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Atheism + Skepticism > Wife Auctions? Why Marriage Has Never Had Any "Sanctity"

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Historically marriage has varied widely, from polygamy to the wife-auctions of the 17th century, to the monogamy of today. Which type of marriage again is the one with sanctity?

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message 2: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK None, they are all a political construct to protect the growth of a child into adulthood/citizenship/productivity.

message 3: by Hazel (last edited Nov 08, 2011 09:32AM) (new)

Hazel | 214 comments As we evolved, and our childhoods became longer, it became imperative that as we would have several children all of an age that they need care, that the man was encouraged to stay around and help provide for his offspring on a long term basis. This is also postulated as the reason that we are one of the few species that live far beyond our reproductive capacity, grandmothers are useful, in fact, I'd go so far as to say an absolute necesity in a species where more than one parent/carer is required for the successful raising of children. I wouldn't therefore refer to it as a political construct, but an evolutionary byproduct used to create an advantage in childraising, otherwise, why would it be such an important part of tribal life with peoples such as the Hadza, who are very much still living like our ancestors did.

message 4: by Hazel (new)

Hazel | 214 comments I'm not talking in modern times. But it was an idea that was mentioned on Origins of Us, and they went and visited the Hadza as an example, as they still live a hunter gatherer lifestyle, with little to no modern science and medication. If you go back to long long ago, to the days of hunter gathering, and well before professional daycare services, having your mother around to help out when you're producing a child every couple of years, or even possibly more regularly would have been a massive help in ensuring increased survival rates. Having your aunts, and sisters and extended family around would be a massive help too.

The 3 part series Origins of Us was on the BBC, if you look, you might be able to get hold of a copy. It was a very good programme.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree that the idea of a family unit is an evolutionary byproduct of the motivation to build long-term partnerships for parenting, but I also agree with Madge that marriage itself is a social and political construct.

message 6: by Hazel (new)

Hazel | 214 comments as an aside, the tories in the UK want to actually make marriage a tax incentive, they want to give tax breaks to married couples to encourage people to get married instead of living as partners... because thats what we want, people marrying to get a tax break, not because they love each other...

message 7: by MadgeUK (last edited Nov 13, 2011 10:41AM) (new)

MadgeUK I don't think they will get away with it though because there are now more people in the UK living together than are married.

We now look at the extended family through rose tinted spectacles but they were also very constricting and conservatising because 'the elders' always hold sway. You still see this baneful influence in some Asian families where doing anything outside the family norm can result in ostracisation or, even worse, death threats.

I agree with RC that professional child care is preferable to granny (speaking as a granny!).

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