Husband sharing may lead to greater wealth and health – Study

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Children can thrive in polygamous families and are often better off than those from monogamous households in poor communities, researchers said on Monday, calling for greater cultural sensitivity among campaigners seeking to ban polygamy.

In Tanzania, polygamous families owned more cattle and farmed more land than monogamous ones in the same villages, according to a study involving 3,500 households in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

There was no evidence that children whose fathers had more than one wife were less healthy or hungrier than those in monogamous households.

“Children in polygamous households either do better or just as well as children in monogamous households within the same village,” the lead researcher, David Lawson of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

First wives, who tend to live with their husbands, had significantly better nutrition and less stunting among their children than monogamous families.

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