In most of the world's nonindustrial societies, marriage means a change of residence for the bride but not the groom. For example, in parts of India, the young bride must leave her family and the village where she has spent her entire life to take up residence in a distant community, among people she has never seen before. On the other hand, in some Near Eastern societies, in which the fathers of the bride and groom are brothers, the bride's move to her husband's parents' home may just be a move across the neighborhood or even merely across the courtyard. Mernissi (1987) reports that Moroccan women and their families prefer such a marriage within the neighborhood, to insure that a wife will not be beaten and mistreated. Similarly, Chagnon (1977) reports that women among the Yanomamo prefer a marriage with a man of their own village, to reduce the severity of the beatings that all wives regularly receive. The dark side of the transition at marriage, wife abuse, has only recently been the focus of an ethnography (McClusky, 2001) or explored cross-culturally (Counts, Brown, & Campbell, 1999; Harvey & Gow, 1994; Sev'er, 1997). Wife-beating appears to be virtually universal (Erchak & Rosenfeld, 1994), yet the vulnerability of wives varies in different societies from those in which the abuse of wives is rare to those in which it is frequent and brutal (Brown, 1999).
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