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Polyamory vs Polygamy: Top 10 African Nations where Polygamy Thrives


What is Polygamy

Polyamory refers to having many relationships while married (or not married) to one person, polygamy is the practice of marrying more than one person.

Although polyamory includes an emotional component in addition to its sexual or romantic aspects, polygamy is mostly practiced for sexual fulfillment or occasionally for political purposes.

Polygyny, in which one man marries several women, is the more prevalent type of polygamy.

While both spouses are permitted to take either one or more lovers in polyamory, in polygamy one individual has several relationships.

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What is Polyamory

Having many partners is known as polyamory, while having several spouses is known as polygamy. Both are unusual and irregular habits in modern Western culture.

Consensual nonmonogamy (CNM), or polyamory, is one type of CNM.

The primary reason that partners communicate with one another in swinging or “open” relationships or other forms of CNM is not the case with polyamory.

What is Monogamy

Monogamy is a relationship that involves just one partner at a time as opposed to several. Although it’s typically both, a monogamous relationship might be either sexual or emotional.

Monogamy is common in contemporary partnerships.

However, some people struggle to maintain their monogamy even when they only want to be with one partner. Infidelity, separation, breakups, and divorce may result from this.

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What are the main differences?

Although they may sound similar, polyamory and polygamy are very different in reality.


Both the phrases polygamy and polyamory are gender-neutral. Women who have numerous partners of any gender, men who have many partners of any gender, and nonbinary persons who have multiple partners of any gender are all covered by this.

The term “polygyny” refers especially to a guy who has several wives. A lady who has several spouses is said to practice polyandry.

In actuality, polygyny outnumbers polyandry by a wide margin.


While polyamory refers to all forms of personal relationships (including dating and marriage), polygamy, polygyny, and polyandry are terms that explicitly pertain to marriage.

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Some people engage in polygamy as a result of their religious convictions.

For instance, while many Muslims do not, some do practice polygamy. In actuality, some Muslims are anti-polygamy.

Are there any similarities?

Nonmonogamy can take many various forms, including polyamory, polygamy, and polyandry.

In other words, because they entail one or more persons having many partners, they are distinct types of nonmonogamous relationship arrangements.

Polyamory vs Polygamy: Top 10 African countries where the practice thrives.

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Country Polygamy Rate (%)
Burkina Faso 36
Mali 34
Gambia 30
Niger 29
Nigeria 28
Guinea 26
Guinea-Bissau 23
Senegal 23
Togo 17
Chad 15

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