usually indicated by a specific term which sets them apart as potentially marriageable. Pierre Bourdieu notes, however, that very few marriages ever follow the rule, and that when they do so, it is for "practical kinship" reasons such as the preservation of family property, rather than the "official kinship" ideology. Insofar as regular marriages following prescriptive rules occur, lineages are linked together in fixed relationships; these ties between lineages may form political alliances in kinship dominated societies.

A pragmatic or 'arranged' marriage is made easier by formal procedures of family or group politics. A responsible authority sets up or encourages the marriage; they may, indeed, engage a professional matchmaker to find a suitable spouse for an unmarried person. The authority figure could be parents, family, a religious official, or a group consensus. In some cases, the authority figure may choose a match for purposes other than marital harmony. 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 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 kidnapping still 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. In rural areas of India, child marriage is practiced, with parents often arranging the wedding, sometimes even before the child is born.

In some cultures, dowries and bridewealth continue to be required today. In both cases, the financial arrangements are usually made between the groom or his family and the bride's family; with the bride often not being involved in the negotiations, and often not having a choice in whether to participate in the marriage. In Early modern Britain , the social status of the couple was supposed to be equal. After the marriage, all the property called "fortune" and expected inheritances of the wife belonged to the husband.

A dowry is "a process whereby parental property is distributed to a daughter at her marriage i. This fund ensures her support or endowment in widowhood and eventually goes to provide for her sons and daughters. In some cultures, especially in countries such as Turkey , India , Bangladesh , Pakistan , Sri Lanka , Morocco , Nepal , dowries continue to be expected. In India, thousands of dowry-related deaths have taken place on yearly basis, [85] [86] to counter this problem, several jurisdictions have enacted laws restricting or banning dowry see Dowry law in India.

In Nepal, dowry was made illegal in 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.

The Sacrament of Marriage

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.

So, to enable these young men to marry, the rabbis, in effect, delayed the time that the amount would be payable, when they would be more likely to have the sum. It may also be noted that both the dower and the ketubah amounts served the same purpose: the protection for the wife should her support cease, either by death or divorce. The only difference between the two systems was the timing of the payment. It is the predecessor to the wife's present-day entitlement to maintenance in the event of the breakup of marriage, and family maintenance in the event of the husband not providing adequately for the wife in his will.

Another function performed by the ketubah amount was to provide a disincentive for the husband contemplating divorcing his wife: he would need to have the amount to be able to pay to the wife. Morning gifts , which might also be arranged by the bride's father rather than the bride, are given to the bride herself; the name derives from the Germanic tribal custom of giving them the morning after the wedding night.

She might have control of this morning gift during the lifetime of her husband, but is entitled to it when widowed. If the amount of her inheritance is settled by law rather than agreement, it may be called dower. Depending on legal systems and the exact arrangement, she may not be entitled to dispose of it after her death, and may lose the property if she remarries.

Morning gifts were preserved for centuries in morganatic marriage , a union where the wife's inferior social status was held to prohibit her children from inheriting a noble's titles or estates. In this case, the morning gift would support the wife and children. Another legal provision for widowhood was jointure , in which property, often land, would be held in joint tenancy, so that it would automatically go to the widow on her husband's death. Islamic tradition has similar practices. A ' mahr ', either immediate or deferred, is the woman's portion of the groom's wealth divorce or estate death.

These amounts are usually set on the basis of the groom's own and family wealth and incomes, but in some parts these are set very high so as to provide a disincentive for the groom exercising the divorce, or the husband's family 'inheriting' a large portion of the estate, especially if there are no male offspring from the marriage.

If the husband cannot pay the mahr , either in case of a divorce or on demand, according to the current laws in Iran, he will have to pay it by installments. Failure to pay the mahr might even lead to imprisonment. It is also known as brideprice although this has fallen in disfavor as it implies the purchase of the bride. Bridewealth is the amount of money or property or wealth paid by the groom or his family to the parents of a woman upon the marriage of their daughter to the groom.

In anthropological literature, bride price has often been explained as payment made to compensate the bride's family for the loss of her labor and fertility. In some cases, bridewealth is a means by which the groom's family's ties to the children of the union are recognized. In some countries a married person or couple benefits from various taxation advantages not available to a single person. For example, spouses may be allowed to average their combined incomes. This is advantageous to a married couple with disparate incomes. To compensate for this, countries may provide a higher tax bracket for the averaged income of a married couple.

