Polygamy: Group Marriage

Topics: Marriage, Polygamy, Monogamy Pages: 7 (2430 words) Published: March 4, 2013
Polygamy (from πολύς γάμος polys gamos, translated literally in Late Greek as "many married")[1] is a marriage which includes more than two partners.[1] When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, the relationship is called polygyny, and there is no marriage bond between the wives; and when a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called polyandry, and there is no marriage bond between the husbands. If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it can be called group marriage.[1] The term is used in related ways in social anthropology, sociobiology, sociology, as well as in popular speech. In social anthropology, polygamy is the practice of a person's making him/herself available for two or more spouses to mate with. In contrast, monogamy is a marriage consisting of only two parties. Like monogamy, the term is often used in a de facto sense, applying regardless of whether the relationships are recognized by the state (see marriage for a discussion on the extent to which states can and do recognize potentially and actually polygamous forms as valid). In sociobiology and zoology, polygamy is used in a broad sense to mean any form of multiple mating. -------------------------------------------------

Forms of polygamy
Polygamy exists in three specific forms: polygyny - wherein a man has multiple simultaneous wives;[2] polyandry - wherein a woman has multiple simultaneous husbands; or group marriage - wherein the family unit consists of multiple husbands and multiple wives. Historically, all three practices have been found, but polygyny is by far the most common.[3] Ambiguity arises when the broad term "polygamy" is used when a specific form of polygamy is being referred to. Additionally, different countries may or may not include all forms in their laws on polygamy. [edit]Polyandry

Main article: Polyandry
Polyandry is a practice wherein a woman has more than one husband at the same time. Fraternal polyandry was traditionally practiced among nomadicTibetans in Nepal, parts of China and part of northern India, in which two or more brothers are married to the same wife, with the wife having equal 'sexual access' to them. The Indian epic the Mahabharata includes the polyandrous marriage of Draupadi to the five Pandava brothers. Polyandry is believed to be more likely in societies with scarce environmental resources, as it is believed to limit human population growth and enhance child survival.[4] It is a rare form of marriage that exists not only among poor families, but also the elite.[5] [edit]Group marriage

Main article: Group marriage
Group marriage is a marriage wherein the family unit consists of more than two partners, any of whom share parental responsibility for any children arising from the marriage.[6] Group marriage is a form of non-monogamy and polyamory. -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Patterns of occurrence worldwide
According to the Ethnographic Atlas Codebook, of 1,231 societies noted, 186 were monogamous. 453 had occasional polygyny, 588 had more frequent polygyny, and 4 had polyandry.[3] At the same time, even within societies which allow polygyny, the actual practice of polygyny occurs relatively rarely. There are exceptions: in Senegal, for example, nearly 47 percent of marriages are multiple.[7] To take on more than one wife often requires considerable resources: this may put polygamy beyond the means[citation needed] of the vast majority of people within those societies. Such appears the case in many traditionalIslamic societies, and in Imperial China. Within polygynous societies, multiple wives often become a status symbol denoting wealth, power, and fame. -------------------------------------------------

In Buddhism, marriage is not a sacrament. It is purely a secular affair and the monks do not participate in it, though in some sects priests and monks do marry. Hence it receives no religious...
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