Polygyny, the practice of one man being married to multiple wives at the same . and cultural factors associated with the contextual prevalence of polygyny, and and if so, to provide detailed information on each live birth (e.g., date of birth. sex ratio (OSR) is a significant determinant of polyandry across a wide variety of . are poor, or marriage can only be realized at a future date, or if the child is un imbalanced sex ratio, high rates of polygyny, or other factors) and strategizing . polygamy, to polygyny; and when one does so apply it he .. determinant of the conjugal relationship of brothers also serves as an up-to-date handbook.
We use data from Demographic and Health Surveys DHS to estimate a series of multilevel discrete-time hazard models amongchildren in subnational regions in 29 sub-Saharan African countries. Our findings suggest that known relationships between family structure and child wellbeing vary according to the broader marital and cultural context. Although the practice is declining worldwide, it remains particularly resilient in parts of sub-Saharan Africa Van de Walle Research on the implications of polygyny for children, in particular, demonstrates that children in polygynous families experience significant health and survival disadvantages Amey ; Gage ; Gibson and Mace ; Gyimah ; Hadley ; Omariba and Boyle ; Strassman Why do children in polygynous unions experience health disadvantages compared to their peers in monogamous families?
The principal hypothesis for the polygyny-child health disadvantage is resource dilution Desai But empirical support for the resource dilution hypothesis is mixed. Polygynous children in Ethiopia and Tanzania, for example, experience poorer nutritional outcomes Hadley ; Sellen ; however in other contexts, there is no meaningful difference in nutritional status by family structure Desai ; Strassman A third explanation argues that gender asymmetry is especially acute in polygynous families, reflecting gender inequalities and power differentials within the household Bove and Valeggia ; Zeitzen that have negative consequences for child health and survival Kravdal Polygynous Contexts and Infant Mortality The demographic literature on polygyny and child health has focused exclusively on the consequences for those children who live in polygynous families; however, anthropological and sociological research on polygynous groups concurs that the practice is more than an individual family structure—widespread polygyny represents a unique cultural environment and a distinct approach to marriage, family, and reproduction Bradley ; Hayase and Liaw ; Tobias First, the association may be spurious: Second, if widespread polygyny reflects accentuated institutionalized gender inequalities Agadjanian and Ezeh ; Goody ; White and Burtonthe broader cultural milieu may produce a direct association between the contextual prevalence of polygyny and infant mortality Bose ; Kravdal Polygyny is most widespread in rural, agrarian areas of sub-Saharan Africa Boserup ; Jacoby ; Kishor and Neitzel Existing research shows that children in least developed, rural settings experience severe health disadvantages Benefo and Schultz ; Fotso ; Sastry ; Van de Poel, O'Donnell, and Van Doorslaer ; thus, highly polygynous settings may feature high levels of infant mortality simply because of these other shared characteristics.
From this perspective, the contextual prevalence of polygyny may, indeed, be correlated with infant mortality, but the association should be fully explained by the absence of socioeconomic development that characterizes these primarily rural areas. A second line of reasoning posits that the contextual prevalence of polygyny could be related to infant mortality through the gender inequality widespread polygyny reflects. Highly polygynous settings are typically patrilineal and patrilocal Goody ; Lesthaeghe ; White and Burtonwherein the dominant marital, lineage, and residential customs reflect a broader system of social stratification that privileges men—particularly older men Zeitzen Highly polygynous settings in sub-Saharan Africa feature greater acceptance of domestic violence and preference for sons across both monogamous and polygynous unions Cahu, Falilou, and Pongouoffering further evidence that polygyny is bound up with gendered attitudes that are deeply embedded in the local culture and more widespread than the practice itself.
Combined with evidence that children in communities where women lack social status and power experience acute health disadvantages Bose ; Kravdalwidespread polygyny may reflect gender inequalities that exacerbate the risk of infant mortality.
