Back to: Jss3 Home Economics (PVS)
WEEK: 1 & 2
Marriage is a legal and social union between two individuals, usually recognized by law, in which they commit to sharing their lives, resources, and responsibilities. The concept of marriage has existed for thousands of years and is present in virtually every culture and religion around the world.
In most societies, marriage is considered a cornerstone of family life and is often associated with procreation and the raising of children. It is also a symbol of love, commitment, and partnership between two people who choose to share their lives together.
Marriage ceremonies and traditions vary widely across different cultures and religions, but they often involve an exchange of vows, rings, and other symbolic gestures. Marriage can be a joyous and fulfilling experience for many couples, but it also comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities.
Throughout history, the legal and social aspects of marriage have evolved, reflecting changes in social norms and attitudes towards gender, sexuality, and the role of marriage in society. Today, marriage is recognized as a fundamental human right and is open to all individuals regardless of their gender or sexual orientation in many countries around the world.
Types of marriages
- Traditional Marriage: This is a marriage that follows the customs and traditions of a particular ethnic group in Nigeria. It usually involves payment of a dowry or bride price, and it is a celebration of the union between two families.
- Christian Marriage: This is a marriage conducted in accordance with Christian principles and beliefs. The couple exchanges vow in the presence of a priest or pastor, and the marriage is recognized by the church and the state.
- Islamic Marriage: This is a marriage conducted in accordance with Islamic principles and beliefs. It involves the consent of the bride and groom, the payment of a dowry, and the presence of witnesses. Marriage is recognized by the Islamic community and the state.
- Court Marriage: This is a marriage conducted in a court of law. It is a civil union recognized by the state, and it does not involve any religious ceremony. It is often the choice of couples who do not want a religious wedding or who want a simple and quick wedding.
- Customary Marriage: This is a marriage that follows the customs and traditions of a particular community or tribe. It involves payment of a dowry or bride price, and it is a celebration of the union between two families. It is recognized by the state and the community.
- Registry Marriage: This is a marriage conducted at a registry or government office. It is a civil union recognized by the state, and it does not involve any religious ceremony. It is often the choice of couples who do not want a religious wedding or who want a simple and quick wedding.
- Interfaith Marriage: This is a marriage between two people of different religions. It involves respect for each other’s beliefs and practices, and it can be conducted in accordance with the customs and traditions of both religions.
- Same-Sex Marriage: This is a marriage between two people of the same sex. It is not recognized by the Nigerian government and is illegal under Nigerian law.
Courtship practices refer to the traditional or modern ways in which people seek out and engage in romantic relationships. These practices can vary depending on cultural, social, and religious factors. Here are some common courtship practices:
- Dating: This is the most common way of courtship in modern times. It involves two people spending time together, getting to know each other, and exploring the possibility of a romantic relationship.
- Arranged marriages: In some cultures, parents or matchmakers play a significant role in finding a suitable partner for their child. The prospective partners may meet and get to know each other, but the ultimate decision about marriage is made by the families.
- Courtship rituals: Some cultures have specific rituals or ceremonies that are performed as part of courtship. These can include dancing, gift-giving, and other customs that signify the intent to pursue a romantic relationship.
- Online dating: With the rise of technology, many people now use dating apps or websites to find potential partners. This allows individuals to connect with others who share similar interests or values.
- Group dating: In some cultures, group dating is common, where a group of friends or family members go out together to socialize and potentially find romantic partners.
- Courtship gifts: Some cultures use gift-giving as a way to express interest or affection during courtship. These gifts can range from flowers and chocolates to more elaborate offerings.
- Religious courtship: In some religions, courtship is governed by strict rules and guidelines, such as waiting until marriage for physical intimacy.
Characteristic Features or Activities Involved with Courtship.
- Flirting: This is the initial stage of courtship, where both individuals show interest in each other through playful and romantic gestures such as compliments, teasing, and physical touch.
- Conversation: Communication is an essential part of courtship, and it involves getting to know each other through deep and meaningful conversations about each other’s interests, values, and beliefs.
- Dating: This involves going out on planned outings, such as dinners, movies, or events, with the intention of getting to know each other better and building a deeper connection.
- Gifts and gestures: Small gifts and gestures of affection, such as flowers, chocolates, or surprise visits, can help to demonstrate one’s love and commitment to their partner.
- Physical touch: As the relationship progresses, physical touch becomes more important in courtship, and it involves holding hands, hugging, and kissing.
- Meeting the family: Introducing one’s partner to family members and close friends is an essential step in courtship, as it shows a willingness to integrate their partner into their social circle and gain acceptance from those who matter to them.
- Commitment: Finally, courtship culminates in a formal commitment, such as an engagement or marriage, where both individuals publicly declare their love and commitment to each other in front of their family and friends.
Factors to Consider Before Marriage
Marriage is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. Here are some factors to consider before getting married:
- Compatibility: It is essential to ensure that you and your partner are compatible in terms of values, interests, and life goals. Having similar values and interests can help you build a strong, lasting relationship.
- Communication: Communication is key to any successful relationship. Before getting married, it’s important to make sure that you and your partner can communicate effectively and resolve conflicts peacefully.
- Financial stability: Financial stability is a significant aspect of marriage. Before getting married, it’s important to discuss your finances with your partner and ensure that you both have a plan for managing your finances.
- Family and friends: It’s important to consider how your partner’s family and friends will fit into your life. If your partner’s family and friends have values that conflict with your own, it could create tension and stress in your relationship.
