Posted: August 12th, 2013
THESIS STATEMENT: Polygamy has both positive and negative aspects and in today’s contemporary world, the detriments of being in a polygamous relationship far outweigh the benefits (Zeitzen, 35).
- I. Introduction
- Polygamy is the state of having more than one spouse where a relationship with a woman with more than one husband it is referred to as polyandry and a relationship where a man with has than one wife is known as polygyny (Deng, 2).
- Many cultures ascribe to polygamous relationships either due to the nature of their culture or for religious reasons (Lankford, 25).
- Acceptance toward people in polygamous relationships varies where in some countries it is strictly outlawed and in some is at the very least, tolerated.
- II. Polygyny
- By far the most common form of polygamy in the world is polygyny and except in the Islamic faith is not considered a religious obligation but rather a social practice (Zeitzen, 56).
- In most cultures, the practice of polyandry granted the man a higher social standing, a sense of prestige due to his direct control over a given number of people and a larger number of sexual partners the more wives he had.
- Women in polygamous relationships are more likely to suffer psychologically
- i. probably as a result of all the friction from other partners
- ii. Possibly, due to the aspects of competition for acceptance not to mention the risk of disease associated with multiple partners.
- III. Polyandry
- Polyandry, though not as common, has been known to happen most notably with some communities residing in the Himalayas (Parmar, 9) and some parts of Tibet (Levine, 13).
- Polyandry took hold as a means of controlling populations that were getting out of control, and in order to keep property within a particular lineage
- i. As such, instances of polyandry are usually with the husbands being related as either brothers or maybe cousins.
- Polyandry has different effect than does polygyny,
- i. women with multiple husbands are not accorded a higher social status as happens with polygyny
- ii. It is simply taken as a necessity to the circumstances of the participants.
- IV. Social and economic reasons of polygamy
- Social reasons
- i. Where the ratio of one gender outweighs that of another, as is seen in many cultures where the ratio of women is higher than that of men; this poses a problem to which the solution seemingly is polygamy (Quiñones, 20).
- ii. Further, it has been posited that in societies with unduly high numbers of an unmarried population, social problems such as prostitution would be rampant.
- i. Societies where instances of polygamy are extensive resources are usually stretched thin thus leaving the only option to be to marry in order to uplift ones economic status (Zeitzen, 46).
- V. Problems leading to polygamist relationships over monogamous ones
- Increase in crime rate and
- Increase in forms of social delinquency such as alcoholism and substance abuse due to the stresses involved in such a relationship (Shahd, 40).
- Children from polygamous problems suffer psychologically with lower test scores recorded in children from these households.
- i. Girls are also subject to greater suffering since they go through abuses such as incest and other forms of abuse from fellow siblings.
- VI. Conclusion
- In the contemporary world, the cohabitation of a person with more than one person is not ideal
- It is a recipe for resentment and is unlikely to bring one true happiness