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What is the outlook of women on marriage?

The institution of marriage has a long history of men oppressing women, by denying them the rights to own property and to defend themselves against their abusers, and by reinforcing traditional gender roles. Half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. Yet, whether we see marriage as a flawed, even discriminatory, institution, an ideal foundation of a family, or a circumstance that is hard to imagine, many of us still want to get married. Many women feel that, "traditional" or not, a marriage ceremony is a deeply symbolic act that binds the couple more deeply to each other and to their community. Some women find that marriage brings both social recognition and a personal sense of stability and peace. This may allow a relationship to flourish further. All the same, it is very important to try to put aside familial or social pressures when making the decision to marry. In the long run, it is your life and your partner's that will matter most.

When it comes to longevity, a fifty-something woman with two grown children says there is not enough space or time to describe the intimacy of a marriage and "where it takes you." A growing number of couples who disagree with the institution of marriage prefer to live happily together in commitments of their own making, which may or may not involve children. Communities also look to such couples for coherence, support, and continuity.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

America's best-selling book on all aspects of women's health With more than four million copies sold, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" is "the" classic resource that women of all ages can turn to for...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.