chapter  11
Partnership and marriage
Pages 12

It might seem rather odd to include a chapter on marriage in a book on human development, even when the title is prefaced by the less formal term ‘partnership’. After all, the social institution of marriage has been criticized for impeding the development of women. It has been charged with obstructing social change by representing values and practices that belong to another age. Most tellingly, it can seem to have questionable relevance when people are increasingly choosing not to marry, and to divorce when they do marry. It’s as if we echo Mae West’s sentiment that marriage might be a great institution for other people (and those who do marry tend to celebrate in style by spending a fortune on weddings), but we ourselves are not yet ready for an institution and may never be.