- Personal goals: It’s important to ensure that you and your partner share similar personal goals. This can include things like career aspirations, where you want to live, and whether or not you want to have children.
- Priorities: It’s important to ensure that you and your partner have similar priorities in life. This can include things like the importance of family, religion, or travel.
- Lifestyle: It’s important to consider your lifestyle and ensure that you and your partner are compatible. This can include things like your daily routine, hobbies, and interests.
- Compatibility in the bedroom: It’s important to ensure that you and your partner have similar sexual preferences and desires. This can help ensure that you have a satisfying and fulfilling sexual relationship.
- Future plans: It’s important to discuss your future plans with your partner and ensure that you both have similar goals for the future. This can include things like buying a house, starting a family, or travelling.
- Personal growth: It’s important to consider whether you and your partner are committed to personal growth and self-improvement. This can help ensure that you both continue to grow and develop as individuals throughout your marriage.
Marriage Procedures and Systems in Nigeria
Marriage procedures and systems in Nigeria vary depending on cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. However, there are general requirements and procedures that are followed regardless of these differences.
- Age Requirements: The minimum age for marriage in Nigeria is 18 years, and parental consent is required for anyone below the age of 21.
- Registration: All marriages must be registered with the appropriate authorities. The Nigerian Marriage Act requires couples to obtain a marriage license from the registrar of marriages in their local government area.
- Notice of Marriage: Couples must give notice of their intention to marry at least 21 days before the wedding date. This notice is posted on the notice board at the local government office.
- Documentation: Couples must provide certain documents before they can obtain a marriage license. These documents include birth certificates, passports, and evidence of parental consent (if applicable).
- Religious Ceremonies: For religious marriages, couples must follow the requirements of their particular religious denomination. Islamic marriages, for example, require the consent of the bride and groom, two witnesses, and a payment of the dowry. Christian marriages require the presence of a priest or pastor and two witnesses.
- Traditional Ceremonies: Traditional marriages in Nigeria vary according to culture and tribe. However, they generally involve the payment of a bride price or dowry, the exchange of gifts between families, and various rituals.
- Polygamous Marriages: In Nigeria, it is legal for a man to have more than one wife. However, this is subject to certain conditions, including the consent of the first wife and the ability of the man to provide for all his wives and children.
Early marriage is a practice that has been prevalent in Nigeria for many years. It refers to the practice of marrying off girls at a young age, usually before they reach the age of 18. The reasons for early marriage in Nigeria are varied, but they often include poverty, lack of education, and cultural or religious beliefs.
One of the main consequences of early marriage is that it deprives girls of the opportunity to complete their education. Girls who are married at a young age are often forced to drop out of school, which limits their future opportunities and potential. Early marriage also puts girls at risk of domestic violence, early pregnancy, and maternal mortality.
Although the legal age of marriage in Nigeria is 18 years old, the practice of early marriage is still prevalent in many parts of the country, particularly in the northern region. In some cases, parents may marry off their daughters as a way to alleviate poverty, as they believe that the husband will provide for their daughter and her children. In other cases, cultural or religious beliefs may dictate that girls should marry at a young age.
To address the issue of early marriage in Nigeria, there is a need for comprehensive efforts aimed at increasing access to education, particularly for girls. Governments, non-governmental organizations, and communities need to work together to raise awareness about the negative effects of early marriage on girls’ health, education, and future opportunities. Additionally, laws and policies need to be enforced to protect girls’ rights and prevent the early marriage from occurring.
disadvantages of Early Marriage
- Lack of maturity: People who get married at a young age may not have the emotional, financial, or social maturity needed to handle the responsibilities and challenges of marriage.
- Limited education and career opportunities: Early marriage can limit education and career opportunities for both partners, especially for women who may be expected to prioritize family over their own aspirations.
- Financial insecurity: Young couples may struggle to meet the financial demands of starting a new family, leading to financial stress and insecurity.
- Social isolation: Early marriage can lead to social isolation, as the couple may miss out on the opportunity to build a strong social network and develop meaningful friendships.
- Higher risk of divorce: Research shows that couples who marry at a young age are more likely to get divorced than those who wait until they are older and more mature.
- Health risks: Early marriage can also increase health risks, particularly for girls who may be more vulnerable to pregnancy-related complications, such as premature birth and maternal mortality.
- Lack of personal growth: Early marriage can limit personal growth and development, as young couples may not have the opportunity to explore their own interests, passions, and goals.
- Pressure to conform: In some cultures or communities, early marriage may be seen as the norm or expectation, and individuals may feel pressure to conform to these expectations even if they are not ready.
- Lack of choice: In some cases, individuals may be forced into early marriage due to cultural or religious practices, family pressure, or financial reasons, leaving them with little choice in the matter.
- Domestic violence: Early marriage can also increase the risk of domestic violence, as young couples may lack the communication and conflict resolution skills needed to navigate disagreements and conflicts.
- Reproductive health issues: Early marriage can also lead to reproductive health issues, such as sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, and limited access to contraception and healthcare services.
- Emotional and psychological challenges: Early marriage can lead to emotional and psychological challenges, such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, as young couples may struggle to cope with the demands and stresses of married life.
- Interpersonal conflict: Early marriage can also lead to interpersonal conflict, as couples may have different expectations and goals, or may struggle to communicate effectively with each other.
- Child marriage: In some cases, early marriage may involve child marriage, which can have severe consequences for the physical, emotional, and social development of the child bride or groom.