The Words of the Powell Family

What is Marriage?!

James Michael Powell
November 1, 2011

This is in response to "Great Sacrifice: Absolute Sex, Three Day Ceremony"

The answer viewed from any historical, anthropological or sociological perspective is quite clear. Marriage is more than an emotional and sexual attachment. Much more.

Neapolitan philosopher, Giambattista Vico, after concluding an exhaustive study of ancient history, concluded in 1725 that marriage between a man and a woman is an essential characteristic of civilization.

Without strong social norms that encourage a man to direct his sexual attentions to a single woman and thereafter care for his offspring, Vico's studies concluded that chaos ensued.

Marriage, he wrote, was the "seedbed" of society.

British anthropologist, Professor J. D. Unwin, reached the same conclusion some 200 years later. In his 1934 book, Sex and Culture, Unwin chronicled the historical decline of 86 different cultures.

His initial motive was to prove that religious influence over sexual relations had caused an undue negative pressure upon society. But what he found was the exact opposite.

Any civilization that emphasized strong marital fidelity and a pre-marital abstinence, were civilizations that would be on the rise, would be a vibrant culture of art, science and creativity, and would have the means to endure over time.

Conversely, any civilization that embraced indiscriminate extramarital sexual relations resulted in men and women unable to commit to one another; family breakdown became the norm.

Any civilization that embraced that type of style declined very rapidly within 3 generations and there were no exceptions to the rule.

Any civilization that embraced a pre-marital abstinence and marital fidelity, then became cultures and civilizations that were vibrant, productive and enduring. It is not a coincidence. It is a fundamental principle to life!

Unwin stated it this way: "In human records there is no instance of a society retaining its energy after a complete new generation has inherited a tradition which does not insist on prenuptial and postnuptial continence."

In the 21st century, the findings of Vico and Unwin are confirmed by hundreds of sociological studies that document the impact of marital forms and marital dissolution on men, women and children.

Those studies speak with a surprisingly uniform voice: enduring marriage between a man and a woman is the best environment for the social, physical, mental, emotional and economic development of men, women and children. Any deviation from the ideal model of enduring monogamous marriage between a man and a woman increases the suffering of men, women and children.

Without stable marriage, women suffer, men suffer and children suffer the most. Marriage, therefore, is more than an intimate association between two people. It is the building block for the central institution of society: the family.

It civilizes men. It protects children. It generates social energy. It fosters individual and collective growth. It teaches norms. It literally creates culture!

Is this opinion or is it actual fact? Your own research into this topic will reveal the answer. 

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