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1.  Marriage provides a pathway for individuals to commit to each other emotionally, legally, and socially. It is often a stable foundation for building

1.  Marriage provides a pathway for individuals to commit to each other emotionally, legally, and socially. It is often a stable foundation for building a family and raising children, as it is a platform for emotional support, companionship, and intimacy between partners. Sharing life’s joys and challenges with a committed partner can contribute to well-being and happiness. Marriage is often rooted in cultural and religious traditions, serving as a sacred or ceremonial union between two people. It can symbolize the joining of families, communities, or even nations.  Marriage grants legal recognition and legitimacy to the relationship between two individuals, such as property ownership, medical decision-making, and parental rights. Additionally, various legal and financial benefits, including tax breaks, health insurance coverage, inheritance rights, and access to spousal benefits like Social Security or pension plans (McGoldrick et al., 2015).

However, the significance of marriage for social well-being and its impact on individuals and society can be complex; solid and stable marriages can contribute to social stability, economic prosperity, and the well-being of children. Research suggests that children raised in stable, two-parent households have better educational outcomes, emotional health, and social adjustment (Pribesh et al., (2020). Despite its benefits, marriage can also present challenges. These include the diversity of marriage partners, evolving definitions of marriage, increased physical distance from families, shifting gender roles, rising cohabitation rates, frequent partner changes, and decreased family support (McGoldrick et al., 2015). Issues such as domestic violence, infidelity, and financial stress can strain marriages and undermine their positive effects. With changing social norms and attitudes towards marriage and relationships, there is increasing diversity in family structures, including cohabitation, single-parent households, and same-sex partnerships. These changes reflect evolving values and lifestyles but may also challenge traditional notions of marriage and family.

In summary, while marriage serves essential functions in society, its significance and impact can vary widely depending on individual circumstances, cultural values, and societal norms. Strong, healthy marriages can contribute positively to social well-being, but addressing challenges and supporting individuals and couples in navigating the complexities of modern relationships is essential.

2.  Marriage serves several functions. In most societies, it socially identifies children by defining kinship ties to a mother, father, and extended relatives. It also serves to regulate sexual behavior and transfer, preserve, or consolidate property; most importantly, it is the basis for the institution of the family (Crossman, 2019). Marriage also serves the social function of determining family names and lines of familial descent.

Studies indicate marriage has essential effects on human well-being, from increased longevity to lower depression to greater happiness and children’s thriving.

Marriage is a representation of trust, commitment, family, fairness, protection, and a union. Marriage does not guarantee trust, commitment, family, fairness, protection, and equal union. When any of these categories are broken, it sabotages a couple.

How marriage sabotages society or has society sabotaged marriage is my question for the class. With changing lifestyles and societal values, an increasing amount of people look at marriage as no more than an option, choosing instead an alternative lifestyle of cohabiting or staying single.

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