While income averaging might still benefit a married couple with a stay-at-home spouse, such averaging would cause a married couple with roughly equal personal incomes to pay more total tax than they would as two single persons. In the United States, this is called the marriage penalty. When the rates applied by the tax code are not based income averaging, but rather on the sum of individuals' incomes, higher rates will usually apply to each individual in a two-earner households in a progressive tax systems.

This is most often the case with high-income taxpayers and is another situation called a marriage penalty. Conversely, when progressive tax is levied on the individual with no consideration for the partnership, dual-income couples fare much better than single-income couples with similar household incomes. The effect can be increased when the welfare system treats the same income as a shared income thereby denying welfare access to the non-earning spouse.

Such systems apply in Australia and Canada, for example. In many Western cultures, marriage usually leads to the formation of a new household comprising the married couple, with the married couple living together in the same home, often sharing the same bed, but in some other cultures this is not the tradition. In these cases, married couples may not form an independent household, but remain part of an extended family household.

Early theories explaining the determinants of postmarital residence [94] connected it with the sexual division of labor. However, to date, cross-cultural tests of this hypothesis using worldwide samples have failed to find any significant relationship between these two variables.

However, Korotayev 's tests show that the female contribution to subsistence does correlate significantly with matrilocal residence in general. However, this correlation is masked by a general polygyny factor. Although, in different-sex marriages, an increase in the female contribution to subsistence tends to lead to matrilocal residence, it also tends simultaneously to lead to general non-sororal polygyny which effectively destroys matrilocality. If this polygyny factor is controlled e. Thus, Murdock's hypotheses regarding the relationships between the sexual division of labor and postmarital residence were basically correct, though [95] the actual relationships between those two groups of variables are more complicated than he expected.

There has been a trend toward the neolocal residence in western societies. Marriage laws refer to the legal requirements which determine the validity of a marriage, which vary considerably between countries. A marriage bestows rights and obligations on the married parties, and sometimes on relatives as well, being the sole mechanism for the creation of affinal ties in-laws.

These may include, depending on jurisdiction:. These rights and obligations vary considerably between societies, and between groups within society. In many countries today, each marriage partner has the choice of keeping his or her property separate or combining properties. In the latter case, called community property , when the marriage ends by divorce each owns half. In lieu of a will or trust , property owned by the deceased generally is inherited by the surviving spouse. 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, in a heterosexual marriage, a husband was responsible to provide necessary things for his wife. Where this is the case, one partner may be sued to collect a debt for which they did not expressly contract. Critics of this practice note that debt collection agencies can abuse this by claiming an unreasonably wide range of debts to be expenses of the marriage.

The cost of defense and the burden of proof is then placed on the non-contracting party to prove that the expense is not a debt of the family. The respective maintenance obligations, both during and eventually after a marriage, are regulated in most jurisdictions ; alimony is one such method. Marriage is an institution that is historically filled with restrictions. From age, to race, to social status, to consanguinity , to gender, restrictions are placed on marriage by society for reasons of benefiting the children, passing on healthy genes, maintaining cultural values, or because of prejudice and fear.

Almost all cultures that recognize marriage also recognize adultery as a violation of the terms of marriage. Most jurisdictions set a minimum age for marriage , that is, a person must attain a certain age to be legally allowed to marry. Although most age restrictions are in place in order to prevent children from being forced into marriages, especially to much older partners — marriages which can have negative education and health related consequences, and lead to child sexual abuse and other forms of violence [] — such child marriages remain common in parts of the world.

To prohibit incest and eugenic reasons, marriage laws have set restrictions for relatives to marry. Direct blood relatives are usually prohibited to marry, while for branch line relatives, laws are wary. Laws banning "race-mixing" were enforced in certain North American jurisdictions from [] until , in Nazi Germany The Nuremberg Laws from until , and in South Africa during most part of the Apartheid era — All these laws primarily banned marriage between persons of different racially or ethnically defined groups, which was termed "amalgamation" or "miscegenation" in the U.

The laws in Nazi Germany and many of the U. In the United States, laws in some but not all of the states prohibited the marriage of whites and blacks, and in many states also the intermarriage of whites with Native Americans or Asians. From until , 30 out of the then 48 states enforced such laws. Virginia that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional.

