MARRIAGE by Bernice Kohn Hunt


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Emphasizing that ""marriage exists everywhere (and always has) but varies enormously,"" Hunt reviews some of the varieties from preliterate societies' monogamous and polygamous forms to today's open, homosexual, group, swinging, and trial ones. Readers might be interested to learn that the ""great majority"" of societies permitted sexual intercourse before marriage--some even providing ""youth houses"" for the purpose--but that sexual freedom was never a substitute for marriage, always a preparation. However, Hunt's analysis is so superficial (""the reason"" for divorce is rising expectations of marriage) and her statements so sweeping (children born to single mothers are ""severely handicapped""; a generation ago marriage and a family were ""every girl's goal"") that we can only call them sloppy. And her value-laden pronouncements (Christian celibacy is ""neither natural nor wholesome""; open marriages do not add to personal growth in a ""constructive sense""), valid as they might be and hedged as they are with ""it has seemed to many. . ,"" make this a poor model of sociological reporting.

Pub Date: May 17th, 1976
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston