Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by ah-sue, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. ah-sue More like Bionic Sue now!

    Mar 27, 2010
    Where the sun shines
    With a POD of your choice make polyandry in western society (that would be Europe and its offsho0ts) socially acceptable by majority. Such practice can be rejected and condemned by parts of society (could be religious groups, chauvanists ....) but majority accepts it or at least not opposes it.

    Bonus points if having more than one husband is seen as status symbol and there is competition about which is better one (looks, education ....). Status of children born from such relations, both in they eyes of law and society, is of your choice.
  2. Xavier Imperator Belgicus

    Oct 21, 2009
    Antwerp, Low Countries
    I think there is a bigger problem than mere acceptance of the idea: getting it to occur in meaningful amounts. Biologically speaking, polygyny is much easier, even with emancipated women, than polyandry. To put it bluntly, a man can be rich enough to support several women, can be giving enough attention if he is careful, his wives can like or even love each other (as sisters or more...), and he can get all of them pregnant at the same time! (eh, same period, let's give him a break!)
    OTOH, a women can be rich enough to have several men, can be giving enough attention is she is careful, her husbands can like each other etc...
    BUT: she can't get pregnant by all of them simultaneously (pretty obvious I'd say!) and before DNA testing, neither of the men can be sure to have fathered a child with her unless she gives him *exclusive access* until she gets pregnant. The last part is what will create extra tension in the multiple relationship compared to polygyny. That said, with both sexes haivng equal rights, getting poly-anything to work will require equal attention and mutual love & respect between all partners or things will get ugly. It's just that with several men the children angle is much more difficult than with several women. And the problems come mostly from our instincts in this case, men are programmed to get their females pregnant. And while it's easy to see if a women is pregnant, it's quite difficult to know if a man got a certain women pregnant if other men are having a go at it as well.

    P.S. Now that I think of it, there is a problem with social acceptance, that being the male-dominance in Western culture that is still not completely gone this very day. Solving that will be an Herculean task!
  3. carlton_bach Member

    Jan 18, 2004
    Altona, Occupied Denmark
    Tough... I vote for an early socioreligious POD: the association of landownership with women. Sometime in the very early history of Euroipe, it becomes culturally established that land is worked by men, but owned by women. This does not, at first, create a strong imsbalance of power between the sexes because land ownership initially is limited and male roles in a still small-scale and quite unstable society allowed them considerable power. Later on, though, increasing social complexity, monetarisation and literacy lead to a more all-encompassing notion of property. Women increasingly gain social status through the accumulation of real estate while the male sphere is associated with moveable property.

    Today, this society is dissolving as different legal standing and the distinction of property types have been abolished, but norms continue. To this day, means of production are considered part of the female sphere, and while men inherit them, it is still traditional for them to be paid their share in cash rather than assets by female co-heirs. The male sphere - traditionally warfare and travel - has been expanded to include all 'moveable' occupations such as trade, finance, tourism, education, and entertainment. Nonetheless the idea persists that the proper place of a married man is overseeing the productive labour in his wife's household. The image of the husband diligently working the fields and securing the fences of a content matriarch who runs the house, manages the wealth and rears the family is hard to eradicate, however little relation it bears to reality. Wealthy women still tend to marry multiple men - as landowners had in days past to ensure an adequate supply of male labour - and the role of men as producers of surplus is often still acted out in family firms.
  4. aktarian illegal in 20 states

    Jan 2, 2004
    In your closet/in your head
    Imitation is highest form of flattery, I say..... :D
  5. ah-sue More like Bionic Sue now!

    Mar 27, 2010
    Where the sun shines
    I know ... I just couldn't resist it! ;)
  6. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member Gone Fishin'

    Jan 15, 2004
    The Chaos TL
    OK, so I guess the women with the biggest tracts of lands (yeah, we all know that joke...) will have several husbands each, and the poorer women none at all. Could this create trouble? How deal the existing polyandric societies with that? And what will happen if there's a war and many men in the right age bracket will be killed? Could there even be infanticide of female babies, so there'll be more husbands left for each surviving woman? How will life be for the husbands?
  7. Bakenellan Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Finnish/Chinese Border
    The POD is probably biological and in tens of thousands years at the least (more like a million).
    You'll need female as a dominant gender to make polyandry sustainable in competition with other forms of marriage, which are cheaper in biological terms. Then cultural and social factors may come to play and polyandry may become widespread. Unfortunately such distant PODs make any speculations on resulting societies a pure fantasy. In that case we have a different humanity after all.

