The Evolution of Marriage

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Marriage is a “socially recognized and approved union between individuals, who commit to one another with the expectations of a stable and lasting intimate relationship. It begins with a ceremony known as a wedding which formally unites marriage partners. A marital relationship usually involves some kind of contract, either written or specified by tradition, which defines the partners’ rights and obligations to each other, to any children they may have, and to their relatives. In most contemporary industrialized societies, marriage is certified by the government,” (Skolnick, 2005). Marriage is also an important institution because of the impact it has on society. Marriage is the main way that reproduction of human life occurs. In some societies it is tradition for family heirlooms or things of value be passed on through marriage. Marriage also serves as a healthy way to have intimate relationships with an individual. In most places a marriage exists between two people of the opposite sex. However, the legal definition of marriage is currently being challenged by many. According to Skolnick’s article a marriage can be defined by responsibilities that a couple would share, some examples are: living together, having sexual relations, sharing money and financial responsibilities, and having a child together. The issue is that homosexual couples can do these things like heterosexual couples.

Marriage occurs after a partner is selected. In history a person’s marriage partner was selected by their parents. The bride and groom would not have a say in the issue, their father would generally set up an arrangement for the marriage of his daughter dealing with the head of the other family. The girl’s family would seek a husband for his dau...

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...eing married, Marriage used to really be something that lasted until you died however, now marriage aren’t a lifetime commitment. Finally the other reason Stanton says that marriage is deteriorating is because it has become re-definable. He means that marriage used to always be between and male and a female but now society is pushing for same gender marriages to be recognized. These changes certainly have an impact on the way our society treats the sacred union of marriage. Regardless of what marriage has become the research definitely shows an evolution of the term marriage.


“Marriage,” Microsoft® Encarta ®Online Encyclopedia 2005.© 1997-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. February 17, 2005.

“How is Marriage Dying in Our Culture?” February 17, 2005.
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