Polygamy vs Polygyny: Difference and Comparison

Polygamy refers to the practice of having multiple spouses simultaneously, be it wives or be it, husbands. But most people assume that polygamy is marrying multiple women by a man.

Key Takeaways

  1. Polygamy is a marriage that involves multiple spouses.
  2. Polygyny is a form of polygamy where a man is married to multiple wives.
  3. Polygyny is a specific form of polygamy that only involves multiple wives.

Polygamy vs Polygyny

Polygamy is the practice of having more than one spouse simultaneously. Polygamy can take different forms, including polygyny and polyandry, depending on the gender of the spouses involved. Polygyny is a specific form of polygamy in which a man has multiple wives. This is the most common form of polygamy throughout history and across cultures.

Polygamy vs 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 simultaneously married to more than one female.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPolygamyPolygyny
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.

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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.

polygamy

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.

polygyny

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

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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Last Updated : 14 August, 2023

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25 thoughts on “Polygamy vs Polygyny: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article effectively differentiates between polygamy and polygyny, shedding light on their distinct characteristics. It’s a well-researched piece.

    Reply
  2. This is a clear and concise explanation of the difference between polygamy and polygyny. It’s interesting to know that not all polygamy marriages are polygyny.

    Reply
  3. The mention of Quranic acceptance of polygyny under specific conditions is an intriguing aspect of the discussion. The article presents a comprehensive overview of the topic.

    Reply
  4. The explanation of the types of polygamy and polygyny is well-defined. It’s fascinating to learn about their historical and cultural significance.

    Reply
  5. The historical context of polygamy and polygyny, including the biblical reference, adds depth to the article’s content.

    Reply
  6. The distinction between different polygamy marriages is well articulated. The article provides a thorough understanding of this complex topic.

    Reply
  7. The article’s discussion of contemporary perspectives on polygyny, such as its acceptance in different cultures, broadens the scope of the topic.

    Reply
  8. The references provided in the article add credibility to the information. It’s great to see scholarly sources being used.

    Reply

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