The origin of the polygamy It is very remote in history. From the Old Testament we already find polygamous passages and references: Abraham, Jacob, David and Solomon had several wives. The Hindu religion and the Mormon Church practiced polygamy for a long time. Although many legal precepts currently prohibit it explicitly, in India, Muslims can marry several wives. In the case of Islam, in Arab countries, law and religion consent to polygamy with the restrictions imposed by the doctrine.
Some authors point out that the polygamy was born of a need. In ancestral times, men died more in wars or in conquests of geographic spaces than women and these were left helpless.
When a woman and children of a Mormon deceased in the long journey of a caravan were left without the father and spouse, she and her children became part of the family of the man closest to her deceased husband. Most likely a woman and her minor children would not have survived in the hostile environment of the conquest of the American West.
In the case of Islam, the requirement to be able to practice polygamy it was the power to maintain the wives and the respective families with the intention of providing protection for the women.
The polygamy It is common in the contemporary community. The Ethnographic Atlas Codebook, derived from the Ethnographic Atlas of George P. Murdock, presents a record of the marital composition of 1,231 societies, from 1960-1980. Of these societies, 186 were monogamous and 1041 were polygamous. According to Joseph Ginat, the author of "Polígamas Families in the Contemporary Society", a third of the world population belongs to a community that allows it.
What is not understood in the West is that women in other cultures, especially African and Islamic, do not necessarily see polygamy as a sign of degradation towards women. Consequently, experts say, equating polygamy with the degradation of women is an ethnocentric prejudice of other societies.
However, in Western societies it is common (and even natural) for married men to have extramarital relationships with lovers, friends or prostitutes. In the United States alone, it is estimated that between 23 and 50% of men and 13-50% of women have had an extramarital relationship throughout their lives. More than 15% of spouses agree to have had several relationships, and about 70% of married men under 40 expect to have them.
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