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Re: [evol-psych] marriage -- who benefits

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  • lecody
    Doesn t wanting the father to stay around to help depend on how the culture is set up. Not to beat a dead horse, but there are cultures where it is the
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 30 8:17 AM
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      Doesn't wanting the father to stay around to help depend on how the culture is set up.  Not to beat a dead horse, but there are cultures where it is the brother of the woman that helps or if the woman herself owns the modes of production having a man literally bring home the bacon might be nice but not especially necessary?  Aren't most of us looking at this through the lens of our own cultures that has the men owning and the women dependent on men, either the father, other male relative or employer, bound to put an unwarranted premium on children having a male role model?  If you tell a person that they are missing something if the father isn't present, or some other factor in their lives is substandard, just giving the child an excuse for failure or bad behavior?
       
      As an example of cultural influence, I remember meeting a woman who was in her 40's when she found out she had been adopted.  She immediately set herself up as a victim who had a large hole in her life and needed to find out who she was.  I asked her if she felt this way before she found out and she acknowledged that she did not.  So the only thing that actually changed was knowledge, not anything inherent in her being.  This of course was paralleled by an "awareness" of adoptees in our culture who were fighting to know where they came from and the victim/survior mentality that is still prevelent in the US. 
       
      If this shows us anything it is that we need to be careful of which cultural values we cling to and perhaps with the knowledge that our values will become self fulfilling prophecy we [or rather psychologists] can ask ourselves what the downside is beforehand.  And before you come back and tell me you don't have that power, just stop and take stock of the cultural values that have changed in the past 50 years and where they came from.
       
      Laura Cody  
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 8:55 AM
      Subject: RE: [evol-psych] marriage -- who benefits

      I hesitate to reply, as a thousand stones seem to fall on my head when I do, but if a mother’s interest is her child, then isn’t it in their (the mother’s and the child’s) interest that a male stay around and help provide for those children.

       

      Kathryn Coe, PhD
      Director of Shared Service for Special Populations
      Arizona Cancer Center
      Assistant Professor, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
      1515 North Campbell Avenue
      P.O. Box 245024
      Tucson, AZ 85724-5024
      (520) 626-6965
      Fax (520) 626-0197

       

      -----Original Message-----
      From: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com [mailto:evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Christopher Ryan
      Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 2:40 AM
      To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: eas32004@...
      Subject: [evol-psych] marriage -- who benefits

       

       

      Ed Stand wrote:



      What's the evidence that "for thousands of years marriage was set up 

      to benefit men more than women"?  This in a book entitled The Myth of 

      Marriage? 

       

      An interesting question for evolutionary psychology is why such 

      nonsense can become so prevalent.  Perhaps competition among males 

      for females in the EEA has created in men fear of offending women and 

      fear of women's relational hostility.  That fear may be justified in 

      some cases.  Yet its intensity among intellectuals is striking. Is a 

      good explanation that male intellectuals are much more vulnerable to 

      female hostility than males less concerned about social reputation?

       

       

      I'd suggest that it depends on what you mean by that problematic word, "marriage" and how many "thousands of years" you have in mind. If you're talking about Helen Fisher's "marriage," which is presumably universal and existed in the EEA, then I'd say you're right to reject that. But if you're talking about post-agricultural "marriage" (a more accurate use of the word, as I argue elsewhere today), then I'd say that this sort of Old Testament marriage was, in fact, skewed toward the interests of men -- due to the simple fact that it was (and is) based upon a perceived need to ensure that the children resulting from that union were the man's. The only way to do that would have been to completely control the sexual behavior of the woman, of course. So, I'd say that she's right that "for thousands of years marriage was set up to benefit men more than women," but not for tens of thousands, which seems to be how you read it.

       

      CPR

       



    • Danielle Cohen, Ph.D.
      Kathryn Coe wrote: I hesitate to reply, as a thousand stones seem to fall on my head when I do, but if a mother’s interest is her
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 30 9:58 AM
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        Kathryn Coe <kcoe@...> wrote:

        I hesitate to reply, as a thousand stones seem to fall on my head when I do, but if a mother’s interest is her child, then isn’t it in their (the mother’s and the child’s) interest that a male stay around and help provide for those children.

