Polygamy: a cultural trait and maternal and child health

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Abstract

This study indicates that it is probable that the cultural trait of polygamy was instituted as an adaptive measure in a particular ecology within a particular tribal group. Polygamy perpetuated because of its positive contribution to maternal and child health. The study further indicates that it is also probable that monogamy as a foreign cultural trait and its introduction without concomitant changes in other spheres of the ecosystem (biophysical and social environment) must have produced a negative effect on maternal and child health. The particular ecosystem is described and its effects on maternal and child health are pointed out.

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