MONOGAMY, POLYGAMY, SERIAL MONOGAMY, LEVIRATE MARRIAGE AND OTHER FORMS OF MARRIAGE

Marriage is a legally recognized union between a man and a woman that bestows upon them certain privileges and imposes upon them certain obligations.

It can also be defined as the coming together of two or more persons to live as a married family.

It is crucial that we defined each form of marriage when you take into account that every culture has its own meaning of marriage and that what is believed to be a marriage in one society may not be accepted in another.

Marriage

Marriage usually takes two forms, namely: monogamy and polygamy.

The word monogamy is derived from the combination of two Greek words: "mono", meaning single and "gamos" meaning marriage.

Hence, monogamy means a marriage between one man and one woman at a time.

It is a situation where one person marries one person at a time.

However, when a person enters into multiple monogamous unions by divorcing one spouse and remarrying another., this is called serial monogamy.

More appropriately, serial monogamy can be defined as the practice of having a sequential monogamous relationship in a very short period.

On the other end of the spectrum is polygamy, which is derived from two Greek s words: "polys", which means many and "gamos", which means marriage.

Hence, polygamy is a marriage between more than two people. Polygamy essentially means plural marriage, which is marriage between one person to two or more spouses at the same time.

It is a marriage between one man to two or more wives or a marriage between one woman to two or more husbands.

There are two types of polygamy: polygyny and polyandry.

Polygyny can be defined as a marriage between one man to two or more wives.

Polygyny is very widespread in Africa because members of a family is seen as potential labour for farming activities. Hence, it makes sense that a man marry more than one wife.

However, In Africa nowadays, polygyny is far less common, especially in areas where Christianity is more prevalent.

Polyandry is the marriage between one woman to two or more husbands. It was very common in the plateau of Tibet.

Polyandry can be divided into fraternal polyandry and non-fraternity polyandry.

Fraternal polyandry is the simultaneous marriage of a woman to two or more brothers.

Non-fraternal polyandry is the simultaneous marriage of a woman to two or more husbands who are not brothers.

Apart from monogamy and polygamy, there are other forms of marriage, such as levirate marriage, and sororate marriage.

Levirate marriage is a marriage where a widow marries her dead husband's brother or the closest male relative.

It is a form of marriage where the brother of a deceased man is married to the window of the deceased man to raise children on behalf of the deceased.

A very similar practice to levirate marriage is windows inheritance, where the brother of a deceased man is married to the window of the deceased man, not to raise children in the name of the deceased, but to raise children from the union for himself.

So, the difference between levirate marriage and windows inheritance is that in levirate marriage, the brother of the deceased man marries the deceased's window to raise a child in the name of the deceased but in windows inheritance, the brother of the deceased man marries the deceased's window to raise a child in the union for himself.

The opposite of levirate marriage is sororate marriage, which is a marriage where a husband married his wife's sister after the death of his wife or it has been established that her wife is unable to conceive again.

Sororate marriage can be divided into two forms: concurrent and consecutive sororate marriage

In concurrent sororate marriage,  the husband marries his wife and sister together, while in consecutive sororate marriage, the husband marries the wife when she is alive and marries her sister when his wife is dead.

In addition to sororate and levirate marriage, there are certain forms of marriage, namely endogamy, exogamy and homogamy.

Endogamy is a form of marriage in which an individual is required to marry within his/her ethics or religion.

It is a marriage practice where a person is only permitted to marry someone from his or her own tribe, faith, group, or community.

The opposite of endogamy is exogamy, which is a form of marriage in which an individual is required to marry outside his/her ethics or religion.

Exogamy means marrying someone belonging to another religion, tribe, or social group other than one's own.

Finally, homogamy is the marriage between two or more people of cultural similar backgrounds.

The similarities may be based on social class, religion, caste or even age.

Help us grow our readership by sharing this post

Related Posts

Post a Comment

Subscribe Our Newsletter