Of the societies reported by the American anthropologist George Murdock in , only the Kaingang of Brazil had any group marriages at all. We'wha , one of the most revered Zuni elders an Ihamana, spiritual leader served as an emissary of the Zuni to Washington, where he met President Grover Cleveland. Divorce and remarriage can thus result in "serial monogamy", i. Serial monogamy Governments that support monogamy may allow easy divorce. Some cultures include third gender two-spirit or transgender individuals, such as the berdache of the Zuni in New Mexico. We'wha had a husband who was generally recognized as such. Within the society's kinship terminology, such relatives are usually indicated by a specific term which sets them apart as potentially marriageable. Several studies have suggested that the wive's relationship with other women, including co-wives and husband's female kin, are more critical relationships than that with her husband for her productive, reproductive and personal achievement. There is variation in the degree to which partner selection is an individual decision by the partners or a collective decision by the partners' kin groups, and there is variation in the rules regulating which partners are valid choices. Besides the second and subsequent marriages being void, the bigamist is also liable to other penalties, which also vary between jurisdictions.
However, a small number of countries have legalized it, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Malaysia ,  and Russia. Religion has commonly weighed in on the matter of which relatives, if any, are allowed to marry. Although it does not involve multiple now illegal formal marriages, the domestic and personal arrangements follow old polygynous patterns. Tensions not only exist between genders, but also within genders; senior and junior men compete for wives, and senior and junior wives in the same household may experience radically different life conditions, and internal hierarchy. They do explicitly prohibit polygyny today. Same-sex marriage and History of same-sex unions As noted above, several kinds of same-sex, non-sexual marriages exist in some lineage-based societies. To correct this condition, females had to be killed at birth, remain single, become prostitutes, or be siphoned off into celibate religious orders. Of the societies reported by the American anthropologist George Murdock in , only the Kaingang of Brazil had any group marriages at all. Such marriages are illegal in most countries due to incest restrictions. Examples include the Celtic practice of handfasting and fixed-term marriages in the Muslim community. According to the Ethnographic Atlas , of 1, societies noted, were monogamous; had occasional polygyny; had more frequent polygyny; and 4 had polyandry. There are other marriages in which the man is older than the woman. We'wha , one of the most revered Zuni elders an Ihamana, spiritual leader served as an emissary of the Zuni to Washington, where he met President Grover Cleveland. But in other societies a partner must be chosen from a different group than one's own — exogamy , this may be the case in societies practicing totemic religion where society is divided into several exogamous totemic clans, such as most Aboriginal Australian societies. Several studies have suggested that the wive's relationship with other women, including co-wives and husband's female kin, are more critical relationships than that with her husband for her productive, reproductive and personal achievement. Bob Simpson notes that in the British case, serial monogamy creates an "extended family" — a number of households tied together in this way, including mobile children possible exes may include an ex-wife, an ex-brother-in-law, etc. In other societies a person is expected to marry their cross-cousin , a woman must marry her father's sister's son and a man must marry his mother's brother's daughter — this is often the case if either a society has a rule of tracing kinship exclusively through patrilineal or matrilineal descent groups as among the Akan people of West Africa. In various societies the choice of partner is often limited to suitable persons from specific social groups. Relations may be by consanguinity or affinity , meaning by blood or by marriage. Such descriptive rules mask the participant's perspective: Today, child marriages are widespread in parts of the world; being most common in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa , with more than half of the girls in some countries in those regions being married before Prohibited degree of kinship , Cousin marriage , Affinity canon law , and Avunculate marriage Societies have often placed restrictions on marriage to relatives, though the degree of prohibited relationship varies widely. Societies show variable acceptance of polygamy as a cultural ideal and practice. In some cases couples living together do not wish to be recognized as married. In some societies the rule is that a partner is selected from an individual's own social group — endogamy , this is often the case in class- and caste-based societies. Serial monogamy Governments that support monogamy may allow easy divorce.
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