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Discuss the Differences Between Polygyny and Polyandry as Forms of Marriage. - Sociology

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Answer in Brief

Discuss the differences between polygyny and polyandry as forms of marriage.

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Polygyny: This is a form of marriage in which a man marries more than one woman. Polygyny as a polygamous form of marriage that is more popular than polyandry.

Polygyny may be of the following types :

  • Sororal polygyny: In this type of polygyny, the man marries a number of women simultaneously who are sisters.
  • Non-sororal polygyny: In this type, the several wives of the man are not related as sisters of each other.

Causes of polygyny may include the following :

  • When there are a number of females as compared to the males.
  • When women contribute economically to the family.
  • Sometimes the first wife may force the husband to bring in a second wife to reduce her workload at home.
  • The childlessness of the first wife can lead to the addition of a second wife into the family.

Polyandry: In this type of marriage one woman is married to several men at the same time.

Polyandry may be of the following types :

  • Fraternal: When several brothers are married to the same woman.
  • Non-fraternal: When the several husbands of the woman need not be related as brothers. However, both of these types of polyandry should not be confused with ‘wife sharing’ or ‘wife-lending’.

Causes for polyandry may include the following :

  • Scarcity of women.
  • Heavy bride price.
  • Poverty and sterility of men
Concept: Kinship and Marriage: Many Rules and Varied Practices
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