Marriage is a culturally constructed institution that describes a formal union between two or more individuals which is delimited by the explicit and implicit commitments of each partner as well as personal, religious, and cultural expectations. Traditional and contemporary forms of marriage vary greatly and reflect historical and emergent sociocultural values. In most cultures historical marriage patterns suggest a preference toward the practice of endogamy.
Religious constructions of marriage reflect a group’s interpretation of their holy texts (e.g., the Qur’an, Torah, Vedas, or Bible), religious tradition (e.g., the Talmud, the Hadith, or theology), culture, and contemporary thought. These perspectives shape an individual’s understanding of marriage and marital wellness. For example, Islam views marriage as a heterosexual relationship that is half of a person’s religion, foundational to the family and society, the legitimate context for sexual activity and...
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