    It's somewhat easier to accept a kind of chain-marriages, when females have several husbands who also have several wives. None lives togather at the same time but may be aware of each other. That could be achieved with existing human sexual beheivior, but needs a large personal mobility like in modern society.
  8. Saturn Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2008
    Well I found out for my TL that all things being equal one man and one woman have a 20% chance of pregnancy.
    If we posit a world where women are very low in number for some reason and a well known and acknowledged need for fast population growth then Polyandry would be the only way to do that.

    I'd think it would either require an "End of the World" scenario to get everyone to cooperate or a strong and totalitarian regime to force it.
    At least for the first generation or two, after that it will be considered normal.
  9. anja Frank & Frei

    Jun 6, 2010
    Bavarian occupied territory
    You can also start with the same reason, (fraternal) polyandry has established in the Himalayas, to hinder the splitting of estates. Real division was common with the Francs and some of their successors.

    An other possibility:"According to Julius Caesar, it was customary among the ancient Britons for brothers, and sometimes for fathers and sons, to have their wives in common" link
  10. The Admiral Hook M*thaf*ckin' Radical...

    Jul 6, 2010
    Bakenellan, are you suggesting that females are not the dominant part of the species?

    ...because that is utterly ridiculous...
  11. LurkerNo.9 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    A decaying New England seaport
    It occurs to this particular noob that this might actually be a feature rather than a bug. I mean, in similar geopolitical situations, the "dominant" power would be more than happy to use this underlying tension of its clients for a divide-and-rule strategy. Think of the British in India. The woman's ability to withhold sex (and therefore childbearing opportunities) from one husband and give it to her "favored" husbands could lead to jealousies and back stabbing among her husbands. It would be much like the gossipy, clique-y behavior that women are so frequently accused of (and, to be fair, do exhibit) in OTL, only in reverse.

    An interesting butterfly would be if it leads to greater homosexual behavior in men, as a gay man would be made much more welcome by his husbands as less of a competitor for their lady's attentions. If homosexuality is indeed largely genetic, and if the husbands in question are frequently brothers or other relatives, then this could lead to a kin-selected explosion of male homosexuality in Europe. Eurofags, indeed...

    Of course, the big problem with this isn't the gender politics of the situation, which I believe is easily rectified, but rather the economics. Given the lengthy gestation times of humans a polyandrous society will be rapidly outbred and outpopulated by non-polyandrous ones where the men aren't spending so much time sitting around uselessly NOT getting their wife pregnant. :p So, to make polyandry an economically viable cultural trait, we'd need an extended period of time of overpopulation - of low labor values, resource collapse, and periodic famines. Under such conditions, polyandry would be VERY competitive economically, as the polyandrous families & societies would be able to concentrate their resources on a small number of babies guaranteed to survive, compared with the baby-wasteful practices of monandrous and (especially!) polygynous societies. This is tough; I can think of dozens of times in history where there has been cheap labor, collapsing resources, and periodic famines, but an EXTENDED period of such conditions? I can't think of one.
  12. peachperry Banned

    Sep 1, 2010
    Christian Wedlock.

    Christian Wedlock.

    Can a woman have more than two husbands?

    No, a woman cannot have more than two living husbands. A man has no choice, as he must be in wedlock with one wife. But a woman has three choices. Firstly, no wedlock with a husband. Secondly, wedlock with one husband. Or thirdly, wedlock with two husbands. That’s it, there are no further choices for a woman, and there is no choice at all for a man.

    1 Corinthians 7:2 King James 1611.
    Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

    Yr. 1783. 10th George Prince of Wales Own Hussars. (King George III).
    Yr. 1898. 19th Alexandra Princess of Wales Own Hussars. (Queen Victoria).

    Therefore two women can own a regiment of cavalry, and two men can own a regiment of cavalry.

