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This favours polygamous marriages in which men seek to monopolize the production of women "who are valued both as workers and as child bearers". Burton discuss and support Jack Goody's observation regarding African male farming systems in "Causes of Polygyny: Ecology, Economy, Kinship, and Warfare"Goody (1973) argues against the female contributions hypothesis.Goody however, observes that the correlation is imperfect and varied, and also discusses more traditionally male-dominated though relatively extensive farming systems such as those that exist in much of West Africa, especially in the West African savanna, where polygyny is desired by men more for the generation of male offspring whose labor is valued. He notes Dorjahn's (1959) comparison of East and West Africa, showing higher female agricultural contributions in East Africa and higher polygyny rates in West Africa, especially the West African savanna, where one finds especially high male agricultural contributions.For such reasons, senior wives sometimes work hard or contribute from their own resources to enable their husbands to accumulate the bride price for an extra wife.Polygyny may also result from the practice of levirate marriage.Like "monogamy", the term "polygamy" is often used in a de facto sense, applied regardless of whether the state recognizes the relationship.In sociobiology and zoology, researchers use polygamy in a broad sense to mean any form of multiple mating.
The family of the late wife, in other words, must provide a replacement for her, thus maintaining the marriage alliance.Drawing on the work of Ester Boserup, Goody notes that the sexual division of labour varies between the male-dominated intensive plough-agriculture common in Eurasia and the extensive shifting horticulture found in sub-Saharan Africa.In some of the sparsely-populated regions where shifting cultivation takes place in Africa, women do much of the work.Fraternal polyandry was traditionally practiced among nomadic Tibetans in Nepal, parts of China and part of northern India, in which two or more brothers would marry the same woman.It is most common in societies marked by high male mortality.
This constitutes a form of de facto polygyny referred to as concubinage.