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Gay Marriage Ruling With apologies to non-Americans on WC

#41 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2013-July-02, 13:16

View Postbarmar, on 2013-July-02, 13:01, said:

Humans are generally monogamous, but we stray and cheat.


The overwhelming majority of human's have lived in societies in which polygyny is/was standard for the elites.
Failure to participate is more a sign of social status rather than commitment to some monogamous ideal.

Those who aren't able to "officially" participate in these types of arranges make do with screwing around...

There are exceptions to this rule (The formal position of the Christian Church being the most obvious example). Even here, I suspect that the ideal is more honored in the breach than the observance.
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#42 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2013-July-02, 14:31

It's difficult to be sure about monogamy.

I found several references to a survey in 1993 that found that 25% of men and 16% of women reported having committed adultery. But this is pretty broad: it includes people who just cheated once, perhaps while going through a rough patch or while being separated, and Don Draper types who are sleeping around regularly. And many are suspicious about the quality of the data -- many people are not likely to admit such an intimate detail to a pollster.

However, 90% of men and 94% of women believed that extramarital sex is always wrong or almost always wrong. So we aspire to it, but we're not as good at it as we'd like to be.

But I think this may be beside the point. Adultery is often "just sex", marriage is about forming a long-term relationship. If you don't get caught, cheating doesn't have to mean that you break up with your primary partner.

The nature of marriage has changed over time. When women had few opportunities of their own, they needed to be married to survive. Increasing equality is often blamed for the rise in divorce rates in the past few decades -- women don't "need a man". It's also a likely cause of reduced rate of marriage in the first place -- women get married because they want to, not because they have to.

I wonder if that may also be why gay marriage is seeing increased acceptance, in addition to the general tolerance towards homosexuality. If heterosexual marriage is less a result of societal pressure based on gender roles, it doesn't have to be based on genders at all.

#43 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2013-July-02, 15:03

Not a cultural historian, but I would guess that marriage arose out of ancient societies practice of ownership of women. Equal partnership, love, etc, are very modern cultural concepts (and still only in some societies).

Not an evolutionary biologist, but I would guess that as apes, our strictly biological nature is to arrange social groups dominated by an alpha male who gets most of the breeding opportunities.
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#44 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2013-July-02, 15:43

View Postbarmar, on 2013-July-02, 14:31, said:

However, 90% of men and 94% of women believed that extramarital sex is always wrong or almost always wrong. So we aspire to it, but we're not as good at it as we'd like to be.

If you limit your sexual encounters to the three people to whom you are married, none of it is "extramarital". B-)
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#45 User is offline   Codo 

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Posted 2013-July-03, 04:54

View Postbarmar, on 2013-July-02, 12:05, said:

It's hard to say for sure. Wikipedia says that the institution predates recorded history, and Edvard Westermarck proposed that "the institution of marriage has probably developed out of a primeval habit". It seems to be basically an institutionalization of the long-standing practice of monogamy, and then became a form of commerce -- there was the practice of dowry, the woman was viewed as being transferred from the family she grew up in to her husband's family, and sometimes marriages were used to resolve conflicts between tribes or nations.

As organized religion took hold, it naturally coopted this practice that had already existed, just as it did most other aspects of life and society. But the Roman Catholic Church didn't require that marriages be officiated by a priest until the 16th century.


So nobody knows whether marriage was first build by the religious leaders of the stoneage and before or of the political leaders of that time? Maybe both had been the same person? Good luck, that at least Bill knows the truth...
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