“In polyandry, the woman often initiates the relationships, and invites the husbands to join her union. Some pay the bride price, others opt to contribute to her livelihood. She has the power to remove a co-husband if she believes he is destabilising her other relationships.
Prof Machoko said love was the main reason the men he interviewed said they had agreed to be co-husbands. They did not want to risk losing their wife.
Some men also referred to the fact that they did not satisfy their wives sexually, agreeing to the suggestion of a co-husband to avoid divorce or affairs.
Another reason was infertility – some men consented to the wife taking another husband so that she could have children. In this way, the men ‘saved face’ in public and avoided being stigmatised as ’emasculated’.”-Pumza Fihlani, “Outcry over South Africa’s multiple husbands proposal.” BBC. June 27, 2021
What’s good for the goose….
The basic idea is this: people should live as seems best to them. If that involves a man and a woman, two men, two women, or multiple men and/or women, who cares? Designate a family union as a contract, and any children born or adopted by parties to that contract are parents. It’s not difficult to implement, and it is clean conceptually. Further, the whole world doesn’t have to live by the ethics of pastoral people from the Middle East from 1500 years or more ago. We can create new family structures beyond the traditional ones, and in the case of polyamory, the fact that more people are involved even creates the possibility of more stable structures where when one person leaves, the union can possibly continue.