         
        Hi Kathryn,
        The bottom line to your query, IMO, is 'it depends'. First, a mother's interest in her child is not guaranteed, as your comment seems to imply; rather it is influenced by a whole bunch of factors not the least of which are her own parenting history, the health of the infant and other offspring, and the current circumstances in which she finds herself. Second, having a male around to 'provide' for offspring will depend on whether the costs outweigh the benefits (e.g. energy expenditure through gathering extra tubers to feed the male versus the minimal caloric intake from the male's -- in some cases sporadic -- hunts). In any case, if one is discussing provisioning, I would think the role of alloparents must also be brought into the equation.  
         
        A recent article I read (and am still absorbing) may be useful here:
        O'Connel, J.F., Hawkes, K., Lupo, K. D., Blurton Jones, N. G. (2002). Male strategies and Plio-Pleistocene archaeology. Journal of Human Evolution, 43, 831-872.  
         
        Best,
        Danielle
         


        --------
        Danielle Cohen, Ph.D.
        Tel: 919-967-2671
        www.reproductivefitness.com

        Please add 3 hours to the timestamp at the top of this email to reflect ET.


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      • Kathryn Coe
        I did say IF a mother s interest is her child. IF the mother s interest is her child (given a wide range of factors, including whether or not she wants to
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 30 10:23 AM
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          I did say IF a mother's interest is her child. IF the mother's interest is her child (given a wide range of factors, including whether or not she wants to reproduce--in which case her genes only get into the next generation via close kin; and then she has to contribute to their reproduction for this type of behavior to be selected for)
          If a mother wants to reproduce, however, one would think that strategies that help her do so, might be in her interest. Many times that includes having a biological father around.

          One problem underlying this discussion is definitions. Another is a weak background in ethnography that allows participants to make global statements about marriage with great confidence and little skepticism, except that anything traditional must be bad.


          -----Original Message-----
          From: Danielle Cohen, Ph.D. [mailto:foxdown07931@...]
          Sent: Sat 7/30/2005 9:58 AM
          To: Kathryn Coe; Christopher Ryan; evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
          Cc: eas32004@...
          Subject: RE: [evol-psych] marriage -- who benefits

          Kathryn Coe <kcoe@...> wrote:
          I hesitate to reply, as a thousand stones seem to fall on my head when I do, but if a mother's interest is her child, then isn't it in their (the mother's and the child's) interest that a male stay around and help provide for those children.



          Hi Kathryn,
          The bottom line to your query, IMO, is 'it depends'. First, a mother's interest in her child is not guaranteed, as your comment seems to imply; rather it is influenced by a whole bunch of factors not the least of which are her own parenting history, the health of the infant and other offspring, and the current circumstances in which she finds herself. Second, having a male around to 'provide' for offspring will depend on whether the costs outweigh the benefits (e.g. energy expenditure through gathering extra tubers to feed the male versus the minimal caloric intake from the male's -- in some cases sporadic -- hunts). In any case, if one is discussing provisioning, I would think the role of alloparents must also be brought into the equation.

          A recent article I read (and am still absorbing) may be useful here:
          O'Connel, J.F., Hawkes, K., Lupo, K. D., Blurton Jones, N. G. (2002). Male strategies and Plio-Pleistocene archaeology. Journal of Human Evolution, 43, 831-872.

          Best,
          Danielle



          --------
          Danielle Cohen, Ph.D.
          Tel: 919-967-2671
          www.reproductivefitness.com

          Please add 3 hours to the timestamp at the top of this email to reflect ET.

          ---------------------------------
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        • Danielle Cohen, Ph.D.
          Yes, I agree that definitions are a huge issue in such discussions. Nevertheless, IF a mother wants to reproduce (which is a separate, though related, issue
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 30 12:01 PM
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            Yes, I agree that definitions are a huge issue in such discussions. Nevertheless, IF a mother wants to reproduce (which is a separate, though related, issue from her interest in her child, unless I have misunderstood your definition in your original posting), a biological father to contribute to offspring provisioning will be beneficial in SOME circumstances and not others. Assuming the mother wants to reproduce directly, strategies to enhance reproductive fitness will sometimes include paternal provisioning, and sometimes will not. IMO, it is a mistake to assume that paternal provisioning is an across-the-board solution to 'direct' reproductive fitness (see, for example, Krebs & Davies intro book on behavioral ecology) and thus I would be wary of stating that 'many times this includes a biological father'. Perhaps we are simply having an issue of semantics here.
             
            I am not at all sure what you mean by "Another is a weak background in ethnography that allows participants to make global statements about marriage with great confidence and little skepticism, except that anything traditional must be bad".  Given the multitude of differing views on this issue (both here and in the literature), I would say there is a great deal of skepticism on both sides of the debate. Further, ethnography is only one field relavant to the discussion of marriage. In any case, I don't think statements have been made that 'anything traditional is bad'; the issue is in which circusmtances is marriage/non-marriage and/or paternal provisioning/not provisioning beneficial or costly.  
             
