Many societ ies explicitly equate marriage to

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enduring realities about human nature and sexuality combined in marriage. Many societ-ies explicitly equate marriage to procreation, and people without children are thought to be socially immature (Ford & Beach, 195 1; Herdt, 1997; Mead, 196 1). Marriage also meets the cultural expectations of families, peers, community, and religious institutions, especially in the following areas: • Love-We associate being in love with a desire for lifelong marriage. • Security-With marriage, we expect the social support, income, and security of a lifetime mate who will be with us "through sickness and health, till death do us part." • Mutual pleasure-A significant part of being an adult is to seek a stable life with someone whose emotions and behaviors are relatively predictable, and who desires to be with you, and no one else. • Family formation-We perceive marriage to be the best environment in which to rear children and happy marriages as the source of contented children. • Long-term companionship-One of the most neglected elements of attraction, love, and marriage, companionship is one of the most compelling and enduring reasons to be and stay married in the long run. As a human institution, marriage is defined quite differently across cultures. For example, in some non-Western and premodern societies, as previously noted, the com-munity arranges marriage, and romance does not play a part. Virginity is often prized in many of these groups, although it is really more of male-enforced taboo. However, in societies such as the Trobriand Islands in the South Pacific, the spouses are expected to be sexually experienced and practiced in giving pleasure to their mates, before they get mar-ried (Lepani, 2008). In India and South Asia, it is considered very wrong for people to marry above or below their caste-that is, the social and religious status group of their family. Marriage arrangements may also be made for people of greatly different ages, as much as a gen-eration apart, as it is among Aboriginal Australians. In all of these cases, marriage and parenting are widely viewed as the means for achieving social esteem, power, knowledge, and most social privileges, including economic support and sometimes religious status (Badgett, 2009; Cott, 2002; Friedl, 1984). In some societies, for example, marriage gives structure to the transition to adulthood (Mead, 1949). In the Pacific Islands, the passage from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood requires marriage (along with sexual rela-tions and reproduction) to attain full status as an adult (Herdt & Leavitt, 1998; Mead, 196 1). Historically, in many societies, marriage created social inequalities and a power imbalance between men and women, as for example, in how men controlled the house-hold finances or were able to control when and how to have sex. Throughout the world, two forms of marriage exist: monogamous marriage, in which one man and one woman are legally married, usually having moral and religious meanings, and polygamous marriage, in which a man has more than one wife. In 84% of 185 societies, men were found to have multiple wives (Ford & Beach, 195 1; Hirsch et al., 2009). In the Muslim world, for example, it is acceptable for a man to have two and sometimes three wives. Around the world, the historical trend is toward monogamy,
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