Difference Between Polygamy and Polygyny

Polygamy is the practice of having multiple spouses simultaneously, be it husbands or be it, wives. The word ‘polygamy' is derived from two Greek words- ‘polys' which means ‘many and ‘gamos' which means marriage.

Polygyny is a specific type of polygamy. Polygyny is the most common type of polygamy where a man is married to more than one female simultaneously.

Comparison Table Between Polygamy and Polygyny

Parameters of Comparison Polygamy Polygyny
Definition Polygamy refers to the practice of having more than one spouse, be it husband or be it, wives.Polygyny marriage refers to the practice of having more than one wife simultaneously by a man.
Derived from The word ‘polygamy' is derived from two Greek words. They are ‘polys' which means many and ‘gamos' which means marriage.The word ‘polygyny’ is derived from two Greek words- ‘polys’ which means many and ‘gyne’ which means wife or woman.
Types There are three types of polygamy. They are polygyny, polyandry and group marriage. Among these types, polygyny is the most popular marriage type.There are three types of polygyny. They are Sororal polygyny, non-sororal polygyny and levirate marriage.
Correlation Not every polygamy marriage is a polygyny marriage. There are other types of polygamy marriages like polyandry marriage and group marriage.Every polygyny marriage is polygamy. Polygyny is a type of polygamy marriage where a man is married to multiple wives simultaneously.
Acceptance Not all kinds of polygamy marriage are accepted by the Quran. Quran only accepts polygyny marriage under certain circumstances and conditions.Quran allows every kind of polygyny marriage under certain circumstances and conditions.

What is Polygamy?

Polygamy is the practice of having multiple spouses simultaneously, be it husbands or be it, wives. The word ‘polygamy' is derived from two Greek words- ‘polys' which means ‘many and ‘gamos' which means marriage.

Polygamy has been practised by many societies under certain circumstances and conditions. The biblical King named Solomon is said to have 300 queens.

There are mainly three types of polygamy marriage – polygyny marriage, polyandry marriage and group marriage. Polygyny marriage is the practice of having multiple wives by a man simultaneously.

There are two types of polyandry marriage- fraternal polyandry and non-fraternal polyandry. In fraternal marriage, the husbands are the brothers and belong to a common family.

The most common polygamy marriage is the polygyny marriage. Polygamy marriage is relatively common in West African countries and some Muslim countries.

What is Polygyny?

Polygyny is a specific type of polygamy. Polygyny is the most common type of polygamy where a man is married to more than one female simultaneously.

Polygyny marriage is accepted in many Muslim countries and Quran allows every kind of polygyny marriage under certain circumstances and conditions.

Contemporary Christians do not accept polygyny marriage. In the African continent, polygyny is mostly practised. One of the main reasons for this is the existing gender gap in African countries which is a result of the slave trade.

There are three types of polygyny. They are Sororal polygyny, non-sororal polygyny and levirate marriage. Sororal marriage is the practice of having multiple wives who are sisters.

Main Differences Between Polygamy and Polygyny

  1. Not every polygamy marriage is a polygyny marriage. There are other types of polygamy marriages like polyandry marriage and group marriage. But every polygyny marriage is polygamy.
  2. Not all kinds of polygamy marriage are accepted by the Quran. Quran only accepts polygyny marriage under certain circumstances and conditions.
Difference Between Polygamy and Polygyny

Conclusion

Most of the time, people tend to believe that polygamy marriage is the practice of having multiple wives simultaneously. But it is not the same.

Not every polygamy marriage is a polygyny marriage. There are other types of polygamy marriages like polyandry marriage and group marriage.

References

  1. https://brill.com/view/journals/jmp/8/2/article-p246_6.xml
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12315486/
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