            Kind regards,
            danielle
             
            Kathryn Coe <KCoe@...> wrote:
            I did say IF a mother's interest is her child. IF the mother's interest is her child (given a wide range of factors, including whether or not she wants to reproduce--in which case her genes only get into the next generation via close kin; and then she has to contribute to their reproduction for this type of behavior to be selected for)
            If a mother wants to reproduce, however, one would think that strategies that help her do so, might be in her interest. Many times that includes having a biological father around.

            One problem underlying this discussion is definitions. Another is a weak background in ethnography that allows participants to make global statements about marriage with great confidence and little skepticism, except that anything traditional must be bad.


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Danielle Cohen, Ph.D. [mailto:foxdown07931@...]
            Sent: Sat 7/30/2005 9:58 AM
            To: Kathryn Coe; Christopher Ryan; evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: eas32004@...
            Subject: RE: [evol-psych] marriage -- who benefits

            Kathryn Coe wrote:
            I hesitate to reply, as a thousand stones seem to fall on my head when I do, but if a mother's interest is her child, then isn't it in their (the mother's and the child's) interest that a male stay around and help provide for those children.



            Hi Kathryn,
            The bottom line to your query, IMO, is 'it depends'. First, a mother's interest in her child is not guaranteed, as your comment seems to imply; rather it is influenced by a whole bunch of factors not the least of which are her own parenting history, the health of the infant and other offspring, and the current circumstances in which she finds herself. Second, having a male around to 'provide' for offspring will depend on whether the costs outweigh the benefits (e.g. energy expenditure through gathering extra tubers to feed the male versus the minimal caloric intake from the male's -- in some cases sporadic -- hunts). In any case, if one is discussing provisioning, I would think the role of alloparents must also be brought into the equation.

            A recent article I read (and am still absorbing) may be useful here:
            O'Connel, J.F., Hawkes, K., Lupo, K. D., Blurton Jones, N. G. (2002). Male strategies and Plio-Pleistocene archaeology. Journal of Human Evolution, 43, 831-872.

            Best,
            Danielle



            --------
            Danielle Cohen, Ph.D.
            Tel: 919-967-2671
            www.reproductivefitness.com

            Please add 3 hours to the timestamp at the top of this email to reflect ET.

            ---------------------------------
            Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page

            CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The information contained in this e-mail is privileged and confidential, and is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, electronic storage or use of this communication is prohibited. If you received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by e-mail, attaching the original message, and delete the original message from your computer and any network to which your computer is connected.


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          • commons@tiac.net
            That is my argument for why hominids have pair bonding. As soon as our ancestors stood up, if there were 2 children who could not run or could not fend, then
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 30 4:45 PM
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              That is my argument for why hominids have pair bonding.  As soon as our ancestors stood up, if there were 2 children who could not run or could not fend, then two parents would do better than one.  There would also be more food.  Yes I know men eat more.
               
              My best,
               
              Michael Lamport Commons, Ph.D.
              Assistant Clinical Professor
               
              Program in Psychiatry and the Law
              Department of Psychiatry
              Harvard Medical School
              The Massachusetts Mental Health Center Academic Division of Public Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
              234 Huron Avenue
              Cambridge, MA 02138-1328
               
              Telephone (617) 497-5270
              Facsimile (617) 491-5270
               
              Commons@...
              http://dareassociation.org/
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 11:55 AM
              Subject: RE: [evol-psych] marriage -- who benefits

              I hesitate to reply, as a thousand stones seem to fall on my head when I do, but if a mother’s interest is her child, then isn’t it in their (the mother’s and the child’s) interest that a male stay around and help provide for those children.

               

              Kathryn Coe, PhD
              Director of Shared Service for Special Populations
              Arizona Cancer Center
              Assistant Professor, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
              1515 North Campbell Avenue
              P.O. Box 245024
              Tucson, AZ 85724-5024
              (520) 626-6965
              Fax (520) 626-0197

               

              -----Original Message-----
              From: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com [mailto:evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Christopher Ryan
              Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 2:40 AM
              To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
              Cc: eas32004@...
              Subject: [evol-psych] marriage -- who benefits

               

               

              Ed Stand wrote:



              What's the evidence that "for thousands of years marriage was set up 

              to benefit men more than women"?  This in a book entitled The Myth of 

              Marriage? 

