THESIS STATEMENT: Polygamy has both positive and negative aspects and in today’s contemporary world, the detriments of being in a polygamous relationship far outweigh the benefits (Zeitzen, 35).
I. Introduction Polygamy is the state of having more than one spouse where a relationship with a woman with more than one husband it is referred to as polyandry and a relationship where a man with has than one wife is known as polygyny (Deng, 2). Many cultures ascribe to polygamous relationships either due to the nature of their culture or for religious reasons (Lankford, 25). Acceptance toward people in polygamous relationships varies where in some countries it is strictly outlawed and in some is at the very least, tolerated. II. Polygyny By far the most common form of polygamy in the world is polygyny and except in the Islamic faith is not considered a religious obligation but rather a social practice (Zeitzen, 56). In most cultures, the practice of polyandry granted the man a higher social standing, a sense of prestige due to his direct control over a given number of people and a larger number of sexual partners the more wives he had. Women in polygamous relationships are more likely to suffer psychologically i. probably as a result of all the friction from other partners ii. Possibly, due to the aspects of competition for acceptance not to mention the risk of disease associated with multiple partners. III. Polyandry Polyandry, though not as common, has been known to happen most notably with some communities residing in the Himalayas (Parmar, 9) and some parts of Tibet (Levine, 13). Polyandry took hold as a means of controlling populations that were getting out of control, and in order to keep property within a particular lineage i. As such, instances of polyandry are usually with the husbands being related as either brothers or maybe cousins. Polyandry has different effect than does polygyny, i. women with multiple husbands are not accorded a higher social status as happens with polygyny ii. It is simply taken as a necessity to the circumstances of the participants. IV. Social and economic reasons of polygamy Social reasons i. Where the ratio of one gender outweighs that of another, as is seen in many cultures where the ratio of women is higher than that of men; this poses a problem to which the solution seemingly is polygamy (Quin?ones, 20). ii. Further, it has been posited that in societies with unduly high numbers of an unmarried population, social problems such as prostitution would be rampant. Economic i. Societies where instances of polygamy are extensive resources are usually stretched thin thus leaving the only option to be to marry in order to uplift ones economic status (Zeitzen, 46). V. Problems leading to polygamist relationships over monogamous ones Increase in crime rate and Increase in forms of social delinquency such as alcoholism and substance abuse due to the stresses involved in such a relationship (Shahd, 40). Children from polygamous problems suffer psychologically with lower test scores recorded in children from these households. i. Girls are also subject to greater suffering since they go through abuses such as incest and other forms of abuse from fellow siblings. VI. Conclusion In the contemporary world, the cohabitation of a person with more than one person is not ideal It is a recipe for resentment and is unlikely to bring one true happiness