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Negative Outcomes Of Polygamy In A Society

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Both monogamy and polygyny have their roots tracing back to ancient times, however as the capitalist and liberal societies emerged the practice of polygamy started to decay. Thus, Monogamy proved out to be more dominant marital mode in modern world as it did not clashed with any political or social ideology. Even though polygamy faced strong backlash from some societies, it still managed to survive and till this date it is practiced in more than eight hundred societies worldwide.

Polygamy is approved by all three major monotheist religions and is most prevalent in middle east and north Africa. Monogamy, on the other hand, is practiced all over the globe and is the unanimous choice in America and Europe. Monogamy is the custom of having a sexual relationship or marriage with only one person at a time. The opposite of monogamy is polygamy which is the act of having more than one spouse. Polygyny, the practice wherein a man has more than one sexual partner, is the most widely recognized type of polygamy. scientific, social and cultural impacts each one of them has on society should be considered in order to evaluate which one of them is better. Although polygamy establishes a healthier support system within a household but still monogamy is a better suited marital structure because it balances gender ratio, has a strengthning impact on relationship within the household and splits up the assets in a way that they are sufficient for every member of the family.

From the dawn of humankind, the ratio of men and women is believed to be equal. According to a study conducted in 2015 the percentage of males and females in the world are 50. 45 and 49. 55 respectively. So if one person has multiple spouses and this is practiced on a large scale, it will lead to disruption in gender proportion. Gender imbalance causes some serious issues in the society. One of them is that there will be more single men or women in the society. Being single causes inferiority complex among men as they feel neglected and think they cannot compete with other men in the society leading to anxiety and depression among the individuals. These kind of behaviors have a harmful psychological impact on men who feel isolated and have no one to share their problems with. This can lead them to take injurious decisions such as committing suicide. On average, the suicide rate for unmarried men is 2. 4 times higher than for married men; for women the ratio is 1. 9. Other than this single men are more prone to cardiac diseases as compared to married man. A 2012 emery university study found that single men were three times more likely to die in three months following the heart surgery. Other than this inequality will rise as every man would want to marry the most attractive women and vice versa. This causes inferiority complex among men who do not get to marry someone, which can lead them to take injurious decisions such as commiting suicide.

Polygyny is encouraged in many societies so that men can fulfill their sexual needs, however this comes at a cost. Having multiple spouses means that the degree of the responsibilities and rights that your wives have over you also increase, as each one of them demands individual attention and time. Splitting time equally among two or more wives can result in their own lifestyle and health being damaged. This can result in time or resources not being shared equally among them. Behaviors like these have a detrimental effect on the wellbeing of not only the wife but also the children who require utmost attention of their father. Children may find it hard to get why their family is not quite the same as other families. Other kids may tease them for having more than one mother. Insecurity and envy among counterparts develop unhealthy relationship between the family.

To observe the impacts of polygyny, members of households in a polygynous society were interviewed and their reactions were recorded. When wives were asked about their opinion on polygyny, many of them approved it but the interviewer noticed that they affirmed polygyny because they feared their husbands would abuse them if they told the truth, this shows that women do not have equal say in a polygynous household. Still some wives pointed out several harmful effects especially with regard to thoughtful caring, welfare and education of children. Not providing children with these basic necessities can have harmful psychological and health impacts on them. The uneven distribution of husband’s emotional attention among his spouses is one of the main reason for developing awkward co-wife relationship. This will result in regular scuffles within the house and if children are exposed to such kind of environment, it can have a negative impact on child’s character. Polygyny, by its nature, erodes the foundation of exclusivity that serves to strengthen conjugal and familial bonds. Specifically, polygyny denies couples’ sexual closeness and the chance to construct a coexistence. The societies in which polygyny is practiced, such as Bedouin tribes in African and middle eastern countries, men are usually considered as head of family. Women in such societies are restricted to work within the boundaries of their homes. So, financially the whole family is dependent on men. These men should be financially strong as they are sole breadwinners of the whole clan. Dividing income of a single person among two or more families will result in each household receiving a small portion. Thus, each individual will get minute part of the income. The part of family worst affected by lack of resources are children. Providing children with basic necessites of their life including welfare, health, education is a main part of their upbringing. Failure to do so can give birth to other communal and social issues like illiteracy, malnutrition, fight over inheritence, poverty, child marriages, child labour, child trafficking. When men are not able to hold the financial burden of their family, they make their under age children work so that they can contribute in family’s income. Child labour deprives children of their childhood, and it’s no surprise to see that the countries where polygyny is most prevalent have the highest number of child labour. According to a study, 3. 3 million children aged between 5-17 are engaged in child labor.

In spite of the fact that polygamy causes some serious social issues people believe that polygamy has done less harm to the society than it has benefitted it. People argue that having an extensive family builds a better support system within the household. Wives, having the same position, can relate with each other much easier as compared to other counterparts. Sharing common problems and figuring them out can be the source of moral support that monogamous households lack. This is true to some extent but in actuality when a polygamous approach is followed by a family it leads to chaos. The main reason behind it is the invasion of privacy of each member of the family. Limitation of resources means that everyone’s needs and wants cannot be fulfilled.

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