Marriage in a human society is a universal institution. Depending on the requirements of individual human groups the rituals and forms of marriage may vary but the essence of marriage lies in the fact that it is an alliance between man and woman which leads to procreation ensuring multiplication of human species.
Westermark, in the study of human marriage comments, “Marriage is a relation of one or more men and women which is recognized by custom or law and involves certain rights and duties both in the case of the parties entering the union and in the case of children born of it”.
A religion duty of Hindu marriage is an essential and sacred bond which involves ‘Dharma’, ‘Praja’ and ‘Rati’. And for a social duty is to have a children and biological urge fulfillment. Thus, ‘marriage’ is such an institution which has several meanings for different people of different societies.
The evolutionists who believe in unilinear evolution of human civilization claim that initially human society was a promiscuous one when sexual relation between man and woman was not fixed and restrained and gradually through the stages of ‘group marriage’, polyandry (a group of men married to one women) and polygyny (a man married to more than one women) man has reach the stage of monogamy (one man is married to one woman remaining loyal to their marital bonds.
Lowie pointed out that, promiscuity might have been practiced among the ancient men for certain period when they were yet to develop any formal norms for judging sexual behavior, but ‘group marriage’ as it is identified as the second stage in the evolution of marriage was not at all an accepted course of action even among the most primitive people.
It is very difficult to identify the sequential pattern of the development of human marriage into its present form, there was no unilinear direction or process. However, it can be acknowledged that at the earliest point of history the possibility of promiscuity cannot be denied as...