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FAMILY VALUES, Page 1 of many




CHAPTER 82 THE EVOLUTION OF MARRIAGE

INTRODUCTION

MARRIAGE -- mating -- grows out of the urge of opposite sex attraction. Marriage is man's reactional adjustment to this natural sexuality, while the family life is the sum total resulting from all such evolutionary and adaptative adjustments. Marriage is enduring; it is not inherent in biologic evolution, but it is the basis of all social evolution and is therefore certain of continued existence in some form. Marriage has given mankind the home, and the home is the crowning glory of the whole long and arduous evolutionary struggle.

While religious, social, and educational institutions are all essential to the survival of cultural civilization, the family is the master civilizer. A child learns most of the essentials of life from his family and the neighbors.

The humans of olden times did not possess a very rich social civilization, but such as they had they faithfully and effectively passed on to the next generation. And you should recognize that most of these civilizations of the past continued to evolve with a bare minimum of other institutional influences because the home was effectively functioning. Today the human races possess a rich social and cultural heritage, and it should be wisely and effectively passed on to succeeding generations. The family as an educational institution must be maintained.

1. THE MATING INSTINCT

Notwithstanding the personality gulf between men and women, the sex urge is sufficient to insure their coming together for the reproduction of the species. This instinct operated effectively long before humans experienced much of what was later called love, devotion, and marital loyalty. Mating is an innate propensity, and marriage is its evolutionary social repercussion. Sex interest and desire were not dominating passions in primitive peoples; they simply took them for granted. The entire reproductive experience was free from imaginative embellishment. The all-absorbing sex passion of the more highly civilized peoples, especially where the sex mating urge has been stimulated by keener imagination and beauty appreciation of the opposite sex, must be regulated by society. Modern social regulations, and each individual, must not fail to provide sufficient over-control and self-control for the animal passions thus quickened and aroused by the evolving endowment of keener sex consciousness and stronger mating urges. The regulation of sex in relation to marriage indicates the relative progress of civilization. Civilization has increasingly demanded that sex be gratified in useful channels and in accordance with the mores.

The mating instinct is one of the dominant physical driving forces of human beings; it is the one emotion which, in the guise of individual gratification, effectively tricks selfish man into putting race welfare and perpetuation high above individual ease and personal freedom from responsibility.

As an institution, marriage, from its early beginnings down to modern times, pictures the social evolution of the biologic propensity for self-perpetuation. The perpetuation of the evolving human species is made certain by the presence of this human race mating impulse, an urge which is loosely called sex attraction. This great biologic urge becomes the impulse hub for all sorts of associated instincts, emotions, and usage -- physical, intellectual, moral, and social.

With the savage, the food supply was the impelling motivation, but when civilization insures plentiful food, the sex urge many times becomes a dominant impulse and therefore ever stands in need of social regulation. In animals, instinctive periodicity checks the mating propensity, but since man is so largely a self-controlled being, sex desire is not altogether periodic; therefore does it become necessary for society to impose self-control upon the individual.

No human emotion or impulse, when unbridled and overindulged, can produce so much harm and sorrow as this powerful sex urge. Intelligent submission of this impulse to the regulations of society is the supreme test of the actuality of any civilization. Self-control, more and more self-control, is the ever-increasing demand of advancing mankind. Secrecy, insincerity, and hypocrisy may obscure sex problems, but they do not provide solutions, nor do they advance ethics.

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