Polygyny is allowed in a majority of societies but is

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polygyny is allowed in a majority of societies, but is usually not common - it is commonly allowed, but less commonly practiced - only a small percentage of families are actually polygynous - most families are monogamous, even where polygyny is allowed - because having multiple spouses may require more wealth or work - typically, only well-off men can afford to maintain multiple wives - Islam allows a man up to 4 wives, but requires him to provide for each equally and well - Also because if many men had multiple wives, many other men would have no wife at all - a society with a large subset of sexually frustrated men with no family, children, heirs, or long-term future might not be very stable… - often creates tensions within families, even in societies where it is allowed - in conservative Iraqi Muslim families (like those described in Guests of the Sheik ), first wives usually resist additional wives, especially at first - jealousy, etc. - older wives may gang up to make the newest, youngest wife miserable - but in many societies, women are not always against polygyny - in those same Iraqi Muslim families, many women approve of polygyny because - it prevents divorce by allowing a man to take a younger wife without divorcing the first wife - it allows a widow to become a second wife, providing her with necessary economic support and restoring her to a viable role in society - in many African polygynous groups - first wives want younger wives to do some of the work for them - but younger wives often cause conflict and jealousy, because the husband might prefer the new, younger wife - Why not taking Intro to Anthropology can make you look ignorant:
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Intro to Cultural Anthro S 2011 / Owen: Family and kinship p. 9 - In a speech in February of 2004, President G. W. Bush supported a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and opposed allowing same-sex marriages - He complained that “After...millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization.” - Just this month, at a hearing about repealing the “Defense of Marriage Act” (which denies Federal benefits to same-sex couples who marry legally) - ‘Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the committee's top Republican, laid out the argument for his party. "For thousands of years, across all cultures and nations, marriage was exclusively a heterosexual institution," he said, because of "obvious biological realities" and "the universal religious view that marriage was about procreation and child- bearing."’ - San Francisco Chronicle, 11/11/2011 - do you see some naïve realism in these statements? - naïve realism : the assumption that an idea, value, practice, etc. of one’s own culture is inherent to humans or the natural world, - thus real and universal, - rather than culturally constructed, - thus arbitrary and variable
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