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Polyandry means “multiple men per women”, in a simultaneous marriage, and is historically the result of some combination of poverty and polygyny.

In the past, polyandry was usually, "fraternal polyandry", but there are exceptions. Non-fraternal polyandry includes: "associated polyandry", "Nayer polyandry", and "secondary marriage polyandry".[1]

Cicisbeic relationships like the prostitute-john relationship, is similar to polyandry, and often occurs for the same reasons that polyandry does, but does not involve marriage.

There exist a number of Chinese economists who have proposed polyandry as a solution to the incel problem due to its effect on gender ratios in the dating sphere. While polyandry reduces inceldom moreso than monogamy, polygynandrous polyandry may reduce it even more.

Types of polyandry[edit]

Associated polyandry[edit]

Associated polyandry is a type of flexible polyandry that co-exists with monogamous marriage. In it, the wife starts the marriage monogamously with one husband. Other husbands are added on later.[2] The marriages aren't strict and husbands will often leave marriages on good terms to start a monogamous marriage with another woman.[3][4]

The husbands are not always brothers.

This type of arrangement is slightly more incel promoting than fraternal polyandry, but still way less incel promoting than monogamy.

Nayar polyandry[edit]

Nayar polyandry is an extremely flexible, "free love", type of marital polyandry. In it, each wife has multiple husbands, and each husband has multiple wives, but unlike group marriage, they don't necessarily socially overlap. Additionally, none of the husbands or wives live together.[5]

Marriages in this system are typically formed after, and not before, childbirth, and are formed to legitimize the children.

This is traditionally practiced by the Nayer of Southwest India.

Secondary marriage polyandry[edit]

Secondary marriage polyandry is virtually identical to Nayar polyandry.

Fraternal polyandry[edit]

Fraternal polyandry historically takes place as a way to prevent the geographic spread of families where there is scarce available land (in the past this meant farmable land).

Examples of polyandrous societies[edit]

Contrary to the oft cited claim from the Ethnographic Atlas, polyandry has been practiced in more than four parts of the world. Places that have practiced or still practice polyandry include Tibet, The Sherpa and Toda of India, and tribal inhabitants of the Marquesean islands.

Marqueseans of eastern Polynesia[edit]

The Marqueseans are known for their licentiousness and unusual sexual practices. Masturbation is common at a very early age (as early as 8 years old). Boys aged 13-14 typically have their first sexual intercourse by traveling in groups to married women's homes. (while the husbands are not around)[6]

Marqueseans are unique in that they have been observed practicing nonfraternal polyandrous marriage. This mostly occurs within the elite of society, where high status women have a second husband, who also functions as a servant.[7]

Historical causes of polyandry[edit]

Inceldom from polygyny[edit]

All historical polyandrous cultures have coincided with polygyny (but not necessarily the other way around). This includes some historical European cultures. The custom of polygyny creates a skewed high effective sex ratio (more men) as relatively few men hog a disproportionate share of the women, and these men typically mate guard these women (generally quite effectively), this creates a surplus of male incel people with no or inconsistent sexual access. It is possible that fraternal polyandry (multiple brothers or male relatives married to the same woman, generally sharing her in turns as opposed to living in the same domicile) partly developed to deal with this issue of male incel people created by polygyny in cultures where women had relatively more sexual freedom and a higher social position than more strictly patriarchal polygynous cultures.[8] The famous Roman dictator and general, Julius Caesar, reported in his famous military manual and memoir The Gallic Wars that the Celtic tribes he encountered in the region of Kent during his conquest of Britain (modern England) practiced a form of fraternal polyandry with the men of these tribes often sharing "wives common to them, and particularly brothers among brothers, and parents among their children."[9]

Population limits[edit]

Polyandry tends to occur in tiny economies with a small amount of land. Polyandry is hypothesized to emerge in such environments as a way to limit population growth and protect a scarce supply of material resources.[10]

Devaluation of women in society[edit]

Academic researchers Cassidy and Lee concluded in 1989 that polyandry occurs when women are devalued in society.[11] However, this may be an overgeneralization, as this is not seen in every society that practices polyandry.

This is shown in historical examples of polyandry. For example, in some small polyandrous economies, men dominate the food the producing activities, and squeeze out the role of women in society. This extreme devaluation of women leads to most women being discarded in overall society and reproduction.

Female infanticide[edit]

Another example of how polyandry arises through devaluation of women, is when polyandry arises as a result of widespread female infanticide. The Toda of Southern India were notable for practicing polyandry after female infanticide.[12] It is also likely that the pre-Islamic Arabs practiced polyandry due to this reason, before the advent of Islam lead to the proscription of both infanticide and polyandry.[13]

When polyandry is actually polygyny[edit]

Female promiscuity, if it directed only at all small amount of men, instead of the general male population, may look like polyandry, but would be polygyny. But whether they are promiscuous with chads or in long-term polygynous relationships with chads, shouldn't matter to incel people, as the result is the same for incels.

Benefit to incels[edit]

Long-term polyandry on a societal wide scale would arguably be beneficial to incel people, because it would make men more rare in a relationship context, but it is unknown how to implement it as historical examples in industrialized societies are rare or non-existent. Some incel people try to call polyandry "cuckoldry", when cuckoldry means sexual infidelity and that is not what polyandry means. It is possible the natural jealousy that arises in adultery may also be found in polyandrous relationships, however there is scarce evidence so far for this being a moderate or severe symptom of polyandry.

Similarly, female promiscuity directed at the general male population instead of just high-status men would benefit incel people, something lost on most tradcon incels.

Incel advocates who favor polyandry[edit]

In China and India, men vastly outnumber women,[14] and this has caused, in China at least, the proposal of wife sharing or a two husband rule, in order to combat inceldom. Chinese economists such as Xie Zuoshi and Yew-Kwang Ng have proposed such and were called misogynist for doing so by feminists, and were called radical by tradcons.



See also[edit]

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