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Polygamy refers to having multiple spouses in a marriage (one-to-many).

Types of polygamy[edit | edit source]

Gender-based variations of these two include:

  • Polyandry: A person with multiple male spouses
  • Polygyny: A person with multiple female spouses

Humans are a moderately polygynous species. For this reason polygamy is much more common, and polyandry in fact very rare, hence most polygamy is actually polygyny.

Other related concepts[edit | edit source]

Polyamory refers to having multiple romantic/sexual partners of any sex, but not necessarily in a formal marriage (in fact such unions are not legally accepted as marriages), with potentially multiple men and women forming a sexually active union (many-to-many or one-to-many).

Polyamory is multiple loves, there may or may not be a marriage. Polygamy is multiple marriages, there may or may not be love.

—Joreth Innkeeeper

Monogamy refers to a "heteronormative" (i.e. normal male-female) one-to-one union.

See also[edit | edit source]