Related to gender inequality, the distinctive gender relations that characterize highly polygynous settings may further lead to an association with infant mortality by, for example, discouraging paternal involvement and investment in children. According to Caldwell and Caldwellpolygyny is often associated with men maintaining financial and social distance from their wives and children. This creates separation between mothers and fathers, illustrated by the fact that women in highly polygynous settings—regardless of their own family structure—are less likely to discuss reproductive decisions with their husbands than are wives in settings where polygyny is rare Agadjanian and Ezeh Polygynous Contexts and Elevated Infant Mortality for Polygynous Families Beyond elevating infant mortality across all family structures, the contextual prevalence of polygyny may accentuate the known survival gap between infants in polygynous versus monogamous families.
There are at least two reasons to expect the risk associated with living in a polygynous family compared to a monogamous family to be exacerbated where the practice is widespread. The first relates to how the family structure differs as a function of the marital and gender context. In settings where polygyny is uncommon, families engaged in the practice tend to resemble their monogamous counterparts Kilbride and Kilbride In other words, the negative beliefs about and taboos associated with the practice Gwako could lead polygynous families to adapt consciously or subconsciously a cultural approach to marriage, family, and childrearing that mirrors the overwhelmingly monogamous local context.
Furthermore, qualitative work finds that where the practice is rare, polygynously married women expect to be more involved in marital decisions than their polygynously married counterparts in contexts where the practice is widespread Agadjanian and Ezeh Just as the marital context influences how families practice polygyny, it may likewise influence the associated infant mortality disadvantage.
Conversely, although we expect the broad-based gender inequality reflected in polygynous culture to elevate infant mortality for all families, its customary and normative strength may be associated with intensified gendered hierarchies within polygynous families in particular Nyblade and Menken ; Zeitzen Thus, the prevalence of polygyny and its accompanying characteristics may exacerbate the survival disadvantage of infants living in polygynous families where it is prevalent and dampen the survival disadvantage where the practice is rare.
A second perspective emphasizes the economic heterogeneity between polygynous families in settings where it is more versus less widespread.
But the extent of resource dilution in polygynous families may vary as a function of its concentration. Although polygyny is generally practiced among relatively wealthier men, in areas where it is widespread typically rural, least developed environmentsthe practice offers a unique set of economic benefits. This combination of disadvantages could render children in polygynous unions in highly polygynous settings particularly susceptible to the deleterious health consequences of diluted resources.
Conversely, the economic systems of African settings where polygyny is rare tend to be distinct e.
The ever-increasing cost of living e. Because it may be relatively wealthy men who become polygynous in such settings, the families who do practice polygyny could be buffered from the deleterious effects of resource dilution.
If this is indeed the case, differences in the risk of infant mortality between polygynous and monogamous families should be minimal in settings where polygyny is less common and more sizable in areas where polygyny is widespread. Hypotheses In light of 1 the economic, social, and cultural factors associated with the contextual prevalence of polygyny, and 2 evidence that the nature of polygyny varies in accordance with its concentration, we hypothesize the following: The contextual prevalence of polygyny will be positively associated with infant mortality, regardless of individual family structure.
Contextual socioeconomic development e.
Polygynous Contexts, Family Structure, and Infant Mortality in sub-Saharan Africa
The contextual prevalence of polygyny will condition the survival disadvantage between polygynous and monogamous families. The survival disadvantage will be smallest where polygyny is rare and largest where it is widespread. We use data from all 29 sub-Saharan African countries in which the DHS fielded surveys between and In each country, the DHS uses a stratified random sampling approach, with clusters providing the primary sampling unit.
Within each selected cluster, the DHS randomly samples families. Household heads complete a full roster of members, from which the DHS identifies eligible men and women.
Women are asked if they have children, and if so, to provide detailed information on each live birth e. Analytic Sample We restrict our sample to births that occurred within the five years prior to the survey.
This restriction also ensures that infants of older mothers, relative to those of younger mothers, are not disproportionately represented in the sample. Our final analytic sample consists ofbirths in the five years preceding the survey. See Appendix A for information on the surveys and countries included.
