Traditionally speaking, marital rights involve the rights of the husband to sexual relations with his wife. This definition is originally based on the traditions of a Christian marriage wherein the husband was the head of the household, and had control and management of household activities.
There are 2 components to marital rights, the first involving the husband’s right to have sex with his wife, and the second involving the husband’s control and management of household activities. The first condition is generally believed to be based on the idea that procreation is a necessary component of marriage. Thus, there is a necessity for a husband to have sex with his wife, the frequency of which is often a cause of disputes. The second component is due to the traditional role of the husband as the sole financial supporter of the family, and the emphasis that the Christian Bible places on men and the role they play as head of the family.
The first component, which refers to the right of the husband to have sex with his wife, often led to marital rape when exercised. When a wife is forced to have sex or sex is not consensual between a husband and a wife, marital rape occurs. This event can be considered a crime in most countries, but a normal occurrence in other countries.
Most Christian countries continue to institute these rights, while most Islamic countries institute a different set of marital rights. However, Islamic societies tend to give husbands, or men in general, more rights than they do wives or women.