Fathers and sons can share a common wife in Tibet? Seems kind of awkard

Re the wiki

How the hell could you make something like that work?

Let me be the first to say: eeeewwww

Repeat after me: marriage is an economic institution.

There are very good reasons that polygyny and polyandry exist where they do.

Polygyny predominates in situations where conflict and warfare are expected. You know there are more women in the world than men, right? Do you know that damn near every society has a higher birthrate of males than females? Our evolution as a species has given us (on average) six expendable males for every 200 people born. God bless warfare.

More than 90% of cultures ever documented practice, allow, condone, or advocate polygamy. Because life is nasty, brutish, and short, especially for men. When three men die, there are three widows who can either be a burden on society or be a contributing member.

Polyandry is pretty close to unique. Of the 90% of cultures that allow polygamy, a barest one percent of that ninety accepts polyandry. The only times polyandry is accepted (as far as I know) is in a circumstance of patrilineal descent, patrilocal residence, and marginal ground.

I’m not certain about Tibet, but I understand that Nepal is both patrilocal and patrilineal. Every son is entitled to an equal share of the father’s land. But the land is so marginal that any division will only result in mutual starvation. With every brother marrying the same woman, the land passes down en bloc.

Every brother (and maybe dad[s]) have the same wife. Any child is the daughter/son of all of them in the only metric that matters. And all of them survive on the land held in common.

But go ahead and “eeeewwww” over it. It works, it fits, and it’s a brilliant human adaptation to a particular environment. Bless your heart.

Well, I suppose it would be better if the father was sharing the son’s wife rather than vice versa.

A little better.

Oh for…

The common wife is not the son’s mother.

Of course it’s the sons’ wife.

Lifeways work or they don’t. These have.

If by “contributing member” you mean “baby factory”, yes. However, I happen to think that as a female, I can contribute to society in ways that don’t involve my uterus. The reason those three widows are considered a burden on society is because those societies don’t allow women to work outside the home. Hell, for the most part, they don’t allow women to GO outside their homes, unless escorted by a male and heavily robed. If the women were allowed to have a life and maybe even a profession outside the family home, guess what? Maybe they could also contribute to society.

Most women are capable of doing more than just functioning as baby incubators. And damn few women WANT to be nothing more than baby incubators. Even the ones who are happy to be mothers usually want to be something other than a mother.

Someone on this board once said “the vagina is not a clown car”, and I believe it.

Isn’t this a situation where there is no vice versa?

No. Sorry, Lynn, but you’re so far out of bounds (and your league) that it’s not even funny. You’re obviously equating polygyny with Islam, Africa, or the Middle East (“escorted by a male and heavily robed”). Polygyny existed on any continent you care to name, and certainly among your ancestors. Polygyny is the most common form of observed marital pattern across the human experience, and it’s worked.

What I meant by ‘contributing member’ was that the individual had enough status within the society to operate with agency. Stepping outside your oh so narrow narrative, neither women or men have status if single in most of the world’s cultures.

I’ll leave pages of comparative analysis aside for now. Let me state beforehand and for the record that I view the objectification and marginalization of women as one of the greatest sins of the shared human experience.

Let’s play your game. In the course of human history, you’re relegated to the sidelines, consigned to baby-making, and left to exercise informal power over your community’s decisions.

The question is, what happens to me?

Woah, easy there. There have been quite a few societies which weren’t so radical as to “not allow a woman to work outside the house”, but where a woman (specially one who was taking care of children), simply could not pull as much work as a man or as a woman without children: they did not have the energy and time of a single woman, and they did not have the strength of a man.

That doesn’t mean that a woman’s only function was to be “a baby factory”, it means that there was no such thing as diesel-powered reaping machines. In many places, there still is not.

Presumably some sort of rota system? Or perhaps a sign-up sheet?

This whole “contributing member” subject is really a side issue. The more important point is that in a society with a high death rate and no large influx of immigrants, either the women have lots of children or the society dies out.

Every brother (and maybe dad[s]
) have the same wife. Any child is the daughter/son of all of them in the only metric that matters. And all of them survive on the land held in common.

But go ahead and “eeeewwww” over it. It works, it fits, and it’s a brilliant human adaptation to a particular environment.
Well, perhaps it works in a practical sense. But it’s my understanding that few of the people who practice polyandry actually like it; they just tolerate it out of necessity.

Purely financial institutions do not include the ability to have sex with the participants.

However they often involve people getting screwed.


It’s a perk?


I don’t know what bank you’ve been going to buddy, but you’re clearly missing out.

Sometimes I kick myself for taking free checking as my bonus for signing up for direct deposit.

I’m not seeing how the numbers work out for your theory. Assuming there are equal numbers of men and women (which is the normal standard) then polyandry is just going to result in some women remaining single and less likely to have children, thereby lowering the birthrate.

If the high death rate is caused by warfare, then you’ve probably got a shortage of men. If that’s the case, then you already were facing a situation where you were going to have a lot of unmarried women and polyandry would just increase that.

The only case where polyandry might make sense for raising the birth rate would be if you have a society where there’s a shortage of women. And there are societies like that. But the reason they have a shortage a women is due to widespread female infanticide. And in those cases, I’d say those people are ignoring a rather obvious solution to their population decline problem. You don’t have enough people? Well, stop killing your children for a few generations and see how that works out.

Adds some layers to Yo Momma jokes.