Anthropology, Department of


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Published in Nebraska Anthropologist Vol. 24 (2009). Copyright © Katie Starkweather; published by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln AnthroGroup.


To challenge the common misconception that there are only four societies in the world that allow polyandry, this paper uses types of polyandry, suggested by Levine and Sangree (1980), to identify polyandrous societies from India, Africa, South America, and North America. Basic issues of these societies are examined within the context of four commonly cited attempts to explain the existence of polyandry. The goal of the paper is a preliminary look at the existence of polyandry around the world and an initial exploration of issues that mayor may not be associated with this form of marriage.

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