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Your name. Country Afghanistan Albania Algeria Am. Botswana Bouvet Isl. 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.

Several kinds of same-sex marriages have been documented in Indigenous and lineage-based cultures. In the Americas, We'wha Zuni , was a lhamana male individuals who, at least some of the time, dress and live in the roles usually filled by women in that culture ; a respected artist, We'wha served as an emissary of the Zuni to Washington, where he met President Grover Cleveland.

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 that is older or younger then them. This may impact marital stability. 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. 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, [64] [65] [66] [67] [68] [69] [70] [71] 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 , [75] 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, [87] [88] 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.

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 [96] 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 [97] 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.

Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that "Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.

They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

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. 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.

Israel recognizes same-sex marriages entered into abroad as full marriages. Furthermore, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has issued a ruling that is expected to facilitate recognition in several countries in the Americas.

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. 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.

In , over , immigrants were admitted to the U. These marriages had a diverse range of motives, including obtaining permanent residency , securing an inheritance that has a marriage clause, or to enroll in health insurance, among many others.

While 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 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 man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, ' for she was taken out of man.

So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. 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 husband 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 have shaped marriage in the Western tradition, as described by John Witte, Jr.

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 who may have rights similar wives, with the exception of not being free unless the man has children with them, [ citation needed ] with the requirement that the man is able and willing to partition his time and wealth equally among the respective wives and concubines this practice of concubinage, as in Judaism, is not applicable in contemporary times and has been deemed by scholars as invalid due to shifts in views about the role of slavery in the world.

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; [] another is that of concubinage pilegesh which was often arranged by a man and a woman who generally enjoyed the same rights as a full legal wife other means of concubinage can be seen in Judges where mass marriage by abduction was practiced as a form of punishment on transgressors.

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.

Marriages are correlated with better outcomes for the couple and their children, including higher income for men, better health and lower mortality.

Part of these effects is due to the fact that those with better expectations get married more often. According to a systematic review on research literature, a significant part of the effect seems to be due to a true causal effect.

The reason may be that marriages make particularly men become more future-oriented and take an economic and other responsibility of the family.

The studies eliminate the effect of selectivity in numerous ways. However, much of the research is of low quality in this sense.

On the other hand, the causal effect might be even higher if money, working skills and parenting practises are endogenous. Married men have less drug abuse and alcohol use and are more often at home during nights.

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 have changed over time, as has the institution itself, depending on the culture or demographic of the time.

The first recorded evidence of marriage ceremonies uniting a man and a woman dates back to approximately BC, in ancient Mesopotamia. 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.

She now was subject to the authority of her husband. In this arrangement, the wife remained a member of her original family; she stayed under the authority of her father, kept her family rights of inheritance with her old family and did not gain any with the new family.

Among ancient Germanic tribes, the bride and groom were roughly the same age and generally older than their Roman counterparts, at least according to Tacitus :.

The youths partake late of the pleasures of love, and hence pass the age of puberty unexhausted: nor are the virgins hurried into marriage; the same maturity, the same full growth is required: the sexes unite equally matched and robust, and the children inherit the vigor of their parents.

Where Aristotle had set the prime of life at 37 years for men and 18 for women, the Visigothic Code of law in the 7th century placed the prime of life at 20 years for both men and women, after which both presumably married.

Tacitus states that ancient Germanic brides were on average about 20 and were roughly the same age as their husbands.

In addition, Anglo-Saxon women, like those of other Germanic tribes, are marked as women from the age of 12 and older, based on archaeological finds, implying that the age of marriage coincided with puberty.

From the early Christian era 30 to CE , marriage was thought of as primarily a private matter, with no uniform religious or other ceremony being required.

In 12th-century Europe, women took the surname of their husbands and starting in the second half of the 16th century parental consent along with the church's consent was required for marriage.

With few local exceptions, until , Christian marriages in Europe were by mutual consent, declaration of intention to marry and upon the subsequent physical union of the parties.