With this ruling, these laws were no longer in effect in the remaining 16 states that still had them.

Matrimony | Definition of Matrimony at pefawuqa.cf

The Nuremberg Laws classified Jews as a race and forbade marriage and extramarital sexual relations at first with people of Jewish descent, but was later ended to the "Gypsies, Negroes or their bastard offspring" and people of "German or related blood". South Africa under apartheid also banned interracial marriage. The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, prohibited marriage between persons of different races, and the Immorality Act of made sexual relations with a person of a different race a crime. Additionally, Armenia , Estonia and Israel recognize the marriages of same-sex couples validly entered into in other countries.

Same-sex marriage is also due to soon become performed and recognized by law in Costa Rica and Taiwan. The introduction of same-sex marriage has varied by jurisdiction, being variously accomplished through legislative change to marriage law , a court ruling based on constitutional guarantees of equality, or by direct popular vote via ballot initiative or referendum. The recognition of same-sex marriage is considered to be a human right and a civil right as well as a political, social, and religious issue.

Various faith communities around the world support same-sex marriage, while many religious groups oppose it. Polls consistently show continually rising support for the recognition of same-sex marriage in all developed democracies and in some developing democracies. The establishment of recognition in law for the marriages of same-sex couples is one of the most prominent objectives of the LGBT rights movement.

Polygyny is widely practiced in mostly Muslim and African countries.

Theories About Family & Marriage: Crash Course Sociology #37

In most other jurisdictions, polygamy is illegal. For example, In the United States, polygamy is illegal in all 50 states. In the lateth century, citizens of the self-governing territory of what is present-day Utah were forced by the United States federal government to abandon the practice of polygamy through the vigorous enforcement of several Acts of Congress , and eventually complied.

Several countries such as India and Sri Lanka, [] permit only their Islamic citizens to practice polygamy. Some Indians have converted to Islam in order to bypass such legal restrictions. Myanmar frequently referred to as Burma is also the only predominantly Buddhist nation to allow for civil polygynous marriages, though such is rarely tolerated by the Burmese population.

In various jurisdictions, a civil marriage may take place as part of the religious marriage ceremony, although they are theoretically distinct. Some jurisdictions allow civil marriages in circumstances which are notably not allowed by particular religions, such as same-sex marriages or civil unions.

The opposite case may happen as well. Partners may not have full juridical acting capacity and churches may have less strict limits than the civil jurisdictions. This particularly applies to minimum age, or physical infirmities. It is possible for two people to be recognised as married by a religious or other institution, but not by the state, and hence without the legal rights and obligations of marriage; or to have a civil marriage deemed invalid and sinful by a religion.

Similarly, a couple may remain married in religious eyes after a civil divorce. A marriage is usually formalized at a wedding or marriage ceremony. The ceremony may be officiated either by a religious official, by a government official or by a state approved celebrant. In various European and some Latin American countries, any religious ceremony must be held separately from the required civil ceremony.

Some countries — such as Belgium, Bulgaria , France, the Netherlands, Romania and Turkey [] — require that a civil ceremony take place before any religious one. In some countries — notably the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland , Norway and Spain — both ceremonies can be held together; the officiant at the religious and civil ceremony also serving as agent of the state to perform the civil ceremony.

To avoid any implication that the state is "recognizing" a religious marriage which is prohibited in some countries — the "civil" ceremony is said to be taking place at the same time as the religious ceremony. Often this involves simply signing a register during the religious ceremony.

If the civil element of the religious ceremony is omitted, the marriage ceremony is not recognized as a marriage by government under the law. Some countries, such as Australia, permit marriages to be held in private and at any location; others, including England and Wales , require that the civil ceremony be conducted in a place open to the public and specially sanctioned by law for the purpose. In England, the place of marriage formerly had to be a church or register office , but this was extended to any public venue with the necessary licence.

An exception can be made in the case of marriage by special emergency license UK: licence , which is normally granted only when one of the parties is terminally ill. Rules about where and when persons can marry vary from place to place. Some regulations require one of the parties to reside within the jurisdiction of the register office formerly parish. Each religious authority has rules for the manner in which marriages are to be conducted by their officials and members.

