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This edition: Sex & Marriage

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Episode Details

The lesson opens with a wedding in Long Bow Village, in China, and shows the diverse nature of weddings from one culture to another, emphasizing that weddings are rites of passage, full of ritual and symbols that convey and emphasize the values of that society. The lesson defines marriage and suggests that this is one way that societies regulate sexual relations between men and women. It points out that all cultures include rules on who can marry whom because of the general concern regarding marriage between close family members, or incest. The incest taboo is discussed, and the narrator and expert anthropologists explain how it provides a structuring mechanism for marriage rules, endogamy and exogamy. Also discussed are arranged marriages, how they benefit specific societies, and the attitudes toward then as opposed to the Western ideals of romantic love.