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It is the purpose of this article to consider adultery with reference only to morality.

The study of it, as more particularly affecting the bond of marriage, will be found under the head of DIVORCE. The discussion of adultery may be ordered under three general divisions: I. Nature of adultery; II. Its guilt; III. Obligations entailed upon the offenders.

Nature of adultery
Adultery is defined as carnal connection between a married person and one unmarried, or between a married person and the spouse of another. It is seen to differ from fornication in that it supposes the marriage of one or both of the agents. Nor is it necessary that this marriage be already consummated; it need only be what theologians call matrimonium ratum. Sexual commerce with one engaged to another does not, it is most generally held, constitute adultery. Again, adultery, as the definition declares, is committed in carnal intercourse. Nevertheless immodest actions indulged in between a married person and another not the lawful spouse, while not of the same degree of guilt, are of the same character of malice as adultery (Sanchez, De Mat., L. IX. Disp. XLVI, n. 17). It must be added, however, that St. Alphonsus Liguori, with most theologians, declares that even between lawful man and wife adultery is committed when their intercourse takes the form of sodomy (S. Liguori L. III, n. 446). Among savages generally adultery is rigorously condemned and punished. But it is condemned and punished only as a violation of the husband's rights. Among such peoples the wife is commonly reckoned as the property of her spouse, and adultery, therefore, is identified with theft. But it is theft of an aggravated kind, as the property which it would spoliate is more highly appraised than other chattels. So it is that in some parts of Africa the seducer is punished with the loss of one or both hands, as one who has perpetrated a robbery upon the husband (Reade, Savage Africa, p. 61). But it is not the seducer alone that suffers. Dire penalties are visited upon the offending wife by her wronged spouse; in many instances she is made to endure such a bodily mutilation as will, in the mind of the aggrieved husband, prevent her being thereafter a temptation to other men (Schoolcraft, Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States, I, 236; V, 683, 684, 686; also H.H. Bancroft, The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America, I, 514). If, however, the wronged husband could visit swift and terrible retribution upon the adulterous wife, the latter was allowed no cause against the unfaithful husband; and this discrimination found in the practices of savage peoples is moreover set forth in nearly all ancient codes of law. The Laws of Manu are striking on this point. In ancient India, "though destitute of virtue or seeking pleasure elsewhere, or devoid of good qualities, yet a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife"; on the other, hand, "if a wife, proud of the greatness of her relatives or [her own] excellence, violates the duty which she owes to her lord, the king shall cause her to be devoured by dogs in a place frequented by many" (Laws of Manu, V, 154; VIII, 371). In the Graeco-Roman world we find stringent laws against adultery, yet almost throughout they discriminate against the wife. The ancient idea that the wife was the property of the husband is still operative. The lending of wives practiced among some savages was, as Plutarch tells us,