Where religious marriages are recognised by the state, the officiator must also conform with the law of the jurisdiction. In a small number of jurisdictions marriage relationships may be created by the operation of the law alone. A civil union , also referred to as a civil partnership , is a legally recognized form of partnership similar to marriage. Beginning with Denmark in , civil unions under one name or another have been established by law in several countries in order to provide same-sex couples rights , benefits, and responsibilities similar in some countries, identical to opposite-sex civil marriage.

Sometimes people marry to take advantage of a certain situation, sometimes called a marriage of convenience or a sham marriage. For example, according to one publisher of information about green card marriages , "Every year over , United States citizens marry foreign-born individuals and petition for them to obtain a permanent residency Green Card in the United States. Regardless of the number of people entering the US to marry a US citizen, it does not indicate the number of these marriages that are convenience marriages, which number could include some of those with the motive of obtaining permanent residency, but also include people who are US citizens.

One example would be to obtain an inheritance that has a marriage clause. Another example would be to save money on health insurance or to enter a health plan with preexisting conditions offered by the new spouse's employer. Other situations exist, and, in fact, all marriages have a complex combination of conveniences motivating the parties to marry. A marriage of convenience is one that is devoid of normal reasons to marry. In certain countries like Singapore sham marriages like these are punishable criminal offences.

People have proposed arguments against marriage for reasons that include political, philosophical and religious criticisms; concerns about the divorce rate ; individual liberty and gender equality; questioning the necessity of having a personal relationship sanctioned by government or religious authorities; or the promotion of celibacy for religious or philosophical reasons.

Feminist theory approaches opposite-sex marriage as an institution traditionally rooted in patriarchy that promotes male superiority and power over women. This power dynamic conceptualizes men as "the provider operating in the public sphere" and women as "the caregivers operating within the private sphere". The adultery of a woman was always treated with more severity than that of a man. Numerous philosophers, feminists and other academic figures have commented on this throughout history, condemning the hypocrisy of legal and religious authorities in regard to sexual issues; pointing to the lack of choice of a woman in regard to controlling her own sexuality; and drawing parallels between marriage, an institution promoted as sacred, and prostitution , widely condemned and vilified though often tolerated as a " necessary evil ".

Mary Wollstonecraft , in the 18th century, described marriage as "legal prostitution". Some critics object to what they see as propaganda in relation to marriage — from the government, religious organizations, the media — which aggressively promote marriage as a solution for all social problems; such propaganda includes, for instance, marriage promotion in schools, where children, especially girls , are bombarded with positive information about marriage, being presented only with the information prepared by authorities.

The performance of dominant gender roles by men and submissive gender roles by women influence the power dynamic of a heterosexual marriage. Author bell hooks states "within the family structure, individuals learn to accept sexist oppression as 'natural' and are primed to support other forms of oppression, including heterosexist domination. In the US, studies have shown that, despite egalitarian ideals being common, less than half of respondents viewed their opposite-sex relationships as equal in power, with unequal relationships being more commonly dominated by the male partner.

Different societies demonstrate variable tolerance of extramarital sex. The Standard Cross-Cultural Sample describes the occurrence of extramarital sex by gender in over 50 pre-industrial cultures. The occurrence of extramarital sex by women is described as "universal" in 6 cultures, "moderate" in 23 cultures, "occasional" in 9 cultures, and "uncommon" in 15 cultures.

Many of the world's major religions look with disfavor on sexual relations outside marriage. Adultery is considered in many jurisdictions to be a crime and grounds for divorce. In some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, [] Afghanistan, [] [] Iran, [] Kuwait, [] Maldives, [] Morocco, [] Oman, [] Mauritania, [] United Arab Emirates, [] [] Sudan, [] Yemen, [] any form of sexual activity outside marriage is illegal. In some parts of the world, women and girls accused of having sexual relations outside marriage are at risk of becoming victims of honor killings committed by their families.

In Pakistan , after the Balochistan honour killings in which five women were killed by tribesmen of the Umrani Tribe of Balochistan , Pakistani Federal Minister for Postal Services Israr Ullah Zehri defended the practice; he said: [] "These are centuries-old traditions, and I will continue to defend them. Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid.