    1 Corinthians 6:16 King James 1611.
    What! know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

    Therefore in the New Testament a man and woman lying together are one flesh, as follows:

    A husband and wife who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

    A fornicator and fornicatress who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

    A man and common courtesan or common prostitute who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

    (A common prostitute is a woman who commonly offers her body for acts of lewdness for payment. An act of lewdness can never be an act of carnal copulation, as it is blasphemy to state that the Angel Gabriel and Mary committed a lewd act. The common law of england states that it is impossible for any woman to be a prostitute under any circumstances, but that a woman may continue on to be a common prostitute.).

    A fornicator/fornicatress and adulterer/adultress who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

    An adulterer and adultress who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

    Clearly the New Testament lays down that a man must be in wedlock with his own wife, and a woman must be in wedlock with her own husband. Furthermore the New Testament specifically limits the number of wives that a man can have to only one, but sets no limit to the number of husbands a woman can have. But there must be some limit for a woman, or one woman could be in wedlock with thousands of men. Rationally, if one woman can satisfy the bodily lust of one man every day, and forty men can satisfy the bodily lust of one woman every day, then is one wife for every man and forty husbands for every woman what the New Testament requires? No, because the New Testament is a document of truth, not a document of reason.

    Luke 1:28 King James 1611.
    Luke 1:31 King James 1611.
    Luke 1:28-35 King James 1611.
    In the New Testament, the angel Gabriel came in unto Mary, a virgin woman, and Mary conceived and delivered her firstborn son, Jesus, the son being God the Son, the father being God the Father. And when Mary’s womb delivered her firstborn son Jesus unto the world, then Mary was like all women delivered of a firstborn son unto the world, as a woman’s firstborn son can never belong to the mother but must belong to the Lord God.

    Luke 2:23 King James 1611.
    Exodus 13:2&12 King James 1611.
    And so like all women delivered of a firstborn son, Mary was no longer a virgin woman, but like all said women, Mary was a holy woman.

    Matthew 13:53-56 King James 1611.
    Mark 6:1-4 King James 1611.
    And husband Joseph Jacob came in unto Mary and husband Joseph Heli came in unto Mary, and Mary conceived and delivered Jesus’ brothers, James, Joses, Simon, Judas, and also Jesus’ sisters.

    Matthew 1:6&16 King James 1611.
    Luke 3:23&31 King James 1611.
    Joseph Jacob was the descendent of King David’s son Solomon, and Joseph Heli was the descendent of King David’s son Nathan.

    Genesis 38:16-18 King James 1611.
    “Came in unto her” means congress or carnal copulation. In the Old Testament, Judah came in unto Tamar, his daughter-in-law, and Tamar conceived and delivered twin sons. Tamar had lain in wait for Judah on the side of a far away road, and Judah had been unable to recognize Tamar because she was wearing a veil, and only common harlots wore veils. Upon first seeing this strange woman wearing a veil, Judah bargained a future payment of a kid from his flock, and therefore gave as his pledge, his personal signet ring, his personal wrist bangles, and his personal walking staff, for coming in unto her. Tamar had been in wedlock with Judah’s first son, who God had killed for being wicked. Tamar had then been in wedlock with Judah’s second son, who God had then killed when he saw the second son deliberately spill his seed on the ground during carnal copulation with Tamar.

    That was because if Tamar was made with child by the second son, and if such child was a baby son born of Tamar, then under the law of the Hebrews that baby son born of Tamar was the first born baby son of the dead first son, and not any baby son of the second son, despite Tamar having conceived that baby son with the second son. This meant that if a dead man had no son, but still had a widow and a brother, then the widow and the brother should ignore consanguinity, and if the brother was already in wedlock, bigamy, in order to give the dead man a first born son.

    (The ancient Hebrews were a people of eastern civilization who accordingly rejected the concept of demos, and therefore practiced bigamy by the males. The ancient Greeks were a people of western civilization who accordingly accepted the concept of demos, and therefore practiced either monandry or diandry by the females.).