encouraged also by Lycurgus, though, be it observed, from a motive other than that which actuated the savages (Plutarch, Lycurgus, XXIX). The recognized license of the Greek husband may be seen in the following passage of the Oration against Neaera, the author of which is uncertain, though it has been attributed to Demosthenes: "We keep mistresses for our pleasures, concubines for constant attendance, and wives to bear us legitimate children, and to be our faithful housekeepers. Yet, because of the wrong done to the husband only, the Athenian lawgiver Solon, allowed any man to kill an, adulterer whom he had taken in the act" (Plutarch, Solon). In the early Roman Law the jus tori belonged to the husband. There was, therefore, no such thing as the crime of adultery on the part of a husband towards his wife. Moreover, this crime was not committed unless one of the parties was a married woman (Dig., XLVIII, ad leg. Jul.). That the Roman husband often took advantage of his legal immunity is well known. Thus we are told by the historian Spartianus that Verus, the colleague of Marcus Aurelius, did not hesitate to declare to his reproaching wife: "Uxor enim dignitatis nomen est, non voluptatis." (Verus, V). Later on in Roman history, as the late William E.H. Lecky has shown the idea that the husband owed a fidelity like that demanded of the wife must have gained ground at least in theory. This Lecky gathers from the legal maxim of Ulpian: "It seems most unfair for a man to require from a wife the chastity he does not himself practice" (Cod. Just., Digest, XLVIII, 5-13; Lecky, History of European Morals, II, 313). In the Mosaic Law, as in the old Roman Law, adultery meant only the carnal intercourse of a wife with a man who was not her lawful husband. The intercourse of a married man with a single woman was not accounted adultery, but fornication. The penal statute on the subject, in Leviticus 20:10, makes this clear: "If any man commit adultery with the wife of another and defile his neighbor's wife let them be put to death both the adulterer and the adulteress." (See also Deuteronomy 22:22) This was quite in keeping with the prevailing practice of polygamy among the Israelites. In the Christian law this discrimination against the wife is emphatically repudiated. In the law of Jesus Christ regarding marriage the unfaithful husband loses his ancient immunity (Matthew 19:3-13). The obligation of mutual fidelity, incumbent upon husband as well as wife, is moreover implied in the notion of the Christian sacrament, in which is symbolized the ineffable and lasting union of the Heavenly Bridegroom and His unspotted Bride, the Church, St. Paul insists with emphasis upon the duty of equal mutual fidelity in both the marital partners (1 Corinthians 7:4); and several of the Fathers of the Church, as Tertullian (De Monogamia, cix), Lactantius (Divin. Instit., LVI, c. xxiii), St. Gregory Nazianzen (Oratio, xxxi), and St. Augustine (De Bono Conjugati, n. 4), have given clear expression to the same idea. But the notion that obligations of fidelity rested upon the husband the same as upon the wife is one that has not always found practical exemplification in the laws of Christian states. Despite the protests of Mr. Gladstone, the English Parliament passed, in 1857, a law by which a husband may obtain absolute divorce on account of simple adultery in his wife, while the latter can be freed from her adulterous husband only when his infidelity has been attended with such cruelty "as would have entitled her to a divorce a mens et toro." The same discrimination against the wife is found in some of our early New England colonies. Thus, in Massachusetts the adultery of the husband, unlike that of the wife, was not sufficient ground for divorce. And the same most likely was the case in Plymouth Plantation (Howard, A History of Matrimonial Institutions, II, 331-351). At

present, in our States there is not this discrimination, but divorce, when granted on the ground of adultery, is obtainable by the wife just as by the husband.

Guilt of adultery
We have referred to the severe punishment meted out to the adulterous woman and her seducer among savages. It is clear, however, that the severity of these penalties did not find their sanction in anything like an adequate idea of the guilt of this crime. In contrast with such rigour is the lofty benignity of Jesus Christ towards the one guilty of adultery (John 8:3, 4), a contrast as marked as that which exists between the Christian doctrine regarding the malice of this sin and the idea of its guilt which prevailed before the Christian era. In the early discipline of the Church we see reflected a sense of the enormity of adultery, though it must be admitted that the severity of this legislation, such as that, for instance, which we find in canons 8 and 47 of the Council of Elvira (c. 300), must be largely accounted for by the general harshness of the times. Considering now the act in itself, adultery, forbidden by the sixth commandment, has in it a twofold malice, In common with fornication it violates chastity, and it is, besides, a sin against justice. Drawing a distinction between these two elements of malice, certain casuists, early in the seventeenth century, declared that intercourse with a married woman, when her husband gave his consent, constituted not the sin of adultery, but of fornication. It would, therefore, they contended, be sufficient for the penitent, having committed this act, to accuse himself of the latter sin only in confession. At the instance of the Archbishop of Mechlin, the Academy of Louvain, in the year 1653, censured as false and erroneous the proposition: "Copula cum conjugata consentiente marito non est adulterium, adeoque sufficit in confessione dicere se esse fornicatum." The same proposition was condemned by Innocent XI, 2 March, 1679 (Denzinger, Enchir., p. 222, 5th ed.). The falsity of this doctrine appears from the very etymology of the word adultery, for the term signifies the going into the bed of another (St. Thom., II-II:154:8). And the consent of the husband is unavailing to strip the act by which another has intercourse with his wife of this essential characterization. Again, the right of the husband over his wife is qualified by the good of human generation. This good regards not only the birth, but the nourishment and education, of offspring, and its postulates cannot in any way be affected by the consent of parents. Such consent, therefore, as subversive of the good of human generation, becomes juridically void. It cannot, therefore, be adduced as a ground for the doctrine set forth in the condemned proposition above mentioned. For the legal axiom that an injury is not done to one who knows and wills it (scienti et volenti non fit injuria) finds no place when the consent is thus vitiated. But it may be contended that the consent of the husband lessens the enormity of adultery to the extent that whereas, ordinarily, there is a double malice that against the good of human generation and that against the private rights of the husband with the consent of the latter there is only the first-named malice; hence, one having had carnal intercourse with another's wife, her husband consenting, should in confession declare the circumstance of this permission that he may not accuse himself of that of which he is not guilty: In answer to this, it must be said that the injury offered the husband in adultery is done him not as a private individual but as a member of a marital society, upon whom it is incumbent to consult the good of the prospective child. As such, his consent does not avail to take away the malice of which it is question. Whence it follows that there is no obligation to reveal the fact of his consent in the case we have supposed

