Between 1400 and 1800, marriages based on romantic interest and physical attraction rose as a method to secure property and strengthen familial relations; by 1800, affection and desire were considered prerequisite for marriage (Crawford 18-9). Despite the rise of companionate marriage, attraction and companionship were not necessarily the primary functions of marriage in early modern Europe. During this period, marriage allowed both men and women to participate in sex acts without immediately being labeled deviants or sinners. Marriage also further encouraged the patriarchal control and dominance over women. Equally important, marriage was a legal transaction between husband and wife that provided both economic and domestic benefits. Marriage was a necessary institution in which both men and women could engage in sex acts without being socially persecuted as deviants or sinners. Despite Christianity’s wary views about sex, sex remained an unavoidable aspect of society. Celibacy was not an effective option because it conflicted with societal views on masculinity; society believed that men who vowed celibacy, and who were not graced with the gift of chastity, were denying their masculinity. According to Hendrix, “men could only be men if they fulfilled their natural sexual desires in the divinely blessed estate of marriage” (184). Marriage offered protection from sin. Without marriage, it was feared that men, and to a lesser extent women, would succumb to their sexual
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Marriage at this time was a way of securing a happy livelihood and relative
Women had great social pressure on them to marry. Young girls were often married by the age of 13 or 14 . It was socially unacceptable if women were not married by the age of 25 . Marriage was mostly for economic benefits, not romantic situations. A wedding, rather than a religious ceremony, was a civil contract that set the responsibilities and duties of husband and wife . Once married, they legally became one with their husbands. Married women had no control of their earnings, inheritance, property, and also could not appear in court as a witness nor vote . Their husbands, therefore, were responsible for all aspects of their wife including discipline .
In Andrew J. Cherlin’s essay “American Marriage In Transition”, he discusses how marriage in America is evolving from the universal marriage. Cherlin’s definition of the universal marriage in his essay is the man is the breadwinner of the household and the woman is the homemaker. In the 20th century according to Cherlin, the meaning of marriage has been altered such as the changing division of labor, childbearing outside of marriage, cohabitation, gay marriage and the result of long- term cultural and material trends (1154). During the first transition of marriage, Cherlin discusses how in America, Europe, and Canada the only socially accepted way to have sexual relations with a person and to have children is to be married (1154). The second change in marriage occurred in 2000, where the median age of marriage in the United States for men is 27 and women is 25 (1155). Many young adults stayed single during this time and focused on their education and starting their careers. During the second change, the role of law increasingly changed, especially in the role of law in divorce (1155). It is proven in today’s research marriage has a different definition than what it did back in the 1950’s. Today marriage can be defined as getting married to the same gender or getting remarried to someone who already has kids. The roles in a marriage are evolving to be a little more flexible and negotiable. However, women still do a lot of the basic household chores and taking care of the
”since the beginning of civilization, in every known society, governments have recognized a marriage between a man and a woman because it provides the next generation outstanding citizens and is the only means of melding two sexes into a stronger and more complete whole” (Kaufman 164).
During that era, the entirety of sexual intercourse (irrespective to the practice of married couples with intentions to procreate) was deemed immoral. This was because any practice of sexual activity was
In the Renaissance period, marriage was far different and much longer process than it is today. Particularly in the Elizabethan era, marriages were frequently arranged so that both families involved would benefit. Marriages would be arranged to bring prestige, honour and wealth to the family. For the upper class, marriage rarely involved love. Courting outside of one’s class was strictly forbidden and punishable by death in some circumstances. Marriage followed a strict set of protocols that signify maturity and coming into one’s own. In this time, dowries often played a large part in the decision to marry. A dowry, is the custom in which involves an interchange of cash, jewels, foods, estates between the father
The Quakers had a saying: “In souls there is no sex.” This meant in their culture, men and women were equal. Unlike Puritan culture, women could preach to men and women, and in a public setting. That same quote went for sexual relations in marriages. Sex in Quaker culture was looked upon as just for the purpose of conception of children. To do otherwise was looked at as fornication. To have sex just for pleasure was also fornication. Even married couples would restrain from having sex with each other if the woman was not in time to get pregnant. Married couple also occupied not only single beds but slept in separate rooms.
The Puritans and Sex The Anglicans of England were harsh on those that didn’t do as they were supposed to by following the teachings of the Church of England. The Puritans were persecuted and forced to reside somewhere else, where they built the model community, a “City Upon a Hill” where they could practice their beliefs and praise God in the way they wanted to. The theoretic government wasn’t going to tolerate moral weaknesses. However, there was a long list of sexual crimes that puritans must avoid, but many people succumbed too many vices such as fornication, rape, and adultery. As a result, this broke the stereotype that most people had of puritans, with the use of spouses and the marriage bed.
Marriage in the early eighteen hundreds rarely put into account of the husband and bride’s feelings. It exercised an agreement between two people that showed how wealthy their family would become. Women conditioned themselves to be submissive towards their husbands and live in the puritan roots of their past society. Many women maintained purity on their wedding days, with this ideal in mind they had to have restrictions during their wedding. In this society, Puritan views held many standards towards women and men. These Puritan views towards many southern societies affected how the women would act, how she dresses and many more. These restrictions towards weddings started to die our near the late eighteen hundreds but, many traditions started to form based off of these certain restrictions. For example, brides started
The 16th and 17th Century Laws On Love. The 16th and 17th century society had parents connected to courtships, a very formal courtship, and ending with an Elizabethan Church wedding.. Back in the 16th and 17th century many things were different from how they are today, especially marriage and courtship. Back then parents had entire control over the courtship. A courtship back in the day looked very different from anything we have now. In the 16th and 17th century's normal marriage in England followed the Elizabethan Church wedding rules.
Today, the idea of marriage conjures images of bashful brides beautifully draped in all white, of grandiose flower arrangements climbing towards the ceiling, of romance personified. As an institution in this modern world, marriage represents the apex of romantic love, with an entire industry of magazines, movies, and television shows devoted to perpetuating marriage as an idealized symbol of the ultimate love between two people. Contrarily, as a sociological institution, marriage comes from much more clinical and impersonal origins, contrasting with the passion surrounding modern understandings of the institution. Notably, french anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss theorizes that the institution of marriage emerged from a need to form alliances between groups, with women functioning as the property exchanged so that such alliances could be solidified (Levi-Strauss).