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see marriagemarriage,
socially sanctioned union that reproduces the family. In all societies the choice of partners is generally guided by rules of exogamy (the obligation to marry outside a group); some societies also have rules of endogamy (the obligation to marry within a group).
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a form of plural marriage (POLYGAMY) where a woman has more than one husband. It is regarded as a functional strategy for ensuring reproductive stability when there is a shortage of women. Compare POLYGYNY.



a rare vestigial form of group marriage in which one woman has several husbands. In the 19th century, polyandry was still extant, particularly among the Aleuts and some groups of Eskimos; it existed even later among some ethnographic groups of Tibet and Hindustan. Polyandry may be fraternal, as among the Tibetans, or unrelated, as in South India.


1. the practice or condition of being married to more than one husband at the same time
2. the practice in animals of a female mating with more than one male during one breeding season
3. the condition in flowers of having a large indefinite number of stamens
References in periodicals archive ?
Although polyandrous marriages are the norm in these areas, participation in such a marriage is not viewed as compulsory or permanently binding for the brothers.
Before its putative transformation into a state governed by men in the middle of the eighth century, this "kingdom of women," more than any other then (or perhaps presently) known resembles a true matriarchy, in terms of matrilineality in surname and succession, matrifocal authority, and presumably matrilocal residence in a polyandrous society.
Setting the standards for appropriate treatment in male-female relationships, they defied the norms of patriarchy and Christianity by even indulging in polyandrous practices and interracial intercourse.
1) These lines of awkward miscommunication are recognizable in the reporter's own attempted connection with the female protagonist Laverne, who, as the polyandrous spectacle parachutist, is the object of all male attention in the novel.
The first set of arguments claims that polyandry is a cultural response to a prolonged absence of males in the family--a phenomenon observed commonly in all polyandrous societies (Gough 1959, Prince Peter 1955).
Note that the presence of outer staminodes in a polyandrous androecium has often been interpreted as evidence for a reductive trend (see Ronse Decraene & Smets, 1992, 1993).
Tilghman and her colleagues recently stumbled upon a publication from the 1960s that described cross-breeding between a monogamous mouse species and a closely related polyandrous one.
Sexual selection, arrival times, philopatry and site fidelity in the polyandrous Spotted Sandpiper.
Sperm storage by females of the polyandrous noctuid moth Heliothis virescens.
The relatively low total fertility rates in the northwestern regions may reflect the proportion of their populations that is composed of polyandrous Tibetans.
Four hypotheses frame nonparental infanticide as an adaptive behavior (Hrdy 1979): (1) killing young of another parent will increase the likelihood of mating with this individual or decrease the time until mating (sexual selection hypothesis), (2) infanticide will reduce competition for resources such as nest sites or food (resource competition hypothesis), (3) infanticide will direct more parental investment from a polyandrous or polygamous mate toward the offspring of the perpetrator (parental investment hypothesis), and (4) direct exploitation of the young as food (cannibalism hypothesis).