Polygamy is a practice where one has two or more wives or husbands and is legally married by law. Polygamy was mainly practiced during ancient days as it was considered as a sign of wealth and still exists today. A person who practiced polygamy and had many children was a very respectable person. Some of the advantages of polygamous practices are;
1. Division of work: When a man marries more than one wife, there will be a division of work among them. Also, the polygamy family is assured of many children which ensures there is enough labor for the task to be performed.
2. Security: The family is considered big enough to protect themselves from any kind of danger or attack. Even the kids while playing out in the fields cannot be attacked by other kids because they can protect each other.
3. Sign of wealth: In the old days marrying many wives and siring many kids was considered as a sign of wealth. A person with many wives was considered rich and the family was respected. They received a lot of bride prices when the daughters are married off.
4. It is full of entertainment and fun: A huge family comprised of people with different hobbies. Some members may be comedians, dancers, and even some good at singing. This could be very entertaining when the family comes together just to have talks and entertainment.
5. Breaks the monotony of having one wife: Some people may become very tired of having one wife. This could be a result of daily conflicts. Practicing polygamy will reduce these conflicts as you are not always with one partner. Therefore, it can reduce the chances of divorce.
6. Easier in decision making: In a polygamous family there are a lot of members who are able to view things from different perspectives. This can help when you want to solve a certain issue as you can get opinions from different people before making the decision.
7. You will be able to acquire multiple knowledge: In a large family, the wives may have different skills and knowledge. Thus, you are able to learn many different things from them.
8. One will feel the power of companionship: When you have a big family you will feel good just for that companionship. Many people prefer to live in groups than living on their own.
9. Encourages hard work: Every married partner will not want to be viewed as lazy. Also one will have to put more effort to get enough to provide for the large family.
10. Females are assured of getting husbands: In the current situation, the number of females is very big compared to males. Therefore a man marrying one wife may leave many ladies unmarried hence polygamy might be of help.
These are some of the disadvantages of polygamous practices;
1. Leads to poverty: A person practicing polygamy may fail to cater to all the basics required to sustain the big family. This may lead to poverty among the family. This might also be a result of laziness as others might not perform their daily routines as required as they feel they are being used.
2. Leads to overpopulation: Practicing polygamy might lead to a high population. One family might sire a lot of children which even the family might fail to take care of. This may retard economic development as more money is spent on catering to basic needs instead of investments.
3. The outbreak of diseases: In a polygamous family, when one of the partners is infected by a certain disease such as sexually transmitted diseases for example HIV/AIDs, the diseases might be spread to all other partners of the family.
4. Unemployment: A person practicing a polygamous family might fail to educate all his children, therefore, missing out the basic knowledge. The children might fail to get employed due to a lack of required skills and competencies.
5. Increase in the over-dependency ratio: In a polygamy family, there might be a high dependency ratio as the breadwinner of the family might fail to get all the finances to cater for the big family, therefore, depending on family members, friends, or government support
6. The dispute among inheritance: In a family practicing polygamy, there might be a lot of quarrels and conflicts when it comes to inheritance as everyone will want to get an equal share which might be the case, especially if you don’t have a lot of wealth.
7. There is a lot of secrets: There is a lot of secrets in a polygamous family as some partners might be jealous when you do something to only one partner and fail to do for the other. Everything is done secretly to each partner.
8. Public judgment: The partners may live in fear of being exposed to the public as they are afraid of the judgment by the public.
9. One does not fully enjoy the protection of the partner: When one has more than one wife, he may not be able to have the full time to stay with his partners as he will have to divide time in order to be with other partners. The partners therefore thus feel the full fun of being with the husband.
10. Creates gender imbalance: When for example one man marries more than two wives, it may lead to gender imbalance as the number of females who can settle to form a family greatly reduce compared to the number of males in the society.