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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Ethics of Polygyny
Author:Gbadegesin, SegunISNI
Year:1993
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy (ISSN 1011-226X)
Volume:7
Issue:2
Period:December
Pages:3-29
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zambia
Africa
Subjects:polygamy
Cultural Roles
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
sociology
Polygyny
Tradition
religion
Abstract:Is there anything inherently morally wrong with polygyny? The author approaches this question by examining two different contexts in which polygyny currently occurs in Africa, viz. amongst those who have not been influenced by missionaries and colonizers (the traditional or indigenous context), on the one hand, and among the new Westernized elites who chose or were forced to choose municipal marriage (the modern context), on the other. In the second case, he looks at the different situations in which the modern versions of polygyny normally occur, and examines the considerations for and against the practice in each case. He argues that while there can be no blanket moral condemnation of polygyny in general, neither can it be justified unreservedly simply by appealing to culture and tradition. Rather, it should be judged according to the specific situation. Considerations appropriate for evaluating polygyny in the modern context, in which a couple enter into marriage without any presumption of other partners in the affair, will be different from those which may be required in a traditional context, in which such a presumption is taken for granted. In conclusion, the author asserts that the morality or immorality of the practice of polygyny depends on the values shared by the men and women involved and the conception of the place of women in relation to men. Bibliogr., sum. in French (p. 2).
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