               

              An interesting question for evolutionary psychology is why such 

              nonsense can become so prevalent.  Perhaps competition among males 

              for females in the EEA has created in men fear of offending women and 

              fear of women's relational hostility.  That fear may be justified in 

              some cases.  Yet its intensity among intellectuals is striking. Is a 

              good explanation that male intellectuals are much more vulnerable to 

              female hostility than males less concerned about social reputation?

               

               

              I'd suggest that it depends on what you mean by that problematic word, "marriage" and how many "thousands of years" you have in mind. If you're talking about Helen Fisher's "marriage," which is presumably universal and existed in the EEA, then I'd say you're right to reject that. But if you're talking about post-agricultural "marriage" (a more accurate use of the word, as I argue elsewhere today), then I'd say that this sort of Old Testament marriage was, in fact, skewed toward the interests of men -- due to the simple fact that it was (and is) based upon a perceived need to ensure that the children resulting from that union were the man's. The only way to do that would have been to completely control the sexual behavior of the woman, of course. So, I'd say that she's right that "for thousands of years marriage was set up to benefit men more than women," but not for tens of thousands, which seems to be how you read it.

               

              CPR

               



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            • Christopher Ryan
              ... Following the logical line you establish here, 20 parents would be even better, no? And this is precisely what we tend to find in h/g societies and even in
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 1, 2005
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                That is my argument for why hominids have pair bonding.  As soon as our ancestors stood up, if there were 2 children who could not run or could not fend, then two parents would do better than one.  There would also be more food.  Yes I know men eat more.
                 

                Following the logical line you establish here, 20 parents would be even better, no? And this is precisely what we tend to find in h/g societies and even in small agricultural groups today. I think we're mistaken when we project the nuclear family (and associated scarcity-based economic notions) into the prehistoric past. Where is the data that support the notion that the nuclear family was the primary economic/child-raising unit, as opposed to a larger extended group that shared group-defense responsibilities as well as those associated with food-gathering and child-nurturing?

                CPR







                My best,
                 
                Michael Lamport Commons, Ph.D.
                Assistant Clinical Professor
                 
                Program in Psychiatry and the Law
                Department of Psychiatry
                Harvard Medical School
                The Massachusetts Mental Health Center Academic Division of Public Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
                234 Huron Avenue
                Cambridge, MA 02138-1328
                 
                Telephone (617) 497-5270
                Facsimile (617) 491-5270
                 
                Commons@...
                http://dareassociation.org/
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 11:55 AM
                Subject: RE: [evol-psych] marriage -- who benefits

                I hesitate to reply, as a thousand stones seem to fall on my head when I do, but if a mother’s interest is her child, then isn’t it in their (the mother’s and the child’s) interest that a male stay around and help provide for those children.

                 

                Kathryn Coe, PhD
                Director of Shared Service for Special Populations
                Arizona Cancer Center
                Assistant Professor, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
                1515 North Campbell Avenue
                P.O. Box 245024
                Tucson, AZ 85724-5024
                (520) 626-6965
                Fax (520) 626-0197

                 

                -----Original Message-----
                From: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com [mailto:evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Christopher Ryan
                Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 2:40 AM
                To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
                Cc: eas32004@...
                Subject: [evol-psych] marriage -- who benefits

                 
                 

                Ed Stand wrote:



                What's the evidence that "for thousands of years marriage was set up 

                to benefit men more than women"?  This in a book entitled The Myth of 

                Marriage? 

                 

                An interesting question for evolutionary psychology is why such 

                nonsense can become so prevalent.  Perhaps competition among males 

                for females in the EEA has created in men fear of offending women and 

                fear of women's relational hostility.  That fear may be justified in 

                some cases.  Yet its intensity among intellectuals is striking. Is a 

                good explanation that male intellectuals are much more vulnerable to 

                female hostility than males less concerned about social reputation?

                 
                 

                I'd suggest that it depends on what you mean by that problematic word, "marriage" and how many "thousands of years" you have in mind. If you're talking about Helen Fisher's "marriage," which is presumably universal and existed in the EEA, then I'd say you're right to reject that. But if you're talking about post-agricultural "marriage" (a more accurate use of the word, as I argue elsewhere today), then I'd say that this sort of Old Testament marriage was, in fact, skewed toward the interests of men -- due to the simple fact that it was (and is) based upon a perceived need to ensure that the children resulting from that union were the man's. The only way to do that would have been to completely control the sexual behavior of the woman, of course. So, I'd say that she's right that "for thousands of years marriage was set up to benefit men more than women," but not for tens of thousands, which seems to be how you read it.

