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Is Marriage a Universal Human Value?

IsMarriage a Universal Human Value?

IsMarriage a Universal Human Value?

Itis notable that, marriage has remained one of the most respectedinstitutions from various societies in the world. However, aswitnessed in the recent past, this institution has undergone notablechanges thus creating debates regarding the acceptability of theemerging changes. In the U.S. among other developing countries, theincrease in number of gay, lesbian as well as bisexual andtransgender marriages have remained an area of debate with majorityof leaders being against these kinds of marriages as they still holdto the notion of “traditional marriages”.

Inan article titled IsMarriage a “Universal Human Value”?authored by Lisa Wade, the changes being experience as far asmarriage institution is concerned are not new in any way (Wade,2012). According to Wade, or many years, marriage served thepolitical and functions unrelated to happiness, love, personalfulfillment among other aspects. For instance, before Victorian era,getting married due to love was not a healthy issue as there wereother important aspects to get married such as for monetary purposes,strengthening alliances between various families among other aspects.During this era, men served as the heads of their family and womenwere just mere properties, thus equivalent to slaves, children,servant or an employee. This kind of marriages highly widened genderinequality as women were not given a chance to make a choice as thiswas done by the parents.

However,from 1950s, there was an emergence of new kind of a marriage, whichsignificantly changed this institution. As indicated by Paul Ryanduring 2012 presidential campaigns, this kind of marriage can beregarded as “traditional” and “universal” and “These areAmerican values, these are universal human values.&quot (Rafter,2012). In this model, women and men were supposed to get married bychoice, and this made women not to just be property to theirhusbands, though the roles of the roles of each was clearlystipulated. For instance, women were supposed to perform domesticduties such as childcare, cleaning, sex, and cooking, while men weresupposed to offer the financial support. However, despite this womencontinued to face discrimination in areas such as work places amongother areas as their duties were only those dealing with domesticmatters.

Itis clear that, the notion of “traditional marriage” is outdatedin the current society as advocated by Paul Ryan, who still posse’sstrong views against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender)marriages. During the campaign period, the ideas held by Ryan, aRepublican, made him together with his party, to have low rating fromACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) as well as HRC (Human RightsCampaign) (Rafter, 2012). It is worthy for Ryan to note that,traditional marriages have been replaced by ideal marriage basing itsvalues on gender neutral roles, which has greatly empowered bothspouses. Consequently, women have had a higher chance of enjoying theAmerican values, a factor which has significantly led to improvedgender equality, thus promoting economic growth (Wade, 2012).

Fromthis article, it is clear that, “traditional marriage” should notbe advocated. This is due to the fact that, it fails to embracechange and widen gender inequality among other forms ofdiscriminations. If the issue is not well handled, rights of variousgroups will highly be interfered with, thus hindering democracy butonly in America but also in various parts of the world.


Rafter,D. (2012). PaulRyan: Traditional Marriage is a “Universal Human Value”.Retrieved on 6 April 2014 from,


Wade,L. (2012). Is Marriage a “Universal Human Value”? Retrieved on 6April 2014 from,http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/10/03/is-marriage-a-universal-human-value/