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Is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws.

The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. A broad definition of marriage includes those that are monogamous,polygamous, same-sex and temporary.

People marry for many reasons, including: legal, social, libidinal, emotional, financial, spiritual, and religious. Who they marry may be influenced by socially determined rules of incest, prescriptive marriage rules, parental choice and individual desire. In many parts of the world, marriages are arranged. Forced marriages are illegal in some jurisdictions.

Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community or peers. It is often viewed as a contract. Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage as a governmental institution irrespective of religious affiliation, in accordance with marriage laws of the jurisdiction. Marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting via a wedding ceremony.

The act of marriage usually creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved, and any offspring they may produce. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples or two or more persons of opposite gender in the gender binary, and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny, child marriages, and forced marriages.

Tags : Society and Culture
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