    Judah had then ordered his daughter-in-law Tamar not to marry again, because Judah promised Tamar that she would marry his third son when he became old enough for wedlock. But when his third son became old enough to marry, Judah broke his promise and forbade his third son to marry Tamar. When Tamar was seen in her third month to be heavy with child, Judah was told that Tamar was with child through harlotry. Judah then summoned Tamar to him in order to be burnt to death for harlotry, although it was against the law to put a woman to death for harlotry. Tamar came and produced the signet ring, the wrist bangles, and the walking staff, and said the man who gave me these is the man by whom I am with child. Then Judah confessed to all that he had broken his promise and sinned by going back on his word that Tamar would have wedlock with his third son when his third son became of age, and then denying such wedlock to her.

    Six months later Tamar safely gave birth to the twin sons conceived with Judah and the midwife tied a red thread around the son’s hand which first appeared out of the womb. But then the hand was withdrawn into the womb and the second son, Pharez, without the red thread was born first, and the first son, Zarah, with the red thread was born second.

    Ruth 4:18-22 King James 1611.
    King David of Israel and Judah was descended from Pharez, and the red hand flag of the Ulstans and Scots shows the Red Hand of Zarah. The red hand is often shown on a white six pointed star, but it is not clear whether this star is a Star of Pharez (Star of David) or just a Star of Ulster.

    Genesis 1:27-28 King James 1611.
    Genesis 2:7&18-19 King James 1611.
    Genesis 3:20 King James 1611.
    The first man and first woman in this world were Adam and Eve. Adam means “man” in the hebrew tongue, and Eve means “life” in the hebrew tongue. Therefore a man is man, but a woman is life.

    Romans 7:4-6 King James 1611.
    Old Testament law dead and gives as an example that a woman can have more than one husband.

    1 Timothy 3:2 King James 1611.
    A bishop can have only one wife, and as he must be an example to other men, a man can have only one wife.

    1 Timothy 3:12 King James 1611.
    A deacon can have only one wife, and as he must be an example to other men, a man can have only one wife.

    Titus 1:6 King James 1611.
    An elder can have only one wife.

    1 Timothy 5:4&9** King James 1611.
    Elders are not to provide for widows under three score years of age without children, who have only had one husband.

    The Estate of Marriage. Martin Luther 1522.
    Although Martin Luther confirmed that a woman could have two husbands, he nevertheless immediately restricted it to women who were in a marriage which had produced no children and who had then obtained permission from their first husband to take their second husband. Confusingly, Martin Luther did not make it clear as to how long a woman had to wait before taking her second husband.

    To sum up, the New Testament upholds the example of deacons, elders, and bishops, for men to follow. That example is one wife. The New Testament also lays down that the Old Testament no longer applies to men or women, except for the 10 Commandments, and gives as an example of this that a woman is no longer bound to have only one husband. If men must follow the example of the male Christian leader in marriage, whether bishop, deacon, or elder, then surely women must follow the example of the female Christian leader in marriage. What leader is that? The primary one in the New Testament is Mary, the Mother of Jesus, God the Son.

    Luke 1:15&35&41 King James 1611.
    Mary had carnal copulation with three men. The Angel Gabriel, Joseph Jacob, and Joseph Heli. However, Mary was only in wedlock with two men, Joseph Jacob, and Joseph Heli. Furthermore, the Angel Gabriel was not a man of this world, and he seems not to have taken a fully visible male form when he had carnal copulation with Mary as ordered by God the Father, for it appears that at some stage God the Holy Ghost came upon or entered Mary. Either this was at the moment Mary conceived or immediately afterwards. After Mary conceived, she immediately went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who was six months with child, a son, who also had been conceived when Elisabeth had been filled by God the Holy Ghost.

    Accordingly it would be fully in accordance with the New Testament for a man to have one wife, and a woman to have two husbands. That the Angel Gabriel had carnal copulation with Mary is both interesting and theologically necessary, but it is not enough of an example for a woman to attempt to take a third husband in wedlock, whilst her first and second husbands still liveth.

    Matthew 19:11-12 King James 1611.
    1 Corinthians 9:5 King James 1611.
    The New Testament does not give man any choice; he must have wedlock with one woman. But do bear in mind that Jesus, God the Son, was never in wedlock with any woman, despite all Jesus’ Twelve Disciples being or having been in wedlock with a woman.

    But the New Testament gives a woman three choices.

    1st Choice:
    Virgin woman without wedlock.

