Subject: Social Studies

Class: JS2

Topic: Marriage

Learning Objectives: By the end of this lesson, the learners should be able to:

  1. State the meaning of the term marriage
  2. State and explain the types if marriage in Nigeria society
  3. Identify the purposes of marriage
  4. Explain the role of marriage in socialization
  5. Identify the necessary conditions that must be met by intending couples before the marriage takes place
  6. State the problems associated with failure to fulfil the necessary conditions for marriage.

Marriage is the socially approved union between a man and a woman, or a man and women, which brings their families into a relationship that is arranged for the purpose of companionship, economic cooperation, childbearing, child-bearing and love.

Types Of Marriage

In Nigeria society, the following types of marriage are practiced:
(1) Monogamy: This is a marriage between one man and one woman, which makes it unlawful for either the man or the woman to be married to another person while the monogamous marriage is still legally recognised.
(2) Polygamy: This is a marriage between a man and two or more women at the same time.
(3) Widow Inheritance: In some Nigerian communities, widows are married off to the close male relative of their deceased husbands.

Purposes of Marriage

i. To provide a socially approved situation for physical intimacy or legitimate sexual relation.
ii. To provide a socially approved situation for child bearing
iii. To provide a socially approved situation for child rearing
iv. To provide emotional and psychological companionship for marriage partners.
v. To promote economic cooperation at the household level.
vi. To provide a situation for adult socialisation.
vii. To ensure that the society will always have a supply of members who are socially into it’s norms and value system.
viii. To declare a man’s or woman’s love for his/her partner publicly.

Role of Marriage in Socialisation

The role of marriage in the socialisation of the child is very important. First, it helps socialise the child into a proper kind of relationship that the child should have with the opposite sex and the socially approved situation in which the child can have this relationship. In this sense, marriage presents the child with a role model for fatherhood or motherhood that can be copied or improved upon in later life.
Marriage also teaches the child about the values of honesty, cooperation and concern for other people. By learning these lessons early, the child is able to extend it to non-members of his or her family the same values and behaviour he or she has acquired in the family setting.

Necessary Conditions for Marriage

Before a marriage can take place, certain conditions must be fulfilled or met by the people who are planning to get married. The couple must be:
i. Physically fit: This means that those who want to get married must have grown up physically. They must have come of age. They must be adults. Marriage is not for children. It is for people who are physically mature
ii. Psychologically stable: People who are planning to get married must be able to control their emotions or feelings. They must be able to understand their emotions and manage those emotions. They must be able to understand themselves, regulatebir control their action and attitude and know how to motivate themselves to take certain actions. Marriage is not for mentally unstable people. People who do not know how to manage their feelings cannot have a successful marriage relationship. Lunatics should not get married.
iii. Socially adjusted: Marriage involves being able to relate well with other people. Those who plan to be married must be able to understand the feelings of their partner or partners and show concern for them. They should know how to communicate and trust one another as well as show love and care for the entire family.
iv. Economically ready: The marriage partners must have a means of livelihood. At least one of them must be employed or have a means of generating income, so as to keep the home going or functioning. For the marriage to succeed, the partners must be able to provide for the upkeep of the home, send the children to school and plan for the future.

Problems Associated with not Fulfilling the Necessary Conditions for Marriage

If people go into marriage relationship without having fulfilled the necessary conditions for marriage, the following problems are likely to come up:
i. Lack of Care and Guidance: Children and youths need care and guidance. They need to be taken care of. If people are not adults or not mature physically, they cannot take care of themselves successfully and raise children.
ii. Disunity: Couples who are unable to understand each other’s or one another’s feelings and express their love cannot work together to build a successful home. There is bound to be disunity and an end to the marriage relationship, as there would not be cooperation in the home.
iii. Misunderstanding, Quarrelling and Fighting: Couples who cannot communicate well, trust each other and provide for the home financially will not have a peaceful home. They would fail to understand themselves and would constantly be quarrelling and fighting. Such a home is not ideal for raising children.
iv. Single Parenthood / Divorce: A marriage that takes place before these necessary conditions are fulfilled may end up in the breaking up it the relationship. The mother may end up bringing up the children alone without a father, as a result of a divorce. The children might grow up without a fatherly figure to caution them and curb their excesses.


Use the following questions to assess the progress of your learning.
1. What is marriage?
2. Mention the types of marriage practiced in Nigeria
3. What is the difference between monogamy and polygamy?
4. Why do people get married?
5. What are the necessary conditions that must be met before a person can be declared as being ready for marriage?
6. If these conditions are not met, what are the likely problems that may arise?

Were you able to answer those questions? Kudos!!

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