Marriage: For the Love or For the Money
In our culture marriage is a union between two people, we wed for love, commitment, family, and in many instances money. That is may not be the case for many other cultures. From a man and a woman, to a man and 5 women, the people involved in a marriage varies with each culture. Marriage as a result of love, or marriage arranged by one’s parents, marriage to gain wealth, and livestock, marriage as a way to keep the line of descent viable, reasons for marriage and what is an acceptable marriage go from one extreme to the other. You may start to ask yourself, what exactly is marriage? This week’s film “Sex and Marriage” deemed marriage as an institution in which functional roles, and sexual roles are established. There are many different types of marriages, all with varying reasons and factors. For example, in America, an ideal marriage is a man and a woman committing because they are in love, this is known as monogamy. In Betsileo of Madagascar, men marry multiple women, each woman living in a different village. This is known as polygyny, or the act of a man having more than one wife at a time. Polygyny is practiced for many different reasons. In Betsileo, multiple wives shows a great status, and indicates wealth. Polyandry is the opposite, it is the act of a woman possessing many husbands. A woman may marry many husbands to make sure there is always a male to take care of her family. She may also marry many men to help restrict the number of heirs her family has to distribute land to. In Sudan, a Nuer woman may marry another woman, and take on the title of a father, known as a pater. This is done not for any sexual reason, but more so for a reason of status. The woman known as the pater may want to carry on her family name, or to show her family has wealth. Americans have a very closed mindset when it comes to marriage, the thought of a man with multiple wives does not sit well with many, yet in other countries it...
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