                 

                CPR

                 


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              • commons@tiac.net
                This might be true for villages but a village does not pass on ones genes directly. Strange as it seems, both the male and female parents can increase their
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 1, 2005
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                  This might be true for villages but a village does not pass on ones genes directly.  Strange as it seems, both the male and female parents can increase their likelihood of passing there genes by helping their own children to fend, throw rocks at predators and run from other hominids when necessary.
                   
                  My best,
                   
                  Michael Lamport Commons, Ph.D.
                  Assistant Clinical Professor
                   
                  Program in Psychiatry and the Law
                  Department of Psychiatry
                  Harvard Medical School
                  The Massachusetts Mental Health Center Academic Division of Public Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
                  234 Huron Avenue
                  Cambridge, MA 02138-1328
                   
                  Telephone (617) 497-5270
                  Facsimile (617) 491-5270
                   
                  Commons@...
                  http://dareassociation.org/
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 5:32 AM
                  Subject: Re: [evol-psych] marriage -- who benefits


                  That is my argument for why hominids have pair bonding.  As soon as our ancestors stood up, if there were 2 children who could not run or could not fend, then two parents would do better than one.  There would also be more food.  Yes I know men eat more.
                   

                  Following the logical line you establish here, 20 parents would be even better, no? And this is precisely what we tend to find in h/g societies and even in small agricultural groups today. I think we're mistaken when we project the nuclear family (and associated scarcity-based economic notions) into the prehistoric past. Where is the data that support the notion that the nuclear family was the primary economic/child-raising unit, as opposed to a larger extended group that shared group-defense responsibilities as well as those associated with food-gathering and child-nurturing?

                  CPR







                  My best,
                   
                  Michael Lamport Commons, Ph.D.
                  Assistant Clinical Professor
                   
                  Program in Psychiatry and the Law
                  Department of Psychiatry
                  Harvard Medical School
                  The Massachusetts Mental Health Center Academic Division of Public Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
                  234 Huron Avenue
                  Cambridge, MA 02138-1328
                   
                  Telephone (617) 497-5270
                  Facsimile (617) 491-5270
                   
                  Commons@...
                  http://dareassociation.org/
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 11:55 AM
                  Subject: RE: [evol-psych] marriage -- who benefits

                  I hesitate to reply, as a thousand stones seem to fall on my head when I do, but if a mother’s interest is her child, then isn’t it in their (the mother’s and the child’s) interest that a male stay around and help provide for those children.


                   

                  Kathryn Coe, PhD
                  Director of Shared Service for Special Populations
                  Arizona Cancer Center
                  Assistant Professor, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
                  1515 North Campbell Avenue
                  P.O. Box 245024
                  Tucson, AZ 85724-5024
                  (520) 626-6965
                  Fax (520) 626-0197


                   

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com [mailto:evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Christopher Ryan
                  Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 2:40 AM
                  To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
                  Cc: eas32004@...
                  Subject: [evol-psych] marriage -- who benefits


                   

                   

                  Ed Stand wrote:



                  What's the evidence that "for thousands of years marriage was set up 

                  to benefit men more than women"?  This in a book entitled The Myth of 

                  Marriage? 


                   

                  An interesting question for evolutionary psychology is why such 

                  nonsense can become so prevalent.  Perhaps competition among males 

                  for females in the EEA has created in men fear of offending women and 

                  fear of women's relational hostility.  That fear may be justified in 

                  some cases.  Yet its intensity among intellectuals is striking. Is a 

                  good explanation that male intellectuals are much more vulnerable to 

                  female hostility than males less concerned about social reputation?


                   

                   

                  I'd suggest that it depends on what you mean by that problematic word, "marriage" and how many "thousands of years" you have in mind. If you're talking about Helen Fisher's "marriage," which is presumably universal and existed in the EEA, then I'd say you're right to reject that. But if you're talking about post-agricultural "marriage" (a more accurate use of the word, as I argue elsewhere today), then I'd say that this sort of Old Testament marriage was, in fact, skewed toward the interests of men -- due to the simple fact that it was (and is) based upon a perceived need to ensure that the children resulting from that union were the man's. The only way to do that would have been to completely control the sexual behavior of the woman, of course. So, I'd say that she's right that "for thousands of years marriage was set up to benefit men more than women," but not for tens of thousands, which seems to be how you read it.


                   

                  CPR


                   


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