    2nd Choice:
    Virgin woman with one husband in wedlock without child.
    Virgin woman with one husband in wedlock with female child or female children.
    Holy woman with one husband in wedlock with firstborn male child.
    Holy woman with one husband in wedlock with male child or children together with female child or children.

    3rd Choice:
    Holy woman with two husbands in wedlock with firstborn male child.
    Holy woman with two husbands in wedlock with male child or children together with female child or children.

    A number of denominations have a service for wedlock, but so far every one of them has inserted words that clearly say a woman may be in wedlock with only one man at a time. Even the State Lutheran Evangelical Church of Sweden states this, despite Martin Luther himself saying that a wife can be in wedlock with two living husbands.

    But what do you expect. After all, Martin Luther stated in writing that under no circumstances was anyone to call himself a “Lutheran” and under no circumstances was any church to call itself a “Lutheran Church”. So what do all northern europeans called themselves? Lutherans! Ask them what church they belong to? The Lutheran Church!

    A number of denominations do not have any service for wedlock, on the grounds that wedlock is not a church matter, as it is a state matter. But every such denomination has nevertheless inserted words in that denomination’s discussion of wedlock, that firmly says that a woman can only have one husband in wedlock at a time.

    Nowhere do any of the denominations give any explanation for their defiance of the New Testament. Of course that just might be because there is neither any justifiable explanation or excusable explanation for such defiance.

    Still, just looking at using only the principle of choice as a guide, all the above denominations are pointing in the right direction, even if they are not pointing down the correct path.

    That is, a man has no choice, he must make efforts to be in wedlock with one wife at some stage of his life here in this world.

    And a woman still has a choice, in that she may choose not to be in wedlock with a man in this world, or she may choose to be in wedlock with one husband at some stage of her life here in this world. This means that the principle of a woman having a choice remains intact.

    The defiance of both the Lord God and the New Testament by the various denominations by the removal of a woman’s option to make efforts to be in wedlock with two husbands at the same time at some stage of her life in this world, still leaves intact the principle of choice for the woman and no choice for the man.

    Constitution of The Spartans (Xenophon). 388 B.C.
    League of The Iroquois (Lewis Henry Morgan). 1851 A.D.
    Only two non-christian groups in the world have been known to practice New Testament wedlock. The Spartans and the Mohawk.

    Only monandry and diandry, or New Testament style wedlock, was lawful among the Spartans, citizens of the greatest of the greek city-states, Sparta, and history’s final saviours of Western Civilization at Thermopylae (The Hot Gates) in 480 B.C.

    And only monandry and diandry, or New Testament style wedlock, was lawful among the Mohawk, citizens of the greatest of the eastern woodland North American tribes, which forever blocked France’s attempt to seize New York so as to split England’s colonies in twain.

    Not only did spartan women routinely have two husbands at the same time, but Sparta herself always had two kings at the same time, as Sparta had two separate royal families. This dual monarchy (there are no other words to describe it) came from the Agiad Royal Family and the Eurypontid Royal Family.

    Although some greek city-states had matrilineal descent, Sparta had patrilineal descent like most greek city-states. Accordingly a Spartan woman practicing monandry would give patrilineal descent at birth to her daughters and to her sons from her living sole husband nine months previously. A Spartan woman practicing diandry would give patrilineal descent at birth to her old daughters from her living old husband nine months perviously, give patrilineal descent at birth to her old sons from her living old husband nine month previously, and give patrilineal descent at birth to her new daughters from her old husband nine months previously. But a Spartan woman practicing diandry would give patrilineal descent at birth to her new sons from her living new husband nine months previously.

    Much criticism of both the Spartans and the Mohawk, has been leveled by outsiders who complain of the extreme freedom of the females and the extreme militarism of the males. It must be noted that there is no record of any Spartan male, Spartan female, Mohawk male, or Mohawk female, complaining of female freedom or male militarism.

    Whatever your point of view on Spartan life or Mohawk life, the New Testament lays down cast-iron guidelines for wedlock. The fact that the New Testament complies with Spartan law and Mohawk law is irrelevant.

    Of absolutely no relevance to this discussion, the symbol of the United States of America is the bald headed eagle, which is a species that uses both monandry and diandry for conception, and where the one male or two males reside in the exactly the same nest as the one female. The one female and either the one male or two males, stay in the nest together and raise the chick together.

