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