side-effects of polygamy in three african societies

here’s a little data from the demographic and health surveys for three african nations where polygamy is common — benin (2006), burkina faso (2003), and nigeria (2008). these are the percentages of single (never married) men and women at different ages. as you can see, because of polygamy (which creates a shortage of women), it takes longer for men to get married (a first time).

in benin, we don’t see a majority of men (76%) being married until after age 25. the vast majority of women are married by ages 20-24:

in burkina faso, again, a majority of men (~60%) are not married until after age 25. 84% of women are married by age 24:

in nigeria, a majority of men (76%) are not married until between the ages of 30-34. 62% of women are married by the age of 24:

in all three countries, a majority of men aged 45+ (98-99%) are married, but there’s a h*ckuva long wait for so many men!

see also: solving the “polygamy problem”? and more on solving the “polygamy problem”

(note: comments do not require an email. or a marriage license.)

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7 Comments

  1. Maybe it’s counter-intuitive or they’ve developed compensating mechanisms but on the face of it i’d imagine that would create tensions.

    Reply

  2. @g.w. – “…on the face of it i’d imagine that would create tensions.”

    well, it’s not like africa is known as a very peaceful, stable place.

    Reply

  3. It’s easy to judge and throw comments when you know nothing about Africa. there are things about your culture that is very strange to us as well but we don’t care cause it’s none of our business.

    Reply

  4. cheeting men and women are worst. you don’t know how african men choose thier women. study how american people choose their mates and their diseases and leave us alone.

    Reply

  5. @nunyah – “It’s easy to judge….”

    i’m not judging. africans can be as polygamous as they want, afaiac (not if they live in the u.s. though). i got no problems with that.

    Reply

  6. polygamy influences the high rate of HIV/AIDS. So why doesnt every one stick to their one partners????????

    Reply

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