Polygamy: A Cross-Cultural Analysis examines and analyzes the past and modern polygamy. It enlightens us on the different types of polygamy.
History of human marriage shows the progression of marriage from its original record through modern times and covers monogamy, polygamy, polyandry and group marriage
The Polyamory Handbook: A User’s Guide gives definitions of polyamory, how to identify it, the effects of communication on it, how to resolve conflict, raising children in this marriage, how to keep sexual hygiene, dealing with discrimination, and legal issues
In Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage, Block explains to us what an open marriage is how it can work, and specifically how it has improved her marriage to her husband.
The spectre of promiscuity: gay male and bisexual non-monogamies and polyamories show the gay marriage opinions on monogamy and the issues facing gay marriages.
Encyclopedia of marriage and the family contains so many articles that deal with the subject of marriage in perspective and help people to understand different types of marriages.
Common law marriage: a legal institution for cohabitation explains what common law marriage is, the conditions for the acceptance of common law marriage and the legal aspects of that type of marriage.
Kinship Organizations and Group Marriage in Australia examines the meaning of kinship in different cultures in Australia. It also discusses group marriages and their practices in Australia.
Choices in Relationships: An Introduction to Marriage and the Family show that the outcomes of a relationship or marriage are based on the choices that the individuals in that relationship or marriage make.
Levirate Marriage and the Family in Ancient Judaism examines levirate marriages and their significance in ancient Judaism.
Polygamy: A Cross-Cultural Analysis examines and analyzes the past and modern polygamy. It enlightens us on the different types of polygamy. Different people embrace polygamy differently depending on their religion, communities they come from and their nationality thus this book helps us understand how these people embrace this arrangement without any prejudice (Zeitzen, 2008). It shows polygamy’s position in anthropology and its multiplicity in countries such as the US, India, Great Britain, Asia, Tibet and Africa.
The book also provides insight on contentious issues that present polygamists are faced with such as discrimination, HIV/AIDS and female liberation. Polygamy is the type of marriage arrangement in which the spouses have different partners from their legal marriage partners. It is an umbrella of many different marriage arrangements such as polyandry, polyamory, polyfidelity, open marriages and group marriages (Zeitzen, 2008).
It shows that the Mormon religion recognized it as a belief called plural marriage until the late 19th century. According to this book, the most common type of polygamy is polygyny in which a man is legally married to many wives. He provides for all the wives and procreates with each of them. The main reasons for this type of marriage was to strengthen family ties and as a symbol of wealth and power (Zeitzen, 2008).
The other type covered in the book is polyandry in which a woman is married to more that one husband. The two types of polyandry are fraternal where two or more brothers share a wife and non-fraternal where the different husbands are not related (Zeitzen, 2008). An example of non-fraternal polyandry was in the Nayar case with the fraternal form being common in Nepal and Tibet .This was because of the shortage of women due to little endurance rates as compared to the men. In this case, estates belonging to the brothers were not divided (Zeitzen, 2008). This marriage setup can be used to balance the sex ratio in China.
History of human marriage shows the progression of marriage from its original record through modern times. It discusses monogamy, endogamy, exogamy, marriage by capture marriage of covenant, polygamy, polyandry, group marriage and marriage duration and the main causes of divorce (Westermarck, 2003). It discusses the above types of marriages in detail including those who engage in them the laws that govern each type of marriage and how to dissolve these marriages if they are not working out to the advantage of those involved in them(Westermarck, 2003).
According to the book, marriage is a topic that is widely covered in today’s society. It is defined simply as a manner of recognizing a devoted relationship between two individuals or adults. There is no universal definition of marriage and it varies from country to country, state to state and community to community (Westermarck, 2003). Initially marriage was renowned to be unification between a man and a woman but as the world changes; other definitions have been included to recognize different types of marriages. The organization, purpose and implication of marriage can be very diverse from culture to culture.
Initially only two broad types of marriage, arrangements were recognized: religious and the civil marriages. Monogamy is the most recognized type of marriage and it is defined as a marriage between two people of the opposite sex for a lifetime Westermarck, 2003). However, some states have expanded the clause to include two people of the same sex. These modifications are known as serial monogamy. In monogamy, there is the social and biological aspect. True monogamy should involve both aspects but people are of the belief that, they may not exist together at the same time.
Endogamy or Homogamy is the act of restraining marriages inside social groups, ethnicities, or classes (Westermarck, 2003). The Amish practiced it. The opposite of this type of marriage is exogamy or mixed marriages, which restricts marriages between blood relatives. One was allowed to marry outside the social group, class, ethnicity, religion, or nationality (Westermarck, 2003).
The Polyamory Handbook: A User’s Guide gives definitions of polyamory, how to identify it, the effects of communication on polyamory, how to resolve conflict, how to raise children in this marriage, how to keep sexual hygiene, how to deal with discrimination, and legal implications of this type of marriage. This book is a good read to all people who are curious about polyamory whether they practice it or not .
