Attainment of Adulthood

A boy (pisar) becomes a man (mard) through marriage and initiation into sexuality. In order to marry, he must be old enough to be earning money to support a family. He or his family must have gathered the money to provide gifts to the intended wife and her family as well as to give the bride's father a mehriyeh or brideprice. Likewise, a girl (dokhtar) becomes a woman (zan) through marriage and initiation into sexual activity. In order to be eligible for marriage, or at least before consummation of marriage, a girl must have gone through menarche and thus be able to produce offspring. Part of the preparation of a bride included removal of her body hair, marking her transition from a girl to a sexually active woman. Although customs differ greatly among ethnic, tribal, and religious groups, class, settlement size, and age groups, changes in hair style sometimes mark married women. For example, Kurdish women cut some hair on both sides to frame the face after marriage. In Iran, women have long worn eye make-up (kohl), and with westernization, began to use other types of make-up, particularly for brides. After marriage, a man is expected to act responsibly and support his wife and children. Men should make sure that their wives and children are respectful to them and careful about family reputation. Married females should industriously clean house, cook, and wait on their husbands and husbands' parents, particularly if they live with them. Until several decades ago, males interacted with males and females with females. People did not expect marriages necessarily to be companionate, but rather a household and children-producing team. Now, even females may find careers, postponing marriage, and receive respect from others.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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