The increasing complexities of modern life have caused higher demands on modern families, significantly altering traditional family dynamics and relationships and establishing concepts of modern marriage. …
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At the same time, the continuous search of modern society to satisfy human needs has brought forward compelling ideas, challenging long-held norms, traditions and beliefs regarding acceptable social relationships, specifically marriage – the society’s basic social institution.
Given these socio-economic developments, debate on the sustainability of the traditional concepts of marriage reverberates from various sectors of the American society, calling for the need to evaluate the traditional concepts of marriage in the light of modern life. How must the modern conception of marriage be changed to make it sustainable within a modern society and culture? Does this new concept of marriage accommodate the concept of same-sex marriage? – These are the questions; this paper aims to shed light on.
II. Traditional Concepts of Marriage
Traditional concepts of marriage are ingrained in the very definition accorded to the term. First, marriage is a legally contracted bond between a man and a woman (Lahey and Anderson 39; Lewis 172; Garrett 446; Dnes 85; Girgis, George and Anderson 245). Second, marriage is meant not simply to satisfy personal interest but more to promote public interest and social purposes; vital of which is responsible procreation to ensure social survival (Wardle 771; Garrett 591; Lahey and Anderson 39). Thus “marriage is a compound right: the right to marry and to found a family” (Somerville 179). Third, marriage is a union of a husband and a wife as “equal-but-different partners” (Lewis 172) in which the father/husband is breadwinner and the mother is tasked with home and child care (Hetherington 318).
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