Chapter 9 Sex, Marriage and Family Sexual Relations Among primates, the human female is unusual in her ability to engage in sexual activity whether she is fertile or not. Every society has rules that govern sexual access. Distinction Between Marriage and Mating
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Sex, Marriage and Family
Natural Aversion Theory: there is a natural aversion to sexual intercourse among those who have grown up together.
Inbreeding Theory: mating between close kin produces a higher incidence of genetic defects.
Family disruption Theory: mating between family members would create intense jealousies creating disfunction.
Theory of Expanding Social Alliances: marry outside the immediate family creates a wider network of inter-family-alliances.
Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward – Married over 50 years.
Larry King & 6th wife Shawn Southwick
Warren Jeffs, leader of a polygamist seck known as the Fundamentalist church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. – Arrested 2006, for rape Sentenced , 2007 to 10yrs.
Colorado City, AZ & Hilsdale, UT.
In Tibet, where inheritance is in the male line and arable land is limited, the marriage of brothers to a single woman (fraternal polyandry) keeps the land together by preventing it from being repeatedly subdivided among sons from one generation to the next.
Also provides male labor for the Tibetan mixed economy of farming, herding, and trading.
Ex: Among members of an Eskimo hunting crew a headman could lend his wife to a crew member who could then borrow his wife in turn. The families enter into a partnership relationship that can be as strong as kinship where the children are raised with retained recognition of the relationship.
Factors contributing to divorce:
The family fulfills basic needs or functions within the society.