An issue that is a serious concern regarding marriage and which has been the object of international scrutiny is that of sexual violence within marriage. Throughout much of the history, in most cultures, sex in marriage was considered a 'right', that could be taken by force often by a man from a woman , if 'denied'. As the concept of human rights started to develop in the 20th century, and with the arrival of second-wave feminism , such views have become less widely held.

The legal and social concept of marital rape has developed in most industrialized countries in the mid- to late 20th century; in many other parts of the world it is not recognized as a form of abuse, socially or legally. Several countries in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia made marital rape illegal before , and other countries in Western Europe and the English-speaking Western world outlawed it in the s and s. In England and Wales , marital rape was made illegal in Although marital rape is being increasingly criminalized in developing countries too, cultural, religious, and traditional ideologies about "conjugal rights" remain very strong in many parts of the world; and even in many countries that have adequate laws against rape in marriage these laws are rarely enforced.

Apart from the issue of rape committed against one's spouse, marriage is, in many parts of the world, closely connected with other forms of sexual violence: in some places, like Morocco , unmarried girls and women who are raped are often forced by their families to marry their rapist. Because being the victim of rape and losing virginity carry extreme social stigma, and the victims are deemed to have their "reputation" tarnished, a marriage with the rapist is arranged.

This is claimed to be in the advantage of both the victim — who does not remain unmarried and doesn't lose social status — and of the rapist, who avoids punishment. In , after a Moroccan year-old girl committed suicide after having been forced by her family to marry her rapist and enduring further abuse by the rapist after they married, there have been protests from activists against this practice which is common in Morocco. In some societies, the very high social and religious importance of marital fidelity, especially female fidelity, has as result the criminalization of adultery, often with harsh penalties such as stoning or flogging ; as well as leniency towards punishment of violence related to infidelity such as honor killings.

A Joint Statement by the United Nations Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice states that "Adultery as a criminal offence violates women's human rights". The laws surrounding heterosexual marriage in many countries have come under international scrutiny because they contradict international standards of human rights ; institutionalize violence against women , child marriage and forced marriage ; require the permission of a husband for his wife to work in a paid job, sign legal documents, file criminal charges against someone, sue in civil court etc.

Such things were legal even in many Western countries until recently: for instance, in France , married women obtained the right to work without their husband's permission in , [] [] [] and in West Germany women obtained this right in by comparison women in East Germany had many more rights. Throughout history, and still today in many countries, laws have provided for extenuating circumstances , partial or complete defenses, for men who killed their wives due to adultery, with such acts often being seen as crimes of passion and being covered by legal defenses such as provocation or defense of family honor.

While international law and conventions recognize the need for consent for entering a marriage — namely that people cannot be forced to get married against their will — the right to obtain a divorce is not recognized; therefore holding a person in a marriage against their will if such person has consented to entering in it is not considered a violation of human rights, with the issue of divorce being left at the appreciation of individual states. The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly ruled that under the European Convention on Human Rights there is neither a right to apply to divorce, nor a right to obtain the divorce if applied for it; in , in Babiarz v.

Poland , the Court ruled that Poland was entitled to deny a divorce because the grounds for divorce were not met, even if the marriage in question was acknowledged both by Polish courts and by the ECHR as being a legal fiction involving a long-term separation where the husband lived with another woman with whom he had an year-old child. In the EU, the last country to allow divorce was Malta , in Around the world, the only countries to forbid divorce are Philippines and Vatican City , [] although in practice in many countries which use a fault-based divorce system obtaining a divorce is very difficult.

The ability to divorce, in law and practice, has been and continues to be a controversial issue in many countries, and public discourse involves different ideologies such as feminism, social conservatism, religious interpretations. In recent years, the customs of dowry and bride price have received international criticism for inciting conflicts between families and clans; contributing to violence against women ; promoting materialism; increasing property crimes where men steal goods such as cattle in order to be able to pay the bride price ; and making it difficult for poor people to marry.

African women's rights campaigners advocate the abolishing of bride price, which they argue is based on the idea that women are a form of property which can be bought. Historically, and still in many countries, children born outside marriage suffered severe social stigma and discrimination. In England and Wales, such children were known as bastards and whoresons. There are significant differences between world regions in regard to the social and legal position of non-marital births, ranging from being fully accepted and uncontroversial to being severely stigmatized and discriminated.

