Main  Contacts  
Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

CHAPTER X. 

 

MARRIAGE. 

 

The Definition of Marriage--Marriage Among Animals--The Predominance of 

Monogamy--The Question of Group Marriage--Monogamy a Natural Fact, Not 

Based on Human Law--The Tendency to Place the Form of Marriage Above the 

Fact of Marriage--The History of Marriage--Marriage in Ancient 

Rome--Germanic Influence on Marriage--Bride-Sale--The Ring--The Influence 

of Christianity on Marriage--The Great Extent of This Influence--The 

Sacrament of Matrimony--Origin and Growth of the Sacramental 

Conception--The Church Made Marriage a Public Act--Canon Law--Its Sound 

Core--Its Development--Its Confusions and Absurdities--Peculiarities of 

English Marriage Law--Influence of the Reformation on Marriage--The 

Protestant Conception of Marriage as a Secular Contract--The Puritan 

Reform of Marriage--Milton as the Pioneer of Marriage Reform--His Views on 

Divorce--The Backward Position of England in Marriage Reform--Criticism of 

the English Divorce Law--Traditions of the Canon Law Still Persistent--The 

Question of Damages for Adultery--Collusion as a Bar to 

Divorce--Divorce in France, Germany, Austria, Russia, etc.--The United 

States--Impossibility of Deciding by Statute the Causes for 

Divorce--Divorce by Mutual Consent--Its Origin and Development--Impeded by 

the Traditions of Canon Law--Wilhelm von Humboldt--Modern Pioneer 

Advocates of Divorce by Mutual Consent--The Arguments Against Facility of 

Divorce--The Interests of the Children--The Protection of Women--The 

Present Tendency of the Divorce Movement--Marriage Not a Contract--The 

Proposal of Marriage for a Term of Years--Legal Disabilities and 

Disadvantages in the Position of the Husband and the Wife--Marriage Not a 

Contract But a Fact--Only the Non-Essentials of Marriage, Not the 

Essentials, a Proper Matter for Contract--The Legal Recognition of 

Marriage as a Fact Without Any Ceremony--Contracts of the Person Opposed 

to Modern Tendencies--The Factor of Moral Responsibility--Marriage as an 

Ethical Sacrament--Personal Responsibility Involves Freedom--Freedom the 

Best Guarantee of Stability--False Ideas of Individualism--Modern Tendency 

of Marriage--With the Birth of a Child Marriage Ceases to be a Private 

Concern--Every Child Must Have a Legal Father and Mother--How This Can be 

Effected--The Firm Basis of Monogamy--The Question of Marriage 

Variations--Such Variations Not Inimical to Monogamy--The Most Common 

Variations--The Flexibility of Marriage Holds Variations in 

Check--Marriage Variations _versus_ Prostitution--Marriage on a Reasonable 

and Humane Basis--Summary and Conclusion. 

 

 

The discussion in the previous chapter of the nature of sexual morality, 

with the brief sketch it involved of the direction in which that morality 

is moving, has necessarily left many points vague. It may still be asked 

what definite and precise forms sexual unions are tending to take among 

us, and what relation these unions bear to the religious, social, and 

legal traditions we have inherited. These are matters about which a very 

considerable amount of uncertainty seems to prevail, for it is not unusual 

to hear revolutionary or eccentric opinions concerning them. 

 

Sexual union, involving the cohabitation, temporary or permanent, of two 

or more persons, and having for one of its chief ends the production and 

care of offspring, is commonly termed marriage. The group so constituted 

forms a family. This is the sense in which the words "marriage" and the 

"family" are most properly used, whether we speak of animals or of Man. 

There is thus seen to be room for variation as regards both the time 

during which the union lasts, and the number of individuals who form it, 


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