When one wife is enough: a cross-cultural study of the determinants of monogamy

Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology Vol/Iss. 7 Published In Pages: 211-237
By Dow, Malcolm M., Eff, E. Anthon


This article tests a myriad of factors that may have contributed to the adoption of monogamy in preindustrial societies. Results indicate that monogamy is not imposed by elites; rather, it is a strategy often chosen by women who can see no advantage to increasing the size or economic productivity of their households with more wives. The authors also assert that monogamy is generally adopted through cultural diffusion. Low pathogen stress, low risk of famine, and low endemic violence are also correlated with monogamy.

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:Amelia Piazza