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Sex and Marriage. Sexual Relations  Among primates, the human female is unusual in her ability to engage in sexual activity whether she is fertile or.

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Presentation on theme: "Sex and Marriage. Sexual Relations  Among primates, the human female is unusual in her ability to engage in sexual activity whether she is fertile or."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sex and Marriage

2 Sexual Relations  Among primates, the human female is unusual in her ability to engage in sexual activity whether she is fertile or not.  Every society has rules that govern sexual access.

3 Marriage Partner Selection Padaung woman (Thailand)

4 Marriage Partner Selection Common North American and European Cultural ideal of beauty

5 Marriage Partner Selection 19th century European preference for heavier female bodies (sketch by Auguste Renoir)

6 Marriage Partner Selection Comparison of traditional Chinese and European concepts of beauty

7 Personality, education, wealth, and other individual characteristics also are important mate selection criteria in many societies. - Caste - Dowry

8 Arranged marriages Padaung woman (Thailand)

9 Restrictions to Sexual Access  incest taboos

10 Marriage in all societies involves acceptance of an agreement, either written or verbal. Most often, this includes four categories of privileges, rights, and obligations of the marrying couple: 1. agreeing to exclusive sexual access 2. having and caring for children 3. accepting a sexual division of labor 4. agreeing to extend kinship bonds to your spouse's relatives

11 Marriage Rules  Endogamy is marriage within a group of individuals.  Exogamy is marriage outside the group.

12 Forms of Marriage  Monogamy  Polygyny  Polyandry  Group marriage

13 monogamy serial monogamy polygamy - polygyny – a man has two or more wives at the same time - sororal polygyny - cowives are sisters polyandry - a woman has two or more husbands at the same time -fraternal polyandry – a woman is married to two or more brothers Polygynous family in Nigeria

14 Marriage  Marriage is backed by social, legal, and economic forces.  Monogamy is the most common form of marriage, primarily for economic reasons.  In most of the world, marriage is not based on romantic love, but on economic considerations.

15 Serial Monogamy  A form of marriage in which a man or woman marries a series of partners.  Increasingly common among middle- class North Americans as individuals divorce and remarry.

16 Second Marriage Preferences Many societies have specific kinds of second marriage rules that anthropologists refer to as the levirate and the sororate. The levirate specifies that a widow should marry the brother of her deceased husband A mirror image of the levirate is the sororate. It is a rule that a widower should marry the sister of his deceased wife.

17 Marriage Exchanges  Bride-price - payment of money from the groom’s to the bride’s kin.  Bride service - the groom is expected to work for a period for the bride’s family.  Dowry - payment of a woman’s inheritance at the time of marriage to her or her husband.

18 Divorce Factors contributing to divorce:  Many marriages are based on ideals of romantic love or the idealization of youth.  Establishing an intimate bond in a society in which people are taught to seek individual gratification is difficult.

19 Readings for the next 2 weeks: Haviland: Chapter 9 Family and household Chapter 10 Kinship and descent


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