The state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law – this was the original Merriam-Webster definition of marriage. The state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage – this is the revised and added second definition of marriage. With times changing and ideas that were once taboo becoming integrated into society, how long will it be before non-human marriage is appended to these definitions? With the advent of technology and increasingly expanding definitions of what love and marriage can entail this abstract topic seems to be closer in sight than it seems. Through both virtual and physical manifestations these marriages are being made possible by the human component. This can take the form of physical proposal to a virtual character that is witnessed by both online viewers and live friends or family similar to a common proposal today. In addition the receipt of a marriage certificate from an online marriage website can be obtained but the legality of this is in question.
When a person marries a video game character or robot it is difficult to see how the theory of Structuralism and binary oppositions would apply in this situation. But while the male-female binary opposition is lost in the somewhat confusing realm of technology, new ones appear like human-nonhuman or living-nonliving. The joining of a human and non-human challenges all of the traditional theories surrounding marriage such as bride wealth or dowry, exogamy or endogamy, monogamy or polygamy. It is questionable as to whether these even apply to non-human. It even challenges the entire societal structure of marriage. While Structuralists can find binary oppositions like the ones mentioned to analyze, the question still remains as to whether these binary oppositions are actually mutually constitutive. Technically human and non-human would be, but humans exist without the presence of virtual, robotic and other human-like variations. The originators of Structuralism were not in the presence of this wave of technology so it was not an issue. It raises questions that some modern Structuralists would have a hard time answering.
As technology progresses and these human-like variations become increasingly available and realistic, definitions of sexuality and gender might be made to exclude such things or integrate them. So as a result of that, Feminist Anthropologists may see another wave that concerns how this new gender or form of sexuality is treated and received by society. There may be a return to study of how gender is constructed culturally in order to see what effect, if any, these new genders have on the culture of a place. Also whether or not there will be a shift in the definition of gender or whether they will be treated like the other ignored gender forms. Feminist Anthropologists will need to ask if there are inequalities in their treatment or what, if any, hierarchies are formed.
— Chris I.