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Marriage - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal

Sep. 13th, 2005

12:16 am - Marriage

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Date:September 13th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)
That's the common usage, certainly. However I'm pretty sure that in technical anthropological usage polygamy can refer to either, and the specific term for one husband, several wives is polygyny (which is a mouthful, to say the least).

The fact that Polygyny is so much more common than Polyandry has led to the sloppy usage of Polygamy when Polygyny is meant, and the misunderstanding of this has lead to the popular usage of Polygamy to mean only Polygyny, when it was supposed to refer to either.

I believe this causes a hell of a lot of confusion ;)
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