(Viva, Damnatae Theses, 318). And here it may be observed that the consenting husband may be understood to have renounced his right to any restitution. The question has been discussed, whether in adultery committed with a Christian, as distinct from that committed with a Pagan, there would be special malice against the sacrament constituting a sin against religion. Though some theologians have held that such would be the case, it should be said, with Viva, that the fact that the sinful person was a Christian would create an aggravating circumstance only, which would not call for specification in confession. It need hardly be said that when the parties to adultery are both married the sin is more grievous than when one of them is single. Nor is it sufficient for a married person whose guilty partner in this act was also married to declare in confession the fact simply of having committed adultery. The circumstance that both parties to the sin were married is one that must be made known. Again the adulterer in his confession must specify whether, as married, he violated his own marriage pledge or; as single he brought about the violation of the marriage pledge of another. Finally, it is to be observed that in case only one of the parties to adultery is married, a more heinous sin is committed when the married person is the woman than when she is the unmarried agent. For in the former instance the due process of generation is not infrequently interfered with, to the injury of the lawful husband; moreover, uncertainty of parentage may result, and even a false heir may be imposed upon the family. Such a distinction as is here remarked, therefore, calls for specification in the confessional.

Obligations entailed upon the offenders

As we have seen, the sin of adultery implies an act of injustice. This is committed against the lawful spouse of the adulterer or adulteress. By the adultery of a wife, besides the injury done the husband by her infidelity, a spurious child may be born which he may think himself bound to sustain, and which may perhaps become his heir. For the injury suffered in the unfaithfulness of his wife restitution must be made to the husband, should he become apprised of the crime. Nor is the obligation of this restitution ordinarily discharged by an award of money. A more commensurate reparation, when possible, is to be offered. Whenever it is certain that the offspring is illegitimate, and when the adulterer has employed violence to make the woman sin, he is bound to refund the expenses incurred by the putative father in the support of the spurious child, and to make restitution for any inheritance which this child may receive. In case he did not employ violence, there being on his part but a simple concurrence, then, according to the more probable opinion of theologians, the adulterer and adulteress are equally bound to the restitution just described. Even when one has moved the other to sin both are bound to restitution, though most theologians say that the obligation is more immediately pressing upon the one who induced the other to sin. When it is not sure that the offspring is illegitimate the common opinion of theologians is that the sinful parties are not bound to restitution. As for the adulterous mother, in case she cannot secretly undo the injustice resulting from the presence of her illegitimate child, she is not obliged to reveal her sin either to her husband or to her spurious offspring, unless the evil which the good name of the mother might sustain is less than that which would inevitably come from her failure to make such a revelation. Again, in case there would not be the danger of infamy, she would be held to reveal her sin when she could reasonably hope that such a

manifestation would be productive of good results. This kind of issue, however, would be necessarily rare.
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Look up adultery in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Adultery (also called philandery) is sexual infidelity to one's spouse, and is a form of extramarital sex. It originally referred only to sex between a woman who was married and a person other than her spouse.[1] Even in cases of separation from one's spouse, an extramarital affair is still considered adultery. Adultery is illegal in some jurisdictions. The interaction between laws on adultery with those on rape has and does pose particular problems in societies that are especially sensitive to sexual relations by a married woman and men.[2] The difference between the offenses is that adultery is voluntary, while rape is not.

