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PostPosted: 04 Jan 2010, 11:20 
Grand Poobah
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Joined: 18 Sep 2007, 11:26
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Somewhere else, there was a comment about how arranged marriages are bad. It reminded me that cultures that 'marry for love' have higher rates of divorce and marital dissatisfaction, and that's merely another instance of cultural bias--- thinking marrying for love is 'all that'.

Than I came upon this article, and it has in it:

For all the variability in the meaning of marriage, one fairly consistent element over time and place was that it had nothing to do with love. “For most of history it was inconceivable that people would choose their mates on the basis of something as fragile and irrational as love and then focus all their sexual, intimate, and altruistic desires on the resulting marriage,” Coontz writes. In fact, loving one’s spouse too much was considered a threat to social and religious order, and was discouraged in societies as disparate as ancient Greece, medieval Islam, and contemporary Cameroon. The modern Western ideal of marriage as both romantic and companionate is an anomaly and a gamble. As soon as people in any culture start selecting spouses based on emotion, the rates of broken marriages shoot up. “By unnerving definition,” Gilbert writes, “anything that the heart has chosen for its own, mysterious reasons it can always unchoose.”

Yup. Again, recent news of marriage for love is very risky.

But then it continues:

In the United States today, it’s not difficult to see why men would want to marry women. As Gilbert points out, “Married men live longer than single men; . . . married men accumulate more wealth than single men; married men are far less likely to die a violent death than single men; married men report themselves to be much happier than single men; and married men suffer less from alcoholism, drug addiction, and depression than do single men.” Nor is it hard to see why gay people might want the right to wed: practical considerations aside, it would be a statement of acceptance for people who, until recently, were considered morally defective or criminal. But when it comes to women marrying men it’s a different story.

We marry most often because we are in love and we think it will make us happy. Yet married women are more likely to suffer from depression than single women are. According to Gilbert, married women are not as successful in their careers as single women. Married women are arguably less healthy than single women. Married women, until recently, were more likely to die a violent death than single women—usually, at the hands of their own husbands. Sociologists, Gilbert claims, call this phenomenon “the ‘Marriage Benefit Imbalance’—a tidy name for an almost freakishly doleful conclusion: that women generally lose in the exchange of marriage vows, while men win big.”



And it really bashes the attitude that 'marriage is for women'.

Chloride and Sodium: Two terribly dangerous substances that taste great together!

PostPosted: 05 Jan 2010, 06:56 
Neighbor of the Beast

Joined: 03 Nov 2007, 09:17
Posts: 667
It would certainly help if men got the message that marriage is about partnership rather than possession, and if women got the idea that marriage is about partnership rather than unique "fixer-upper opportunities".

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