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Polygyny- Polygyny Marriage | Fundamentals of Sociology

Types, Causes, Disadvantages | Sociology
Management Notes

Polygyny is the form of marriage in which one man marries more than one woman at a given time. This type of marriage was mostly practiced in ancient civilizations. Still, in some societies like Korea, Muslims can have four wives at a time if they want. This type of marriage is practiced in Nagas of India, Crow Indians, Eskimo tribes, Hidasta of North America, etc.

Types of Polygyny:

  1. Sororal Polygyny:

    Sororal is a type of polygyny form of marriage in which one man marries two or more wives which are related as sisters.

  2. Non-Sororal Polygyny:

    Non-Sororal is a type of marriage in which one man marries two or more wives which are not related as sisters.

Causes Of Practicing Polygyny

  • This practice of marriage becomes common in the society where there is more woman as compared to men which creates an imbalance in the sex ration.
  • People practice this marriage for economic benefit. In some of the African Tribes like longas and Thongas people practice polygyny forms of marriage thinking that women can contribute to family income.
  • Many people practice this marriage to enjoy a sex life with multiple wives because of sex relations with a woman during her menstrual, pregnancy, and lactation periods are taboo in many societies.
  • Many people practice this marriage because of the childlessness of the first wife.

Disadvantages of Polygyny:

  • Having more wives leads to more no. of children which increase the economic burden on the head of the family as he has to support in the family.
  • In this type of marriage, the children cannot be looked after properly because too many of them are to be looked after.
  • In this type of marriage, there occurs jealousy among the wives and their children leading to conflict in the family.
    Because of the conflict, it destroys family happiness.
  • In this type of marriage, the women possess a lower position in the family as there are more no. of women.


  • Changing Patterns of marriage

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