In a wedding took place in Zufia, Navarre , between Diego de Zufia and Mari-Miguel following the custom as it was in the realm since the Middle Ages, but the man denounced the marriage on the grounds that its validity was conditioned to "riding" her " si te cabalgo, lo cual dixo de bascuence The tribunal of the kingdom rejected the husband's claim, validating the wedding, but the husband appealed to the tribunal in Zaragoza , and this institution annulled the marriage.

In the Council of Trent , twenty-fourth session, required that a valid marriage must be performed by a priest before two witnesses.

One of the functions of churches from the Middle Ages was to register marriages, which was not obligatory. There was no state involvement in marriage and personal status, with these issues being adjudicated in ecclesiastical courts.

During the Middle Ages marriages were arranged, sometimes as early as birth, and these early pledges to marry were often used to ensure treaties between different royal families, nobles, and heirs of fiefdoms.

The church resisted these imposed unions, and increased the number of causes for nullification of these arrangements. In Medieval Western Europe , later marriage and higher rates of definitive celibacy the so-called "European marriage pattern" helped to constrain patriarchy at its most extreme level.

For example, Medieval England saw marriage age as variable depending on economic circumstances, with couples delaying marriage until the early twenties when times were bad and falling to the late teens after the Black Death , when there were labor shortages; [] by appearances, marriage of adolescents was not the norm in England.

The average age of marriage for most of Northwestern Europe from to was around 25 years of age ; [] [] [] as the Church dictated that both parties had to be at least 21 years of age to marry without the consent of their parents, the bride and groom were roughly the same age, with most brides in their early twenties and most grooms two or three years older, [] and a substantial number of women married for the first time in their thirties and forties, particularly in urban areas, [] with the average age at first marriage rising and falling as circumstances dictated.

In better times, more people could afford to marry earlier and thus fertility rose and conversely marriages were delayed or forgone when times were bad, thus restricting family size; [] after the Black Death , the greater availability of profitable jobs allowed more people to marry young and have more children, [] but the stabilization of the population in the 16th century meant fewer job opportunities and thus more people delaying marriages.

The age of marriage was not absolute, however, as child marriages occurred throughout the Middle Ages and later, with just some of them including:.

As part of the Protestant Reformation , the role of recording marriages and setting the rules for marriage passed to the state, reflecting Martin Luther 's view that marriage was a "worldly thing".

In England, under the Anglican Church, marriage by consent and cohabitation was valid until the passage of Lord Hardwicke's Act in This act instituted certain requirements for marriage, including the performance of a religious ceremony observed by witnesses.

As part of the Counter-Reformation , in the Council of Trent decreed that a Roman Catholic marriage would be recognized only if the marriage ceremony was officiated by a priest with two witnesses.

The Council also authorized a Catechism , issued in , which defined marriage as "The conjugal union of man and woman, contracted between two qualified persons, which obliges them to live together throughout life.

In the early modern period , John Calvin and his Protestant colleagues reformulated Christian marriage by enacting the Marriage Ordinance of Geneva, which imposed "The dual requirements of state registration and church consecration to constitute marriage" [] for recognition.

In England and Wales , Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act required a formal ceremony of marriage, thereby curtailing the practice of Fleet Marriage , an irregular or a clandestine marriage.

From the s until the Marriage Act of as many as , clandestine marriages were performed at Fleet Prison alone. The Act did not apply to Jewish marriages or those of Quakers, whose marriages continued to be governed by their own customs.

In England and Wales, since , civil marriages have been recognized as a legal alternative to church marriages under the Marriage Act In Germany, civil marriages were recognized in This law permitted a declaration of the marriage before an official clerk of the civil administration, when both spouses affirm their will to marry, to constitute a legally recognized valid and effective marriage, and allowed an optional private clerical marriage ceremony.

In contemporary English common law , a marriage is a voluntary contract by a man and a woman, in which by agreement they choose to become husband and wife.

The mythological origin of Chinese marriage is a story about Nüwa and Fu Xi who invented proper marriage procedures after becoming married.

In ancient Chinese society, people of the same surname are supposed to consult with their family trees prior to marriage to reduce the potential risk of unintentional incest.

