Honor has played a very important role in Mediterranean cultures. As a traditional social element based on verbally established pacts, it has guaranteed respect for and fulfillment of contracted obligations.
Although it is an individual who makes a pact, honor transcends the individual dimension to extend to the collective, to the family. Every person receives from birth a share of power that is closely intertwined with the honor of a family, to an extent that depends on the family hierarchy. For example, the first-born male and other men or women do not have the same share of honor. Similarly, the acts of an elder or patriarch of the family are not comparable in importance to those of a young man.
While it has traditionally been the adult male who has made pacts and agreements, honor belongs to the family as a whole, and everyone must care for it and pass it on to the next generation as a treasure. Thus each member of the family has his or her share of responsibility in ensuring that the honor of the family is preserved rather than tarnished.