All the questions about polyamory are answered in this extensive book. Polyamory, which is the act of having more than one sexual partner between people who are married and they consent to the practice (Benson, 2008). It is a modern practice as opposed to polygamy, which is a traditional practice. It can be a relationship between a married couple and other married couples.
Polyamory is exceptionally appropriate for bisexuals, because it allows them to convey their diverse sexuality in devoted relationships (Benson, 2008). Originally, it was practiced between opposite sex marriages but currently it exists in same sex marriages (Benson, 2008). Many religious ideals differ with this type of marriage because it involves sex out of marriage commonly referred to as adultery.
Another form of polyamory is polyfidelity in which a certain group identifies itself as primary sexual partners and can only have sex with members of that group (Benson, 2008). This can be termed as restricted polyamory or expanded monogamy. It was mainly practiced in the Kerista village of San Francisco between opposite sex partners (Benson, 2008). This leads to sharing of responsibilities and all the members take turns to have sex with each other.
This book helps those who are single and would like to settle down with one partner but do not want to give up the independence of dating other partners without cheating on their spouses(Benson, 2008).
In Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage, Block explains to us what an open marriage is how it can work, and specifically how it has improved her marriage to her husband. She explains the advantages of open marriages in relation to cheating (Block, 2008). Even though too many open marriages are marriages with a lot of adultery, she views them as a savior from this vice.
She says that the failure of open marriages is because the public depict this marriage to be abnormal. Open marriage is a monogamous setting between a couple that agrees to each spouse having other extramarital partners without any jealousy or possessiveness (Block, 2008). This type of marriage harbors infidelity. First, this form of marriage leads to the sustenance of most marriages because it eliminates boredom. However, it also eliminates all forms of trust in a marriage thus downgrading the family unit
This book tries to change our ideas of how traditional marriage looks like, and tries to paint a new picture of happy marriages, which are not based on monogamy (Block, 2008). All happily, ever after marriages traditionally are depicted as monogamous marriage. in this book Block explains to us how open marriages are the alternative to monogamous marriages because a spouse who is not contented with the marriage can have a relationship outside the marriage and at the same time keep his or her marriage(Block, 2008).
The only thing that is not well discussed in this book is how to tell the children about the type of marriage that their parents are involved in. We find out that Block has not told her child about her other lover and the child only knows that the other woman is her mums best friend not her lover (Block, 2008). It may have its own shortcomings but it enlightens us on open marriage arrangements.
The spectre of promiscuity: gay male and bisexual non-monogamies and polyamories shows that gay marriages do not see monogamy as a very important issue thus they do not rely on it in their marriages as monogamists do (Klesse, 2007). This book examines the range of gay male and bisexual relationships in the perspective and highlights different problems faced by the gay society in many countries.
It provides further insights for studies on sexual culture, diversity in marriage, legal implication of gay marriages, social implications of gay marriages, citizenship and ethics. Same sex marriage or gay marriage has come under a lot of scrutiny in the society (Klesse, 2007). There are people who are pro gay marriages while others do not support it.
This is the marriage between two partners of the same sex. It can be between two women or two men (Klesse, 2007). Most religions do not support gay marriages. Some countries and states have legalized this type of marriage but others are adamant to legalize it branding it a perverted practice (Klesse, 2007). Despite this, depending on an individual’s sexual orientation, one is free to choose the marriage types they want.
This type of marriage can blend with other types of marriages such as polyamory. Another type of this marriage was the Boston marriage, which depicted a sexual relationship between two women in New England who were viewed as a married couple not just roommates. Today it might involve two women with non-sexual but committed relationship (Klesse, 2007). In New England, this marriage was practiced due to men’s fear of educated women.
This book helps those who have not embraced their sexual orientation to do so because they are not the only ones facing this. it help them to understand that though most people view them as being abnormal they are normal it is just that they have a different sexual orientation (Klesse, 2007).
Benson, P., J. The Polyamory Handbook: A User’s Guide. Buckinghamshire, UK: Author House, 2008.
Block, J. Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage. New York, NY: Seal Press, 2008
Klesse, C. The spectre of promiscuity: gay male and bisexual non-monogamies and polyamories. Brookfield, VT: Ash gate Publishing Ltd, 2007.
Knox, D. & Schacht, C. Choices in Relationships: An Introduction to Marriage and the Family. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2009.
Levinson, D. Encyclopedia of marriage and the family. Michigan, USA: Macmillan Library Reference USA, 1995.
Lind, G. Common law marriage: a legal institution for cohabitation. Virgin Islands, USA: Oxford University Press US, 2008.
Thomas, N., W. Kinship Organizations and Group Marriage in Australia. Nottinghamshire, UK; BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2009.
Weisberg, D., E. Levirate Marriage and the Family in Ancient Judaism. Lebanon, NH: UPNE, 2009.
Westermarck, E. History of Human Marriage. West Conshohocken, PA: Kessinger Publishing, 2003.
Zeitzen, M., K. Polygamy: a cross-cultural analysis. Oxfordshire, UK: Berg Publishers, 2008