Anthropologist Jack Goody 's comparative study of marriage around the world utilizing the Ethnographic Atlas found a strong correlation between intensive plough agriculture, dowry and monogamy. Although a society may be classified as polygynous, not all marriages in it necessarily are; monogamous marriages may in fact predominate. The "ex-wife", for example, remains an active part of her "ex-husband's" or "ex-wife's" life, as they may be tied together by transfers of resources alimony, child support , or shared child custody. Such descriptive rules mask the participant's perspective: In some cases couples living together do not wish to be recognized as married. Those who remarry do so on average three times.
The Codex Theodosianus C. The de facto form of polygyny is found in other parts of the world as well including some Mormon sects and Muslim families in the United States. They do explicitly prohibit polygyny today. There have been calls for the abolition of polygamy in developing countries. Such descriptive rules mask the participant's perspective: Monogamy Monogamy is a form of marriage in which an individual has only one spouse during their lifetime or at any one time serial monogamy. In some cases couples living together do not wish to be recognized as married. To correct this condition, females had to be killed at birth, remain single, become prostitutes, or be siphoned off into celibate religious orders. It is associated with partible paternity, the cultural belief that a child can have more than one father. Another kind of marriage selection is the levirate marriage in which widows are obligated to marry their husband's brother, mostly found in societies where kinship is based on endogamous clan groups. As a series of connected households, they come to resemble the polygynous model of separate households maintained by mothers with children, tied by a male to whom they are married or divorced. Those who remarry do so on average three times. Cohabitation and Common-law marriage In some jurisdictions cohabitation , in certain circumstances, may constitute a common-law marriage , an unregistered partnership , or otherwise provide the unmarried partners with various rights and responsibilities; and in some countries the laws recognize cohabitation in lieu of institutional marriage for taxation and social security benefits. Anthropologist Jack Goody 's comparative study of marriage around the world utilizing the Ethnographic Atlas found a strong correlation between intensive plough agriculture, dowry and monogamy. One type of de facto polygyny is concubinage , where only one woman gets a wife's rights and status, while other women remain legal house mistresses. Same-sex marriage and History of same-sex unions As noted above, several kinds of same-sex, non-sexual marriages exist in some lineage-based societies. In some societies the rule is that a partner is selected from an individual's own social group — endogamy , this is often the case in class- and caste-based societies. Often, however, it is difficult to draw a hard and fast line between the two. Marriages between parents and children, or between full siblings, with few exceptions,         have been considered incest and forbidden. The suffix "-gamy" refers specifically to the number of spouses, as in bi-gamy two spouses, generally illegal in most nations , and poly-gamy more than one spouse. Religion has commonly weighed in on the matter of which relatives, if any, are allowed to marry. The Islamic prophet Muhammad sanctioned a temporary marriage — sigheh in Iran and muta'a in Iraq — which can provide a legitimizing cover for sex workers. Such marriages have also been increasingly common in Beijing. If every brother married separately and had children, family land would be split into unsustainable small plots. The vast majority of the world's countries, including virtually all of the world's developed nations, do not permit polygamy. Polyandry , Polyandry in Tibet , and Polyandry in India Polyandry is notably more rare than polygyny, though less rare than the figure commonly cited in the Ethnographic Atlas which listed only those polyandrous societies found in the Himalayan Mountains. There are other marriages in which the man is older than the woman.
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