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Research Paper

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Polyandry is the umbrella term for one woman maintaining sexual access to more than one man. This work is a comparison of forty-three societies as examples of the six types of polyandry practiced around the world. In some types, the sexual acts are part of a marriage contract involving three or more people. In some types, the marriage involves only two people, but the sexual access of the wife extends beyond the marriage. In one type, the extra-marital sexual activity is expected, and not entirely voluntary by all parties. This survey is the first to describe all six types with examples of each.


Associated polyandry; Familial polyandry; Fraternal polyandry; Polykoity; Secondary polyandry; Walking marriage


Social and Cultural Anthropology

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Reflective Essay