The European Convention on the Legal Status of Children Born out of Wedlock protects the rights of children born to unmarried parents. While in most Western countries legal inequalities between children born inside and outside marriage have largely been abolished, this is not the case in some parts of the world. The legal status of an unmarried father differs greatly from country to country. Without voluntary formal recognition of the child by the father, in most cases there is a need of due process of law in order to establish paternity.

In some countries however, unmarried cohabitation of a couple for a specific period of time does create a presumption of paternity similar to that of formal marriage. This is the case in Australia. A special situation arises when a married woman has a child by a man other than her husband. Some countries, such as Israel , refuse to accept a legal challenge of paternity in such a circumstance, in order to avoid the stigmatization of the child see Mamzer , a concept under Jewish law.

In , the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of a German man who had fathered twins with a married woman, granting him right of contact with the twins, despite the fact that the mother and her husband had forbidden him to see the children. The steps that an unmarried father must take in order to obtain rights to his child vary by country. In some countries such as the UK — since in England and Wales, in Scotland, and in Northern Ireland it is sufficient for the father to be listed on the birth certificate for him to have parental rights; [] in other countries, such as Ireland, simply being listed on the birth certificate does not offer any rights, additional legal steps must be taken if the mother agrees, the parents can both sign a "statutory declaration", but if the mother does not agree, the father has to apply to court.

Children born outside marriage have become more common, and in some countries, the majority. During the first half of the 20th century, unmarried women in some Western countries were coerced by authorities to give their children up for adoption. This was especially the case in Australia, through the forced adoptions in Australia , with most of these adoptions taking place between the s and the s. In , Julia Gillard , then Prime Minister of Australia, offered a national apology to those affected by the forced adoptions. Some married couples choose not to have children. Others are unable to have children because of infertility or other factors preventing conception or the bearing of children.

In some cultures, marriage imposes an obligation on women to bear children. In northern Ghana , for example, payment of bridewealth signifies a woman's requirement to bear children, and women using birth control face substantial threats of physical abuse and reprisals. Religions develop in specific geographic and social milieux. The precepts of mainstream religions include, as a rule, unequivocal prescriptions for marriage, establishing both rituals and rules of conduct. Modern Christianity bases its views on marriage upon the teachings of Jesus and the Paul the Apostle.

A couple could exchange consent anywhere, anytime. Decrees on marriage of the Roman Catholic Council of Trent twenty-fourth session of made the validity of marriage dependent on the wedding occurring in the presence of a priest and two witnesses. The Christian Church performed marriages in the narthex of the church prior to the 16th century, when the emphasis was on the marital contract and betrothal. Subsequently, the ceremony moved inside the sacristy of the church. Christians often [ quantify ] marry for religious reasons, ranging from following the biblical injunction for a "man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one", [Gen.

Catholics , Eastern Orthodox , as well as many Anglicans and Methodists , consider marriage termed holy matrimony to be an expression of divine grace , [] termed a sacrament and mystery in the first two Christian traditions. In Western ritual , the ministers of the sacrament are the spouses themselves, with a bishop , priest , or deacon merely witnessing the union on behalf of the Church and blessing it.

In Eastern ritual churches , the bishop or priest functions as the actual minister of the Sacred Mystery; Eastern Orthodox deacons may not perform marriages. Western Christians commonly refer to marriage as a vocation , while Eastern Christians consider it an ordination and a martyrdom , though the theological emphases indicated by the various names are not excluded by the teachings of either tradition.

The sacrament of marriage is indicative of the relationship between Christ and the Church. The Roman Catholic tradition of the 12th and 13th centuries defined marriage as a sacrament ordained by God, [] signifying the mystical marriage of Christ to his Church. The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.

For Catholic and Methodist Christians, the mutual love between man and wife becomes an image of the eternal love with which God loves humankind. Sacramental marriage confers a perpetual and exclusive bond between the spouses. By its nature, the institution of marriage and conjugal love is ordered to the procreation and upbringing of offspring. Marriage creates rights and duties in the Church between the spouses and towards their children: "[e]ntering marriage with the intention of never having children is a grave wrong and more than likely grounds for an annulment".