    Mark 10:7 King James 1611.
    Ephesians 5:31 King James 1611.
    Both husbands must leave their families to go and become a member of the wife’s family, or the one husband must leave his family to go and become a member of the wife’s family.



    1st. If any person within this Government of The Mohawk shall by direct, exprest, impious, or presumptuous ways, deny the true God and his Attributes; he shall be put to death.

    2nd. If any person within this Government of The Mohawk shall maliciously and on purpose deny that any Mohawk person may have arms for his defence suitable to his condition and as allowed by law; he shall be put to death.

    3rd. If any man shall traitorously deny his Clanmother’s right and titles to her Eagle Feathers and Dominions, or shall raise arms to resist her Authority; he shall be put to death.

    4th. If any man shall treacherously conspire or publiquely attempt, to invade or surprise any town or towns, fort or forts, within this Government of the Mohawk; he shall be put to death.

    5th. If any man lyeth with a man or mankind as he lyeth with a woman; they shall be put to death, unless the one party were forced or under fourteen years of age, in which case he shall not be punished.

    6th. If any man or woman shall lye with any beast or brute creature by carnal copulation; they shall be put to death, and the beast shall be burned.

    7th. If any person shall bear false witness maliciously and on purpose to take away any person’s life; he shall be put to death.

    8th. If any person shall slay, or cause another to be slain by guile or by poisoning or any such wicked conspiracy; he shall be put to death.

    9th. If any person shall commit any willful murder, which is manslaughter, committed upon malice, hatred, or cruelty, not in a person’s necessary or just defence, nor by mere casualty against his will; he shall be put to death.

    10th. If any person shall geld any man or mankind to take away generative power or virility; he shall be put to death.

    11th. If any person shall geld any woman or womankind; he shall be put to death.

    12th. If any man forcibly stealth or carrieth away any woman or womankind; he shall be put to death.

    13th. If any marryed man shall lye with a woman by carnal copulation, other than his one wife; he shall be put to death.

    14th. If any marryed woman shall lye with a man by carnal copulation, other than her two husbands or one husband; she shall be put to death.

    15th. If any unmarryed man above twentyeight years of age and under fortytwo years of age shall maliciously and on purpose refuse wedlock for over fourteen days with any marryed woman under sixtythree years of age, said marryed woman having borne a son, or unmarryed woman under sixtythree years of age; he shall be put to death.

    16th. If any person shall maliciously and on purpose deny any marryed woman wedlock with two husbands, said marryed woman having borne a son, or any unmarryed woman wedlock with one husband; he shall be put to death.

    17th. If any child, above sixteen years of age, and of sufficient understanding, shall smite his Natural Mother or Lodgemother, unless thereunto provoked and foret for the self preservation from death or mayming, then at the complaint of the said Mother and Lodgemother, and not otherwise, they being sufficient witnesses thereof; that child so offending shall be put to death.

    18th. If any stubborn and rebellious son, above sixteen years of age, and of sufficient understanding, shall not obey the voice of his Natural Mother or Lodgemother, and that when the said Mother or Lodgemother have chastened such son will not hearken unto them, then at the complaint of the said Mother and Lodgemother, and not otherwise, they being sufficient witnesses thereof; that son so offending shall be put to death.

    19th. If any unmarryed man shall lye with a woman by carnal copulation; he shall be whipt thirteen strokes, unless he hath his Natural Mother or Lodgemother authority, in which case he shall not be punished.

    20th. If any unmarryed woman shall lye with a man by carnal copulation; she shall be whipt three strokes, unless she hath her Natural Mother or Lodgemother authority, in which case she shall not be punished.
  13. The Sandman Purveyor of Sky Cake Banned

    Mar 10, 2005
    A twisty maze of passages, all alike
    Well, one distinct possibility in a feudal system would be the granting of mating rights. Women who aren't able to afford a husband would be offered the opportunity to have children by joining the retinue of a matriarch, who would then provide men to breed with.