The term adultery has an Abrahamic origin, though the concept predates Judaism and is found in many other societies. Though the definition and consequences vary between religions, cultures, and legal jurisdictions, the concept is similar in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Hinduism also has a similar concept.[3] Historically, adultery has been considered to be a serious offense by many cultures. Even in jurisdictions where adultery is not itself a criminal offense, it may still have legal consequences, particularly in divorce cases. For example, where there is fault-based family law, it almost always constitutes grounds for divorce, it may be a factor to consider in a property settlement, it may affect the status of children, the custody of children, etc. Moreover, adultery can result in social ostracism in some parts of the world. Three recent studies in the United States, using nationally representative samples, have found that about 1015% of women and 2025% of men admitted to having engaged in extramarital sex.[4][5][6]


1 Etymology 2 Definitions 3 Prevalence o 3.1 United States 4 Cultural and religious traditions o 4.1 Ancient China o 4.2 Greco-Roman world o 4.3 Abrahamic religions 4.3.1 Biblical sources 4.3.2 Christianity 4.3.3 Rabbinic Judaism 4.3.4 Islam o 4.4 Other historical practices 5 Consequences o 5.1 Criminal penalties 5.1.1 Asia 5.1.2 Europe 5.1.3 United States o 5.2 Other consequences 6 Violence o 6.1 Honor killings o 6.2 Stoning 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading

[edit] Etymology
Le supplice des adultres by Jules Arsene Garnier Adultery comes through Middle English from the Old French adultere, in turn from Latin adulterium from Latin adulter, "adulterer," related to the verb adulterre, adultert- which means "to pollute." [7] Adulterare is formed by the combination of ad ("towards"), and alter ("other"), together with the infinitive form are (making it a verb). Thus the meaning could be: "to make other".[dubious discuss] Or :"ad-alteram (ire)" = 'to go to a (female!) other'.[citation needed] The application of the term to the act appears to arise from the idea that "criminal intercourse with a married woman ... tended to adulterate the issue [children] of an innocent husband ... and to expose him to support and provide for another man's [children]".[8] Thus, the "purity" of the children of a marriage is corrupted, and the inheritance is altered. The law often uses the word "adulterate[d]" to describe contamination of food and the like.[9]

[edit] Definitions
In the traditional English common law, adultery was a felony. Although the legal definition of "adultery" differs in nearly every legal system, the common theme is sexual relations outside of marriage, in one form or another. For example, New York defines an adulterer as a person who "engages in sexual intercourse with another person at a time when he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse."[10] North Carolina defines adultery as occurring when any man and woman "lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed, and cohabit together."[11] Minnesota law provides: "when a married woman has sexual intercourse with a man other than her husband, whether married or not, both are guilty of adultery."[12] As recently as 2001, Virginia prosecuted an attorney, John R. Bushey of Luray, for adultery, a case that ended in a guilty plea and a $125 fine.[13][14] Adultery is against the governing law of the U.S. military.[15] In common-law countries, adultery was also known as "criminal conversation". This became the name of the civil tort arising from adultery, being based upon compensation for the other spouse's injury.[16] Criminal conversation was usually referred to by lawyers as "crim. con.", and was abolished in England in 1857, and the Republic of Ireland in 1976. Another tort, alienation of affection, arises when one spouse deserts the other for a third person.[17] This act was also known as desertion, which was often a crime as well.[18] A small number of jurisdictions still allow suits for criminal conversation and/or alienation of affection.[19] Because of its abuse, at least one jurisdiction (Nevada) has abolished the tort of alienation of affection and has made it a misdemeanor crime to file such a lawsuit.