Civilly remarried persons who civilly divorced a living and lawful spouse are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic Communion. Divorce and remarriage , while generally not encouraged, are regarded differently by each Christian denomination. Most Protestant Churches allow persons to marry again after a divorce, while other require an annulment. The Eastern Orthodox Church allows divorce for a limited number of reasons, and in theory, but usually not in practice, requires that a marriage after divorce be celebrated with a penitential overtone.

With respect to marriage between a Christian and a pagan, the early Church "sometimes took a more lenient view, invoking the so-called Pauline privilege of permissible separation 1 Cor. The Catholic Church adheres to the proscription of Jesus in Matthew , 6 that married spouses who have consummated their marriage "are no longer two, but one flesh.

Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate. Specifically, Canon declares that "the essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility ; in [C]hristian marriage they acquire a distinctive firmness by reason of the sacrament. However, the Church has the authority to annul a presumed "marriage" by declaring it to have been invalid from the beginning, i.

For Protestant denominations, the purposes of marriage include intimate companionship, rearing children, and mutual support for both spouses to fulfill their life callings. Most Reformed Christians did not regard marriage to the status of a sacrament "because they did not regard matrimony as a necessary means of grace for salvation"; nevertheless it is considered a covenant between spouses before God.

Since the 16th century, five competing models of marriage have shaped Protestant marriage and legal tradition:. Islam also commends marriage, with the age of marriage being whenever the individuals feel ready, financially and emotionally. In Islam, polygyny is allowed while polyandry is not, with the specific limitation that a man can have no more than four legal wives at any one time and an unlimited number of female slaves as concubines , with the requirement that the man is able and willing to partition his time and wealth equally among the respective wives.

For a Muslim wedding to take place, the bridegroom and the guardian of the bride wali must both agree on the marriage. Should the guardian disagree on the marriage, it may not legally take place. If the wali of the girl her father or paternal grandfather, he has the right to force her into marriage even against her proclaimed will, if it is her first marriage.

A guardian who is allowed to force the bride into marriage is called wali mujbir. From an Islamic Sharia law perspective, the minimum requirements and responsibilities in a Muslim marriage are that the groom provide living expenses housing, clothing, food, maintenance to the bride, and in return, the bride's main responsibility is raising children to be proper Muslims. All other rights and responsibilities are to be decided between the husband and wife, and may even be included as stipulations in the marriage contract before the marriage actually takes place, so long as they do not go against the minimum requirements of the marriage.

In Sunni Islam , marriage must take place in the presence of at least two reliable witnesses, with the consent of the guardian of the bride and the consent of the groom. Following the marriage, the couple may consummate the marriage. To create an ' urf marriage, it is sufficient that a man and a woman indicate an intention to marry each other and recite the requisite words in front of a suitable Muslim.

The wedding party usually follows but can be held days, or months later, whenever the couple and their families want to; however, there can be no concealment of the marriage as it is regarded as public notification due to the requirement of witnesses. Following the marriage they may consummate their marriage. In Judaism , marriage is based on the laws of the Torah and is a contractual bond between spouses in which the spouses dedicate to be exclusive to one another. Kabbalistically , marriage is understood to mean that the spouses are merging into a single soul.

This is why a man is considered "incomplete" if he is not married, as his soul is only one part of a larger whole that remains to be unified. Polygyny , or men having multiple wives at once, is one of the most common marital arrangements represented in the Hebrew Bible.

Among ancient Hebrews, marriage was a domestic affair and not a religious ceremony; the participation of a priest or rabbi was not required. Betrothal erusin , which refers to the time that this binding contract is made, is distinct from marriage itself nissu'in , with the time between these events varying substantially. Since a wife was regarded as property, her husband was originally free to divorce her for any reason, at any time.

A divorced couple were permitted to get back together, unless the wife had married someone else after her divorce. Hinduism sees marriage as a sacred duty that entails both religious and social obligations. Old Hindu literature in Sanskrit gives many different types of marriages and their categorization ranging from "Gandharva Vivaha" instant marriage by mutual consent of participants only, without any need for even a single third person as witness to normal present day marriages, to "Rakshasa Vivaha" "demoniac" marriage, performed by abduction of one participant by the other participant, usually, but not always, with the help of other persons.

In the Indian subcontinent , arranged marriages , the spouse's parents or an older family member choose the partner, are still predominant in comparison with so-called love marriages until nowadays. The Buddhist view of marriage considers marriage a secular affair and thus not a sacrament. Buddhists are expected to follow the civil laws regarding marriage laid out by their respective governments.

