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When Brothers Share a Wife

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Liv Rivituso

on 20 October 2014

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Transcript of When Brothers Share a Wife

When Brothers Share a Wife
In Tibet, fraternal polyandry is commonly practiced, meaning that two or more brothers share one wife.

However, the Tibetan people are not limited to polyandry; monogamy and polygyny are also forms of marriage that are utilized within this culture.
Enhancing understanding
1. Two or more brothers share one wife (the husbands must be brothers).

2. The wife traditionally treats every husband equally, in all aspects of the relationship.

3. Regardless of who their biological father is, each child treats each man as their own father (and vice versa).

4. Divorce is quite simple: if a husbands wants out, he leaves the household, without any of the children.

5. Other brothers may join the marriage when they become of age.

6. The eldest brother carries a dominant position.
Rules of Fraternal Polyandry
Believed and proven wrong...
1.Tibetans would starve without this system
2. Tibetans practice female infanticide.
3. Reduces population growth.

Actual reasons...
1. Hereditary servitude.
2. Overall, better quality of life.
3. Less responsibility on just one husband.

Reasons for Paternal Polyandry
Liv Rivituso
Fraternal polyandry
: two or more brothers are married to the same wife, with the wife having equal 'sexual access' to them.

: the practice or state of being married to one person at a time.
*: The practice of having more than one wife at a time.
*Please note that polygamy differs from polygyny in the fact that polygyny is gender specific to women and polygamy applies to both genders.
Things I found interesting
The husbands must be brothers, in order to benefit the family.

As time persists, the tradition of fraternal polyandry is weakening.

Environment can be argued as a cause of this tradition; it is only found in Tibet and very few parts of Asia and India.
Interesting quotes
"It prevented a division of family's farmland and thus facilitated all of them achieving a higher standard of living."
"Very young brothers almost never participate in actual marriage ceremonies, although they typically join the marriage when they reach their midteens."
"New opportunities for economic and social mobility in these countries, such as the tourist trade and government employment, are also eroding the rationale for polyandry, and so it may vanish within the next generation."
Draupadi and Pandavas
An example of fraternal polyandry
Full transcript