Polygamy: The Sacred Act of Marriage Redefined. Discusses

Essay by sidhuggUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2003

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Our culture emphasises the importance of monogamy as it is illegal for a person to be married to more than one husband or wife at the same time. However, not all cultures practice monogamy; in some cultures, it is absolutely acceptable and normal to have more than one spouse at a time. This type of marriage practice is called "polygamy," and there are two main forms: Polygyny is practiced when a man has more than one wife at a time. Polyandry, on the other hand, occurs when a women is married to more than one husband at the same time. The fact that polygamy is successfully practiced in diverse religious and cultural settings suggests that, although not generally an accepted marital form in the west, it is an effective social arrangement.

A culture that is known for its men having several wives is the Islamic culture. This practice is based on the teachings of the holy Quaran.

According to these teachings God has given permission for man to marry up to four women, on one condition: he must be able to treat all of them fairly. This is not an easy task unless the man is wealthy. Men are polygamously allowed up to four wives whom they can equitably support. However, in muslim culture, probably no more than five percent of all households are polygamous (Speaking Graphically). A man is obligated to treat each wife equally and fairly. This is a difficult task, considering that the man is responsible for the financial well being of all of his wives. He is also the provider for all of his children. It is also important to consider the emotional component of a marriage. It is difficult to give each and every wife the same attention because one wife may be more emotionally...