Six Important Characteristics of Marriage – Essay

(1) the institution of marriage fulfils the biological needs of the indi­vidual. Freud argued that the man has two innate needs-sex and hunger. Sex is fulfilled through the institution of marriage.

How­ever, this desire is fulfilled according to the priorities fixed by the society. For instance, among the Hindus, sex occupies a third place in the hierarchy of goals set by the Shashatrakaras. The tribals and the western society, on the other hand, give first prior­ity to sexual fulfillment.

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(2) Procreation is another feature of marriage. It is in the interest of society that children are born out of marriage. This ensures the survival and continuity of the human race.

Among the Gonds of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar the objective of marriage is to produce a large number of children. A large family is said to be a prestig­ious family. The same ideology holds true among the tribals of Rajasthan. However, under the impact of small family pro­gramme, this objective of marriage is increasingly giving way to a change in outlook.

(3) Upbringing of children is also an objective of marriage. It is be­lieved that if children are not socialized properly, the result would be a fractured citizenship. The strength of a nation rests on the ca­pability of the future generations.

(4) It must be stressed that nowhere in any society is there a marriage institution without some form of rules. The marriages solemnized or contracted according to the rules of the society are honoured and legitimized. The marriage which does not conform to the rules of marriage is void.

(5) Marriage is performed according to the tradition of society, and the terms of its dissolution are also governed by social rules. For instance, among the Hindus, marriage is a sacrament and cannot be dissolved easily. Among tribals, however, marriage is a social contract. It can be dissolved at the will of either of the spouses. Among Muslims and Christians also similar rules exist.

(6) In western society a new ideology runs through the new genera­tion. It is argued that marriage should be built on pure love. The ideology of ‘pure love’ transcends class boundaries.

This kind of marriage is termed as “love marriage”. Actually the marriage pat­tern is determined by the ideology which a particular society holds. In some instances, particularly among tribals, environ­mental and historical factors play an important role in this regard.