Polygyny: A Cultural Comparison

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By simple definition, polygyny is described as the most common form of polygamy, wherein a male simultaneously has more than one female sexual partner. This definition is seen opposed to polyandry, wherein a female has more than one male sexual partner. Historically it has been practiced in a number of cultures and societies, most commonly in Africa and the Middle East.


Certainly the license to marry more than one wife has been grossly abused by some Muslims who did not appreciate it as a conditional permission. Even with that abuse its occurrence is no more than three per cent (3%) and with the increasing education of women and reformed understanding of the real Islam, polygyny is on the decline. (p. 19)
The social structure of the Palestinian society is determined by the family with the Hamula (a "clan" of extended families related through a common ancestor and carrying the same family name), forming the largest unit. Traditionally, family clans had common land and mutual responsibilities who resolved their own conflicts. The second unit is the extended family comprising three generations in one household and usually consisting of the male family head, his wife, their unmarried children, and their married sons with their own families. They often build a social and economic community, occupying one dwelling. The third and smallest unit, the nuclear family, a two-generation household consisting of the married couple and their children, was traditionally less significant but, if the financial situation allows it, is increasingly common today. (Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, 2001.)
As discussed by Granqvist, the situation ...
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