    Also, needless to say, biological paternity is likely to be of minimal importance in this society.
  14. Valdemar II Banned

    Jul 26, 2005
    Copenhagen; the Kalmar Union
    The problem are that we see something like that in Africa, but the result are that men lives and work on their sisters/family farms and that rich men have several wifes (whom often take lovers), but have a closer relationship with their nephews and nieces than their own children (at least they know they're related to them). The problem are that unless a system also make genetic sense, it doesn't survive. Of course the solution could be some large die off of humanity and a human species whom are even closer related on a genetic level.
  15. Ian the Admin Administrator Donor

    Dec 19, 2003
    Banned for insanity/trolling.
  16. Mauro Motta Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    Will Durant once remarked that polyandry happened only in places where there was serious limitation of resources. To me it makes sense. Polyandry leads to restrained reproduction, because the woman is a bottleneck (so to speak). So hyper-population does the trick, it can make polyandry accepted.
  17. chornedsnorkack Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Limitation of resources

    Limitation of resources is common, because humans multiply to close to carrying capacity fairly quickly.

    Obvious solution is to impose involuntary celibacy on a part of adult women. Which part? There are several options, and societies make cultural choices which of there to use.

    Some societies have older men (thirties or older) marry young brides, teens or younger. If he survives through her childbearing years, they have over average number of children - but many do not, so she ends up a relatively unattractive widow in her thirties or late twenties, and some societies like Indians object to widow remarriage on principle. And the society also contains angry young men who cannot yet afford to marry. (Of course there is some sort of enforcement against unchaste widows.)

    If such society gets economically better off, the angry young men afford to get married a bit younger, and have more children over lifetime.

    Some societies require young women to work to earn dowry, and be involuntarily celibate until her late twenties or thirties. Again some form of enforcement against out of wedlock sex, a lot of unhappy young women and angry young men.

    Some societies have some women marry young to young men and go on to have many children, while their sisters cannot marry at all and wind up as old maids, or nuns. Again, a lot of men also must remain unmarried in case of monogamy.

    Some societies practice polygyny. Women in a harem do not have as many children as women in monogamous marriages, because they are partially neglected by the master of the harem. And of course, many angry young men here as well.

    So, how about polyandrous society? To limit the jealousy problems between cohusbands (which will still be there), what about fraternal polyandry? That is, if a household has several sons, the brothers must share a single wife.

    Compare the (historically quite widespread) practice of primogeniture, where the younger sons do not inherit and cannot afford to marry and get laid at all. This creates angry young men, who are in position to be disruptive in their effort to take over some household or die trying. Angry young women, too (only one sister per family, on average, can get married off), but angry young men are more disposed to organize to do something about their lot.

    Compared to primogeniture, in a polyandrous society the younger sons at least get laid. There will still be sexual jealousy, and they will still want to have a wife and household of his own by taking over or founding another household - but they have more stake in the success of their home and the children who may be their own or their brothers´.

    (This does not provide for old maid sisters, since on average only one sister per family can marry, but this is smaller social problem).

    How would societies that practice fraternal polyandry fare in contact with societies which practice primogeniture and do not share wives?
  18. Admiral Matt Member

    Jan 18, 2004
    Primogeniture and polyandry can serve similar purposes for a society. Both are devices to avoid the division of land into smaller and often unsustainable units.

    Britain did this by giving everything to the eldest child, and setting the rest out to make their fortune. Nepal, for example, accomplished (and occasionally still does) the same thing through polyandry. The set of brothers who wish to retain ownership of the family land all marry the same woman and treat all children as their own.

    How do you get that in Europe.... I don't know.
  19. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

    Apr 13, 2007
    Syracuse, Haudenosaunee, Vinland
    Think the American West, where there were 10 men for every woman (OK, so the ratio varied). Now imagine a variant of Mormonism, where polygamy (rather than just polygyny) is encouraged.

    How many converts can they get, if it's the only way a cowboy/gold miner can get even a share of a woman?:)

    Once it's societally entrenched, it ends up being an aberration, but one that's socially acceptable in *Mormon areas...
  20. Mr Qwerty Well-Known Member

    Jun 29, 2010
    California, Dude
    Considering the mysogynist nature of the Old Testament that Joseph Smith based his work off of, and society in general, that would be an unlikely occurence. Once that happened, however, the rest of your suggestion could follow.