There has been a lot of talk in the American media recently about a perhaps more “evolved” form of love in which people have open or multiple relationships—polyamory. Tanzanians have a history of this practice through polygynous practices (having multiple wives), which is rooted in the Bantu tradition. In fact, polygyny is permitted for up to 4 wives in Tanzania, with the permission of the first wife.
Entries in multiple partners (4)
Although plural marriages are illegal in the U.S. and many westernized countries, they are legal in over 850 different societies, and consensual non-monogamy (e.g., open marriage à la Newt Gingrich, polyamory, swinging, and other sorts of arrangements) are becoming increasingly popular. TV networks have tapped into this interest: Big Love and Sister Wives, fictional and reality TV series on HBO and TLC, respectively, show the challenges of living in a plural marriage in the United States.
It is clear that people exercise different amounts of discretion when deciding how many sexual partners to become involved with across their lives. Some ‘‘save themselves’’ for marriage while others live their life like a character on the Jersey Shore. What accounts for different people’s willingness (or lack thereof) to engage in sexual relations with multiple partners? Although this is a complex question – one clear predictor of sexual promiscuity is personality.
A reader asked the following question: I'm interested in why some people like dating multiple people at a time and others only focus on one. Is it just for attention? Low self esteem? Or maybe it's survival of the fittest- don't stop on one until you're officially locked down?