In response to the fact that the prevalence of polygyny varies tremendously within and between African countries Lesthaeghe ; Murdock ; Reniers and Watkinsour contextual unit of focus is the subnational region.
On average, there are 1, women, men, and households sampled in each region. Some of the young polygynous men indicated that they were trapped in polygyny because of the large number of single women who needed and were willing to take them as husbands although they were already married.
Most of those second and third wives were older women who had not yet married.A Polyamorous Couple’s Guide To Sleeping With Multiple Partners [INSIGHTS]
Unlike those marriages recognised by Sharia, there is no limit to the number of legal wives allowed under customary law. Currently polygyny is most common within royal and noble families within the country, and is largely practiced by the tribes native to its north and west. Although far less popular there, it is nonetheless also legal in Nigeria's east and south. Asia[ edit ] Many majority- Muslim countries retain the traditional shariawhich interprets teachings of the Quran to permit polygamy with up to four wives.
Turkey and Tunisia are countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations that enforce secularist practices by law. In the 21st century, a revival of the practice of polygamy in the Muslim World has contributed to efforts to re-establish its legality and legitimacy in some countries and communities where it is illegal. Proposals have been made to re-legalize polygamy in other ex-Soviet Muslim republics, such as KazakhstanAzerbaijan and Uzbekistan.
Both terms indicate the orthodox nature and hierarchy.
Polygamy is not a cultural conceit. It is an affront to women
The child of the concubine addressed the big mother as "aunt". This word was also used in both Korea and Japan. India[ edit ] Polygamy in India is, in general, prohibited and the vast majority of marriages are legally monogamous. Polygyny among Christians was banned in the late 19th century, while The Hindu Marriage Act, banned polygyny for Hindus.
Polygyny - Wikipedia
Currently polygyny is only allowed among Muslims, but it is strongly discouraged by public policy. Prevalence of polygyny in India is very low: This replaced a similar prohibition. Polygyny where wives are of equal status had always been illegal in China, and had been considered a crime in some dynasties. In family laws from Tang to Qing Dynasties, the status of a wife, concubines and maid-mistresses couldn't be altered.
Rich officials and merchants of the elite also took concubines in addition to legal wives. The first wife was the head or mother wife; other wives were under her headship if the husband was away.
Concubines had a lower status than full wives, generally not being seen in public with their husband and not having rights to decisions in the house. However they were considered legitimate, therefore had many more rights to inheritance of status and wealth than illegitimate children conceived outside a marriage. Polygamy was de facto widely practiced in the Republic of China from tobefore Kuomintang was defeated in the Civil War and forced to escape to Ryukyu nowadays OkinawaFormosaand Pescadores.
Zhang Zongchanga well-known warlord, notably declared he had three 'unknowns' - unknown number of rifles, unknown amount of money, and unknown number of concubines.
Chinese men in Hong Kong could practice concubinage by virtue of the Qing Code. This ended with the passing of the Marriage Act of Kevin Murphy of the International Herald Tribune reported on the cross-border polygamy phenomenon in Hong Kong in An example is the Wuxia novel The Deer and the Cauldron by Hong Kong writer Louis Chain which the protagonist Wei Xiaobao has seven wives In new edition of the novel, Princess Jianning was assigned as the wife, while others are concubines.
Kyrgyzstan[ edit ] A proposal to decriminalize polygamy was heard by the Kyrgyz parliament. It was supported by the Justice Minister, the country's ombudsman, and the Muslim Women's organization Mutakalimwhich had gathered 40, signatures in favour of polygamy. But, on March 26,parliament rejected the bill. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev is known to oppose legalizing polygyny. Tatyana, with whom he has two sons; and Nazgul Tolomusheva, who gave birth for son and daughter.
Mukhiddin Kabiri, the Deputy Chairman of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistansays that legislation is unlikely to stop the growth in polygyny. This trend appears linked with the advent of fundamentalist Wahhabism in the Balkans.