Marriage is the process by which a man and
woman enter into a complete physical, legal
and moral union. The natural object of marriage
is the complete community of life for the establishment
of a family.
THE MARRIAGEABLE AGE AND ADAPTATION
At twenty-four the male body attains its complete
development; and twenty-five is a proper age for the
young man to marry. Romantic love, personal
affection on a basis of congeniality, mutual adaptation,
a similar social sphere of life, should determine
his choice. Nature and custom indicate that the
husband should be somewhat older than the wife.
MEN WHO SHOULD NOT MARRY
Men suffering with diseases which may be communicated
by contagion or heredity should not
marry. These diseases include: tuberculosis, syphilis,
cancer, leprosy, epilepsy and some nervous disorders,
some skin diseases and insanity. A worn-out
rake has no business to marry, since marriage is not
a hospital for the treatment of disease, or a reformatory
institution for moral lepers. Those having a
marked tendency to disease must not marry those
of similar tendency. The marriage of cousins is not
to be advocated. The blood relation tends to bring
together persons with similar morbid tendencies.
Where both are healthy, however, there seems to be
no special liability to mental incompetency, though
such marriages are accused of producing defective
or idiot children. Men suffering from congenital
defects should not marry. Natural blindness, deafness,
muteness, and congenital deformities of limb
are more or less likely to be passed on to their children.
There are cases of natural blindness, though,
to which this rule does not apply. Criminals, alcoholics,
and persons disproportionate in size should
not marry. In the last-mentioned, lack of mutual
physical adaptability may produce much unhappiness,
especially on the part of the wife. Serious
local disease, sterility, and great risk in childbirth
may result. Disparity of years, disparity of race, a
poverty which will not permit the proper raising of
children, undesirable moral character are all good
reasons for not marrying.
MEDICAL EXAMINATION BEFORE MARRIAGE
Medical examination as a preliminary to marriage
is practically more valuable than a marriage license.
Since many entirely innocent young girls to-day
suffer from disease, incurred either through hereditary
or accidental infection, a would-be husband
may be said to be quite as much entitled to protection
as his bride-to-be. Prohibitive physical defects
are also discovered in this connection.