In today’s society we all (well, most of us) already have an
idea of what our perfect wedding and marriage would be. Even if just a vision
during a day dream, planning for your own wedding or speculations when watching
someone else’s wedding, we all have some sort of idea of how a wedding and a
marriage should be. We might not even
notice it but our perceptions of marriage are heavily culturally influenced and
change across cultures. For instance, when you close your eyes and imagine your
wedding, do you picture a white dress, in a church, someone of a similar
ethnicity, only one partner at the altar, and that partner being someone of
your choosing?  These are examples of
cultural influence in marriage today.  As
original as all of our wedding plans and ideals of marriage may seem, they are
all slight variations of stigmas, and cultural bias’s depicted in marriages we
observe around us.

In western culture a
marriage is thought of to be between a man and a woman, a man and a man or a
woman and a woman, while same sex marriage is still under heavy debate there is
one factor in these marriages that both sides (pro and anti-same-sex marriage
crusaders) agree upon but are yet to realize: Monogamy. Regardless of the sex
of the marriage or the partner, in western culture today there is generally
speaking only one partner. I.e The union between two people.  In western culture we would view the idea of
multiple spouses or sexual partners as adulterous but in some cultures such as
African culture, polygamy is thought of as higher political standing, a sign of
wealth, liberation and power. In Senegal 47% of marriages are polygamous and
even more of a percentage in present in middle eastern countries*. In American
culture we would not imagine having plural spouses and this is widely
influenced by the social construction of our society. Wherein polygamy in
westernized culture is absent there is less of an influence and plays no role
in the idea of marriage. However, in countries that do practice polygamy and
the ideal is present it is seen to them as normal as a white wedding dress
would be to us in America


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