When brothers share a wife, it is called polygamy. Polygamy is the practice of having more than one husband or wife. It is legal in many countries, but not all.
Polygamy can be beneficial for population growth. In countries where polygamy is legal, the population often grows faster than in countries where it is not. This is because each wife can have more children when she is married to more than one man.
Polyandry, which is when a woman has more than one husband, is less common than polygamy. This is because polyandry can lead to jealousy and conflict between the husbands. However, some cultures believe that polyandry is better for women because it allows them to have more than one husband to protect them.
Goldstein’s article is about the relationship between the domestic group, which comprises those who dwell in a single household, and the family unit, or people who see themselves as relatives, in a Tibetan community near Limi, Nepal. In addition to tradition and consanguinity, economic motives are cited for polygyny – the taking of more than one wife by a single guy – in Goldstein’s essay.
The brothers in these families feel that by sharing wives, they are more likely to be able to produce enough children to support them in their old age. Not only does this provide for the material needs of the family, but it also ensures that there will always be someone to perform rituals and tend to the ancestor worship that is so important in Tibetan society.
While polygyny is the most common form of polygamy, polyandry – the taking of more than one husband by a single woman – also exists in Limi, though it is far less common. In cases of polyandry, it is usually sororal sisters who marry the same man. Occasionally, first cousins will also marry the same man in order to keep property within the family.
While the practice of polygamy may seem to be at odds with the modern world, it is actually quite common in many parts of the world. In fact, according to a recent study, more than one in five people live in a polygamous household. So while it may not be the norm in the West, it is certainly a part of life for many people around the globe.
Since the subsistence economy demands a lot of time, a man establishing a monogamous family would find it difficult if not impossible to farm, manage the cattle, and fulfill his husband responsibilities. The practice is compared to the previous Western custom of primogeniture, or land passed down from father to eldest son, which was done up until recently.
The brothers living together ensures that the farm or other enterprise is properly maintained, and that there are always men to defend the settlement.
In areas of high population density, like China and Japan, where land is scarce, polyandry has been practiced for centuries as a way to keep property within the family. A woman might have two or more husbands, who would live together in the same household and share the responsibilities of child-rearing and providing for the family. The practice is less common now than it was in the past, but it does still occur in some parts of China and Tibet.
While polygamy (one man with multiple wives) is more commonly known about and practiced in many cultures around the world, polyandry (one woman with multiple husbands) is actually more likely to be found in areas of high population density. In these cases, land or property scarcity makes it beneficial for one woman to marry multiple men who can pool their resources and work together to maintain the household and raise children.
While the practice of polygamy is typically associated with religion, the motivations for polyandry are usually more practical. In fact, many cultures that practice polygamy also have a history of polyandry. For example, in Tibet, both polygamy and polyandry were practiced until the 1950s when the Chinese government banned the practice of polygamy. However, polyandry was still prevalent in some parts of Tibet up until the 1980s.
The reasons for the decline of polyandry in Tibet are likely due to the Chinese government’s policies, as well as modernization and increased access to birth control. However, the practice of polyandry is still found in some parts of China, as well as in other countries like Nepal, Kenya, and Nigeria.
Polyandry can take many different forms, but all involve one woman married to multiple men. The most common type of polyandry is fraternal polyandry, where two or more brothers are married to the same woman. Fraternal polyandry was once practiced by the ancient Egyptians and Hebrews, and is still practiced by some groups in India, Africa, and Polynesia.
Another type of polyandry is sororal polyandry, where two or more sisters are married to the same man. This type of polyandry is less common than fraternal polyandry, but is still practiced in some parts of India, Africa, and Polynesia.
A third type of polyandry is non-fraternal polyandry, where a woman is married to multiple men who are not related to each other. Non-fraternal polyandry is the most rare form of polyandry, and is only found in a few cultures around the world.
Polyandry has a number of benefits for women, especially in cultures where land is scarce. By marrying multiple men, a woman can pool her resources and have more security financially. She also has more support in terms of child-rearing and household chores.
Polyandry also has some disadvantages for women, especially in cultures where polygamy is the norm. Polyandrous women may have difficulty finding husbands if there are not enough men to go around. They may also face discrimination from other women who are jealous of their multiple husbands.
Polyandry is a practice that has a long history in many parts of the world. It is usually motivated by practical considerations, rather than religious beliefs. While it does have some advantages for women, it also has some disadvantages. In recent years, the practice of polyandry has declined in many parts of the world as access to birth control and modernization have increased.