Gautama Buddha, being a kshatriya was required by Shakyan tradition to pass a series of tests to prove himself as a warrior, before he was allowed to marry. In a Sikh marriage, the couple walks around the Guru Granth Sahib holy book four times, and a holy man recites from it in the kirtan style. The ceremony is known as ' Anand Karaj ' and represents the holy union of two souls united as one.

Wiccan marriages are commonly known as handfastings. Although handfastings vary for each Wiccan they often involve honoring Wiccan gods. Sex is considered a pious and sacred activity. Marriage, like other close relationships, exerts considerable influence on health. Social ties provide people with a sense of identity, purpose, belonging, and support.

The health-protective effect of marriage is stronger for men than women. Women's health is more strongly impacted than men's by marital conflict or satisfaction, such that unhappily married women do not enjoy better health relative to their single counterparts. 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 marriage can be annulled , when an authority declares that a marriage never happened. Jurisdictions often have provisions for void marriages or voidable marriages. A marriage may also be terminated through divorce. Countries that have relatively recently legalized divorce are Italy , Portugal , Brazil , Spain , Argentina , Paraguay , Colombia , Ireland , Chile and Malta As of , the Philippines and the Vatican City are the only jurisdictions which do not allow divorce this is currently under discussion in Philippines.

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 midth century. In the United States no-fault divorce was first enacted in California in and the final state to legalize it was New York in The history of marriage is often considered under History of the family or legal history.

Many cultures have legends concerning the origins of marriage. The way in which a marriage is conducted and its rules and ramifications has changed over time, as has the institution itself, depending on the culture or demographic of the time. According to ancient Hebrew tradition, a wife was seen as being property of high value and was, therefore, usually, carefully looked after. The husband, too, is indirectly implied to have some responsibilities to his wife.

The Covenant Code orders "If he take him another; her food, her clothing, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish or lessen ". And the term diminish, which means to lessen, shows the man must treat her as if he was not married to another. As a polygynous society, the Israelites did not have any laws that imposed marital fidelity on men. The literary prophets indicate that adultery was a frequent occurrence, despite their strong protests against it, [] [] [] [] and these legal strictnesses. In ancient Greece , no specific civil ceremony was required for the creation of a heterosexual marriage — only mutual agreement and the fact that the couple must regard each other as husband and wife accordingly.

It has been suggested that these ages made sense for the Greeks because men were generally done with military service or financially established by their late 20s, and marrying a teenage girl ensured ample time for her to bear children, as life expectancies were significantly lower. There were several types of marriages in ancient Roman society. The traditional "conventional" form called conventio in manum required a ceremony with witnesses and was also dissolved with a ceremony.

Almost everybody in Ancient Israel married. There was no word in their language meaning bachelor. Marriages were normally arranged. Weddings lasted up to a week. At a wedding musicians played harps, tambourines and pipes. In Ancient Greece girls married when they were about Except in Sparta where they were typically older. Marriages were often arranged. However it was possible for women to divorce their husbands. Things were similar in Rome. Marriages were arranged. Men were typically in their mid 20s when they married but girls were much younger - in their early or mid teens.

Men and women could easily divorce their spouse. Childhood ended early for Medieval children. In upper class families girls married as young as 12 and boys as young as They did not normally choose their own marriage partners. Their parents arranged their marriages for them. Children from poor families might have more choice about who they married.

In the Middle Ages the Church did not allow divorce but marriages were sometimes annulled. It was declared that the marriage had never been valid. In the 16th century marriages were still usually arranged, except for the poorest people. Divorce was unknown. Though marriages were occasionally annulled. That is, it was declared they had never been valid. Legally girls could marry when they were 12 years old.

However normally it was only girls from rich families who married young. The majority of women married in their mids. In Britain the Marriage Act of stated that marriage was only valid if made in a church or chapel of the Church of England though Jews and Quakers were exempt. By the 19th century marriages were usually made for love rather than being arranged by the family.

Before the 19th century women rarely got married in a white dress. People rarely wore white clothes because they were so difficult to clean!

Women got married in several different colors. However when Queen Victoria got married in she wanted to wear a dress with lots of lace.