A marriage in which both spouses agree to accept sexual relations by either partner with another person is a form of nonmonogamy, and the spouses would not treat the sexual relations as adultery, although it could still be considered a crime in some legal jurisdictions. In Canada, though the written definition in the Divorce Act refers to extramarital relations with someone of the opposite sex, a British Columbia judge used the Civil Marriage Act in a 2005 case to grant a woman a divorce from her husband who had cheated on her with another man, which the judge felt was equal reasoning to dissolve the union
Christianity See also: Christian views on marriage, Christian views on divorce, and Pauline privilege

Adultery is considered by many Christians to be immoral and a sin, based primarily on passages like 1 Corinthians 6:910. Although 1 Corinthians 6:11 does say that "and that is what some of you were. But you were washed", it still acknowledges adultery to be immoral and a sin. The sixth commandment (seventh in some traditions) ("Thou shalt not commit adultery") is also a basis, but see also Biblical law in Christianity. Jesus taught that indulgence in adulterous thoughts could be just as harmful to the soul as actual adultery, and it is clear that both carry the same weight of guilt:
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

and he also says

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.(Matthew 5:32)

Some churches have interpreted adultery to include all sexual relationships outside of marriage, regardless of the marital status of the participants.[36]
[edit] Rabbinic Judaism

Adultery in traditional Judaism applies equally to both parties, but depends on the marital status of the woman (Lev. 20:10). Though the Torah prescribes the death penalty for adultery, the legal procedural requirements were very exacting and required the testimony of two witnesses of good character for conviction. The defendant also must have been warned immediately before performing the act.[37] At the civil level, however, Jewish law (halakha) forbids a man to continue living with an adulterous wife, and he is obliged to divorce her. Also, an adulteress is not permitted to marry the adulterer, but, to avoid any doubt as to her status as being free to marry

another or that of her children, many authorities say he must give her a divorce as if they were married.[38] Also, Jewish law recognizes the "law of the land" in these matters, so that if the law of the land has greater restrictions, then they will also apply.[citation needed] According to Judaism, the Seven laws of Noah apply to all of humankind; these laws prohibit adultery with another man's wife.[39]

Adultery is a consensual physical relationship between a married woman and a man who is not her spouse. Adultery is also known as extra-marital affair or infidelity and is considered a sin in almost all the religions. The definition and chastisement for adultery may differ in different religious conviction, civilizations and legal systems but the basic theme remains the same and points towards betrayal and violation of nuptial promises. Thou shalt not commit adultery says the seventh commandment. The Old Testament states, He who commits adultery has no sense and whoever does so destroys himself. According to Lord Jesus indulging in adulterous feelings is equally detrimental to the soul as a real act of infidelity and both bear the same credence. He said, But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Adultery is firmly banned by Christianity and has been branded as impure, licentious, blasphemous, capricious and a vile lust by all Prophets. It is acknowledged to be immoral and a offense by true Christians even today and there are few churches which construe adultery to include all sexual liaison outside of matrimony, regardless of the marital status of the people involved. Christianity also forbids all types of unnatural sexual

correlations, including homosexuality of men and women and the Bible doesnt consider such marriages valid. Committing an adulterous act is considered equivalent to a murder and the adulterer becomes a transgressor to the law if he commits adultery. Marriage is regarded as highly sacred amongst Christians and according to the Old Testament:Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and the adulterous. Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her and If a woman divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery. And the man that committeth adultery with another mans wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbors wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. says the KJV New testament. This statement clearly proves that adultery is considered sinful in Christianity too and both the individuals involved in an adulterous act must be punished and that even death. Adultery is a treacherous act and people must try to avoid it in all circumstances. All relationships go through various phases and if your marital partner is unable to satisfy your needs, you must try & talk it out rather than finding someone else with better compatibility because again that may be temporary and soon youll realize your folly. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman and this institution has been formed to instill harmony & peace in life. A couple grows together, create a life together, experience the ups and downs of life and cherish several pretty moments together but adultery, if creeps inside marriage interferes with the natural development of a relationship. Lack of commitment by one partner who looks for

excitement outside marriage rather than creating it with their partner destroys the sanctity of marriage and breaches marital vows. Biblically, adultery is the willful and destructive desecration of the prime, eternalness and sincerity of marriage.