Support Live Chat
Nov 8, 2017 in Compare and Contrast
Marital partnership has been around for hundreds of years and is an important component of life for many societies and cultures around the world. American marriage, which grew out of European marital values, is as old and integral to our society as the founding of our nation itself; however, marriage roles and expectations (and our conceptions of them) have drastically changed over the last several centuries. Whereas men and women once married due to money, dependence and conception, partnering primarily to “regulate sexuality and parenting or organize the division of labor between men and women” (Coontz, “For Better, For Worse”, 2005), men and women today marry each other for many different reasons that include true love and companionship -- a contemporary aspect of marriage that some argue have caused its decline (Wilson, “The Decline of Marriage”, 2002).
Prior to the 1790s, when love became a factor for marriage (Coontz, “For Better, For Worse”, 2005), men and women married primarily for money and stability. Famous 18th century novels like Pride and Prejudice describe traditional marriage in terms of convenience -- arranged marriages and money dowries, for example, were common in those days, because these things insured a practical union between a man and a woman. In contemporary America, the bride-to-be’s family is not required to pay a sum to the groom’s family, and men and women aren’t paired up by family members for practicality or business purposes like the once were in Jane Austen’s time. Today, men and women choose their own partners out of love and companionship. If two people meet, fall in love and establish a deeply personal, intimate connection, they often choose to marry. Long gone are the days when a groom picked a bride based on the monetary gift she came along with, and long gone are the days (in American society) when men and women were paired together by their elders based on class status. Today, people from different class, ethnic and economic backgrounds get married, which was unheard of several centuries ago in Western society.
Another reason men and women used to get married was due to dependence. Prior to the women’s rights movements over the last hundred years, women could not easily get a job and support themselves in society. They had to be supported by men. In the traditional marriage of the pre-modernist era, women thus sought a husband primarily for stability and support. Likewise, men married so that they had a woman to oversee domestic work, which was solely the woman’s role in antiquity. Women (and not men) were expected to cook, clean and raise the children, while men went to work and brought home the money. Today, by contrast, women are fully-integrated members of society and are just as able as men are to have careers outside of the home, earn substantial income and fully support themselves (and oftentimes, their family). Stability is no longer as predominant a driving factor of marriage as it once was. In fact, today, “the working class and the poor . . . increasingly steer away from marriage” (Harden, “Numbers Drop for the Married with Children”, 2007). This finding indicates that while financial dependency was once a primary factor of marriage, it is, by contrast, now less of a factor than it ever was before. Since men and women can now enjoy single life or even “cohabitation” without marriage (Harden, “Numbers Drop for the Married with Children”, 2007), these things are not only a difference in why men and women do marry today, but are also a possible reason why marriage rates have dropped. Children are another important clue about the decrease in marriages today.
Children were and still are another important reason why men and women get married; however, the role children play in decisions to marry has differed over the last century. In the olden times, children were an expectation of adult men and women. Procreation was an express purpose of marriage, as was money and gendered labor roles. Additionally, reliable contraception was not available. Even unreliable contraceptive methods were often judged as morally wrong or forbidden in accordance with ethical and religious beliefs. Single motherhood was a social stigma that was severely looked down upon and even punished, all the way up until around 1970. (Harden, “Numbers Drop for the Married with Children”, 2007). If a couple accidentally conceived, their only option was an immediate marriage, to avoid social backlash (particularly to the mother). Today, reliable contraception is widely available and it is possible to maintain a sexual relationship without conceiving. Even if a couple does conceive out of wedlock, it is much more socially accepted than ever before, in large part due to women’s emancipation and men and women’s ability to single-handedly raise a child. Furthermore, with women now able to enjoy professions and careers, many couples today decide to marry with no intention of raising children, contrary to the goals of marriage as early as a hundred years ago.
In conclusion, it can be stated that the main reasons why men and women marry today vary widely from why men and women married in the past, regardless of what these contemporary reasons may be. While marriage had functional, practical and moral purposes in the past, marriage today seems to be chosen first and foremost out of love and a desire for companionship. Some say this is for the better, while others have argued that love is “the death of marriage” (Coontz, “For Better, For Worse”, 2005). Whether or not love has increased or decreased the value of marriage is ultimately, however, up to the modern couple.
- The Core Modern Problem and the Ideal Solution
- Compare and Contrast of the Song
- Comparison and Contrast between Three Stories
- Comparison and Contrast of Two Movies
- 10 Things I Hate About You
Customer`s comment 22 days ago
Thank you for your care of my essay writing assignment. I have received a wonderful paper. It is amazing!
Customer`s comment 18 days ago
The fastest and the most accurate essay writing provider on the Internet! I admire your quality and speed writing! Thank you!
Customer`s comment 14 days ago
People should know about such a great essay site. I will broadcast it!
Customer`s comment 11 days ago
I did not know what an online writing service was before I started to use this one. It is a cool site. They deliver perfect papers for me.
Customer`s comment 8 days ago
Very good paper. There were no mistakes in it. Fantastic!
Customer`s comment 4 days ago
I did not know what to expect from this essay site. My friends told me to watch out as there were a lot of frauds everywhere on the Internet. My experience is quite positive. The service impressed me with its writers and high quality of writing.
Customer`s comment 17 days ago
I did not provide any instruction for writing my paper, just a title only! They created a perfect paper for me. That is very, very nice!
Customer`s comment 17 days ago
I found this essay website trying to cope with my research paper assignment. I just wanted to find some materials corresponded with my topic. It is a big luck that I use this service as I can finally find free time for myself and my family. Thank you!
Customer`s comment 25 days ago
I thought that essay sites could not really help anyone getting professionally written papers. However, I was wrong. This writing service demonstrates only perfect writing and professional writers. They have done a great piece of work for me.
Customer`s comment 27 days ago
Actually I am a kind of a coward. Therefore, it was always hard for me to make a decision. However, I am glad that I have tried your essay service. It is a pleasure to order papers here. The work you do is so great.
Customer`s comment 6 days ago
The essay site is designed very well. It is easy to find everything you need here. The quality of writing is very high. Moreover, the writers are always ready to listen to you and follow your instructions.
Customer`s comment 25 days ago
I doubted about the quality of my writing. However, the finished paper was well written. Moreover, it contained no mistakes. My tutor takes even the smallest grammatical mistakes very personally. Thank you! I passed it to the next level with your help!
Customer`s comment 2 days ago
I gave a writer a very short time frame, but he/she coped with my assignment very fast and I received it in time!
Customer`s comment 10 days ago
I just cannot find the right words to describe this essay writing provider. Everything is awesome here. Thank you!
Customer`s comment 30 days ago
There are many cheap custom writing services on the web, but their quality is not good. This is the only custom writing service I can rely on.