Marrying one's maternal relatives was generally not thought of as incest. Families sometimes intermarried from one generation to another. Over time, Chinese people became more geographically mobile.

Individuals remained members of their biological families. When a couple died, the husband and the wife were buried separately in the respective clan's graveyard.

In a maternal marriage, a male would become a son-in-law who lived in the wife's home. The New Marriage Law of radically changed Chinese marriage traditions, enforcing monogamy , equality of men and women, and choice in marriage; arranged marriages were the most common type of marriage in China until then.

Starting October , it became legal to marry or divorce without authorization from the couple's work units. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For other uses, see Marriage disambiguation. Culturally recognised union between people. For other uses, see Married disambiguation and Matrimony disambiguation.

Basic concepts. Case studies. Chambri Mosuo. Major theorists. Morgan Stephen O. Murray Michelle Rosaldo David M. Schneider Marilyn Strathern. Related articles.

Social Bonding and Nurture Kinship. Polygamy Polyandry Polygyny. Cicisbeo Concubinage Courtesan Mistress. Breakup Separation Annulment Divorce Widowhood.

Emotions and feelings. Main article: Types of marriages. Main article: Monogamy. Main article: Polygamy.

Main article: Polygyny. See also: Concubinage. Main article: Child marriage. Main articles: Same-sex marriage and History of same-sex unions.

See also: Cohabitation and Common-law marriage. Main article: Hypergamy. Further information: Prohibited degree of kinship , Cousin marriage , Affinity canon law , and Avunculate marriage.

Main article: Arranged marriage. Main article: Forced marriage. See also: Economics of marriage and Family economics.

Main articles: Bride price and Dower. Main article: Bride price. Marriage and other equivalent or similar unions and status. Validity of marriages.

Dissolution of marriages. Parenting coordinator U. Other issues. Private international law. Family and criminal code or criminal law.

Child abuse Domestic violence Incest Child selling Parental child abduction. Main article: Marriage law. See also: Matrimonial regime and Rights and responsibilities of marriages in the United States.

Main article: Cousin marriage. See also: Coefficient of relationship. No laws passed. Repealed before Repealed between and Overturned on 12 June Main article: Interracial marriage.

Marriage open to same-sex couples rings: individual cases. Legislation or binding domestic court ruling establishing same-sex marriage, but marriage is not yet provided for.

Same-sex marriage recognized when performed in certain other jurisdictions, and accorded greater rights than local same-sex unions if any.

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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.

Several kinds of same-sex marriages have been documented in Indigenous and lineage-based cultures. In the Americas, We'wha Zuni , was a lhamana male individuals who, at least some of the time, dress and live in the roles usually filled by women in that culture ; a respected artist, We'wha served as an emissary of the Zuni to Washington, where he met President Grover Cleveland.

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 that is older or younger then them. This may impact marital stability. 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. 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, [64] [65] [66] [67] [68] [69] [70] [71] 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 , [75] 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, [87] [88] 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.

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 [96] 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 [97] 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.

Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that "Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.

They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

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. 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.

Israel recognizes same-sex marriages entered into abroad as full marriages. Furthermore, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has issued a ruling that is expected to facilitate recognition in several countries in the Americas.

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. 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.

In , over , immigrants were admitted to the U. These marriages had a diverse range of motives, including obtaining permanent residency , securing an inheritance that has a marriage clause, or to enroll in health insurance, among many others.

While 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 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 man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, ' for she was taken out of man.

So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. 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 husband 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 have shaped marriage in the Western tradition, as described by John Witte, Jr.

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 who may have rights similar wives, with the exception of not being free unless the man has children with them, [ citation needed ] with the requirement that the man is able and willing to partition his time and wealth equally among the respective wives and concubines this practice of concubinage, as in Judaism, is not applicable in contemporary times and has been deemed by scholars as invalid due to shifts in views about the role of slavery in the world.

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. Don't miss your chance to find your love in our web portal, as this is a place connecting the hearts.

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