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Chapter 2


Review of Related Literature

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noted anthropological research confirming a historical record of survey of
cross –cultural heritage of over 849 countries, that prior to “Western
Imperialism and colonial control over much of the world” which gives the domain
of the imposition of historically recent Judeo-Christian marital rules: that
had found over which 708 (83%) of indigenous human societies were preferring
the polygynous practice. And breaking down to the remainder of 137 (16%) who
were monogamous and fewer than 1% are polyandrous. (Barash 2016)

to British philosopher and sociologist, Herbert Spencer that an outside
“disruptive force” really gave out the result of the development of
promiscuity, polyandry, polygyny and monogamy, and that under his theory, that
this practices were not developed by all cultures, and in some multiple cases
coexisted. Taking to consideration polygyny and monogamy which both have
contributed to the establishment of “a line of succession and inheritance”, but
with the difference of the two practices, with polygyny giving out conflict and
competition among half siblings over which destroys the linearity of the two.

marriage, and ideal family size in Francophone Africa Speizer, IleneAuthor
Information . Journal of Comparative Family Studies; Calgary Vol. 30, Iss. 1,
(Winter 1999): 17-34 In Burkina Faso and Senegal, polygyny practice is
prevalent, where 37.7 percent and 31.7 percent respectively of married men are
in polygynous unions. In places like Niger, there is still a percentage of 24.5
who follows polygynous unions, where the marriage trichotomy, shows that in Niger
monogamous unions were more practiced by men with a percentage of 56.5, and
with the intention of becoming polygynous in the future (but for potential
polygynous men only.


Bert NAuthor Information ; Mburugu, Edward. Journal of Comparative Family Studies;
Calgary Vol. 25, Iss. 2, (Summer 1994) : 159. Kikuyu bride wealth and polygyny
today According to a manuscript written in 1990 by Kilbrides, advantages and
disadvantages were stated by kikuyu, and they are as follows: The primary
advantages are economically related—a large number of laborers, in order to
make the wage labor need to not be employed. Personal and political power is a
second advantage, more specifically on men, were during those time, men
struggle for power and personal interest. In addition, men were more on the
emotional advantage, while women spoke of protection. The major disadvantage,
in regards with both genders is jealousy/envy/hatred among co-wives and their
children, which was due to unequal share of love and wealth by the husband, in
relation with this advantage is the magico-religious activity(Kilbride and
Kilbride, 1990:pp. 203-204) As noted by Kilbrides that a major change of
polygyny is “delocalization”, that with less controlled kin and community
functions, thus privatizing marriage as much as possible is the same way that
bride wealth is raspingly privatized.


has been reasoned by the proponents of the Economic School that polygyny was
established to fill out the uprising economic issues of their time. They
expounded that during the Pre-colonial era in Africa, the economic were merely
focused on how to improve the production of agricultural produce. Their
solution for this issue is by using polygyny that will bridge to a beneficial
act for the whole society. Since with how polygyny works, which emphasizes
collective benefit, communal ownerships of lands, wealth and economic benefit
of the extended family. The centralized concept of both the social and the
Economic School is around the male making a union with more than one wife, but
it would depend on the stability or the amount of dowry (money) he or his
family could afford. In traditional African society where this kind of
arrangement was prevalent, for example a man with four wives was given an
obligatory act to provide lands for each of his wives. And the relatives and
children of each wife were required to work and attend to maintenance and needs
of the farm. The husband on the other hand, will be providing time to time
assistance and supervision over each of the farm. (Nyanseor)


somewhat drag the defined statement of Linton, Hoeble attributed polygyny to
have “the innate dominance drive, which is more intense in the male than in the
female (1958: 329) When it comes to authority and structure, Faber stated that
polygyny contributes to the extending generational interval due to the
husband’s contract for a marriage at a later age, thus resulting to a
considerable age discrepancy between his wives and simultaneously lengthening
the procreative period of the family by the involvement of younger wives. This
will give out an indirect authoritative extension of the male,” vertically in
time and horizontally over a large family group.” (1964:46-7)


agreed with what Linton stated that polygyny is not just based on what the
status of the females is, may it be in an inferior level or superior, or to the
level of standards of the male side. Rather it is a product of mixed factors
depending on how a society deem the ways of this practice, depending on the
preferences or the factors on how it should be done in their taste; may it be
social, biological, psychological or economic. (1920: 40-5)

Sumner and Spencer believed that marriage structures are the result of multiple
considerations, as of conditions and interest of each society they are being
followed. As Spencer foretold, that marriage continuously change according to
the pattern it undergoes under different social and economic conditions, may it
be in any particular society.( 1907:343) As polygyny, a practice of the
successful to the extent of being an exercise of eugenic value, as Sumner
defined it, it is also a product of intermittent sex ratio of a population.
(1927 III: 1872) Polygyny, as to its complexity gave rise to many theoretical
analysis of how it is being practiced in the society. As to Howard, he pointed
polygyny to be the cause of the rise of patriarchal systems, utilized resources
of money and women, desiring progeny, influenced by the fascination of men and
the beau of women. With the growing of “permanent motives and fundamental
forces” such as procreation, fatherhood, the practice of celibacy, and limited
sexual liberty of husbands, Howard believed that’s what causes polygyny to
vanished. (1904: 141-9) Polygyny was considered by Linton, a disciple of Boas
to be somewhat as a more desirable form of marriage over a multitude of world’s
societies. With his description, he don’t collaborate it with economic value or
social reference, but rather he believed that polygyny is practiced in
societies, where females are considered to be either an asset or a liability to
the conjugal family, wand whatever the status of women it is just a variable
same with is being practiced in a monogamous society. As where Polygyny is
derived from the “primate tendency of males to collect females” and other
factors are only minor resource depending on its contributory usage. (1936:

associated polygyny with the growth of wealth and male dominion on the other
hand, with the consideration of other factors such as female economics and
instinctive procreative manner, and ceasing production of abundant new growth
of the long nursing wife, the long known inheritance system, where wives of
deceased people were given to their brothers and sons, as well as a demented
sex fraction. (Ibid.: 84-7)


as associated by Spencer, with opposing societies where men of valor and
physical dexterity are very much known and compensated. They were given the
privilege to marry two or more females, may it be stolen natives or captives of
war. Darwin and Spencer attributed a “survival value” to polygyny, for it is a
practice of victors. (Ibid.: 685-90) The psychological impact of polygyny was
still considered by Spencer as an essential factor on the framework and
intra-relation on the basis of development of a family. Going as far as
including the assets and liabilities of the practice to detail the cause it
could bring. (Ibid.t 682, 694)


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