Polygamy is a practice or a custom in which a man has more than one wife or a woman has more than one husband, albeit, polyandry is specifically used for the latter.
A specific terminology for the former is polygyny, though, polygamy is often more exclusively used for the former in common discourses.
Monogamy, on the other hand, is a one-man-one-woman marriage.
In places where polyandry is practiced, almost all of them are fraternal polyandry, in which a group of brothers shares a wife.
Non-fraternal polyandry, in which a group of unrelated men shares a wife, is virtually non-existent among human beings, but it doesn’t mean that married women have always been totally faithful to their husbands in any form of marriage.
The incipient of the Christianity demonization of polygamy was said to be in the Catholic Church when St. Augustine abhorred it in 380 ACE as being odious to the Christian faith.
This was followed by the enactment of the Justinian code criminalizing extramarital sex. That was how polygamy, being regarded as a sin, crept into Christianity.
Funny enough, most animals are polygynous, though, some of them are naturally monogamous too.
However, just like as found in many human beings, there are ‘extra-pair copulations’ in which mating occurs outside of a pair, amongst animals that are believed to be naturally monogamous.
Several scientific studies have been done to feebly explain why men are naturally promiscuous.
In one of them, done by observing the sexual behaviors of some natural monogamous animals, the conclusion was that the level of promiscuity of males is dependent on the activeness of the genes coding for neural development, cell signaling, learning, memory, and cognitive functions.
These genes in monogamous males are said to be more active than in promiscuous males, albeit, the truism of this is in disputation when applied to a human being.
Some scientists have even noticed that in non-monogamous species, males are typically larger than females which because of more muscle mass, they become more inclined to compete with other males to mate with multiple females.
This, they said might be the biological reason why human males are more promiscuous.
Practically, the justification for being in a polygamous relationship differs for men and women.
Most men do so, because of their desire to have a larger number of offspring and most effectively increase their fitness by having many sexual partners.
But for women, the reason ranges from having a better gene for their children to social progression and better access to the wealth of the man.
Such women will prefer being the tenth wife of a rich man to the only wife of a church rat.
Even though polygyny is the most common form of marriage in traditional societies, it is increasingly becoming incongruous with tranquil cohabitation, such that most often they ended up being unsuccessful.
But more success is recorded when a separate household is maintained for each wife.
However, the most successful form of polygyny is sororal polygyny, in which all the co-wives are sisters.
The argle-bargle nature of polygamy may be the reason why monogamy is becoming more popular in modern societies and is actively being promoted by womenfolk.
Some desperados have even twisted many biblical verses to mean that God is against polygamy.
But they have never been able to explain why all the men that God had ever professed loving are people with many wives and in adulterous relationships like King Solomon.
However, the better bi-parental care that monogamy offers has made it an increasingly popular choice in modern societies.
This is coupled with the fact that modern children need a lot of parental support, protection, and investments to succeed in modern societies.
All these, as well as some religious dogmas condemning polygamy, are what is making monogamy appear to be succeeding in suppressing the innermost instincts of men to be unabashedly promiscuous, but in truth, monogamy has failed to achieve this.
In essence, men are only socially monogamous rather than genetically monogamous.
However, it is fallacious to believe that there are biblical references outrightly banishing men with mistresses or wives to “hellfire”.
Jacob, as an example, was said to have married Leah and Rebecca, who were blood sisters, yet still fathered children from Zilpah and Bihar, who some Bible scholars believe are Leah and Rebecca’s blood sisters and who they willingly handed over to Jacob to sleep with.
In fact, throughout ancient times, married men were allowed to have sexual relationships with their slaves, harems, concubines, mistresses, etc.
It was even a royal compulsion for European monarchs then to have mistresses, hence the reason why Frederick I of Prussia, against his wish had to take Catarina Von Wartenberg as a mistress but refused to have sex with her because he was deeply in love with his wife.
So, rather than break bones in fighting a polygamous man, it is better to know that monogamy is an unnatural cage he’s trying his best to live in.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]