The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book
Paper 82: The Evolution of Marriage
Marriage is the evolutionary social repercussion of mating, which is instinctive. Marriage is the basis of all social evolution and is certain of enduring in some form. It creates the home, the crowning glory of the human evolutionary struggle. Children learn most of what is essential about life from their family and neighbors. The family is a master civilizer.
Sexual experience was fairly simple for primitive people. There was little or no sex regulation; there was no marriage or prostitution. Intense modern sexual passions are mainly due to race mixtures, especially the Andite inheritance. Regulation of sex in relation to marriage indicates both the relative progress of civilization, and the amount of Andite stock in a society. Sex codes can be expressive of both the highest and the lowest of human physical and emotional natures. No human emotion when overindulged can cause as much harm as the sex urge.
There will always be two distinct realms of marriage: the law regulating the external aspects, and the personal relationship. Marriage balances self-maintenance and self-perpetuation. Marriage regulations serve to balance the conflicting interests of parents, children, relatives, and society.
Mating has progressed through a multitude of transitions. Brides have been purchased, kidnapped, and won as contest prizes. Husbands have been required to prove their skill in hunting and fighting. In ancient times there have been child marriages and marriages between dead people. Some tribes mated their young men to older women and older men to young women to ensure that children would have at least one good parent. There have been times when a widow was expected to commit suicide on her husband's grave, when wives took pride in their husbands' affairs, and when chastity in girls was frowned upon.
Marriage has been linked to property and religion. Property stabilizes marriage; religion moralizes it.
Modern sexual jealousy is a product of evolving mores. The chastity taboo had its origin in the idea that the wife was the property of the husband. As civilization advanced, adultery came to be recognized as a form of stealing. Chastity requirements were applied to wives but not to single women. When the idea of virginity before marriage took hold, it became the practice to imprison unwed girls to preserve their virginity.
The Adamites and the Nodites practiced mating among themselves, and this influenced later customs in Egypt, Syria, and Mesopotamia. Outside marriages eventually gained preference because they promoted peace, led to military alliances, and insured greater freedom from in-laws.
Hybridization of superior dissimilar stocks contributes to the creation of more vigorous strains. Race mixtures greatly increase creative potential. The prejudice against interracial mating arises because modern cross-breeding is often between inferior strains. Racial amalgamation is most successful when it takes place between the higher members of the races. There is jeopardy in the unrestrained multiplication of the degenerate strains within each race.