This provides support for the widow and her children (usually also members of the brothers' kin group) and maintains the tie between the husband and wives' kin groups.The sororate is like the levirate, in that a widower must marry the sister of his dead wife.According to the Ethnographic Atlas (1998), of 1,231 societies noted, 588 had frequent polygyny, 453 had occasional polygyny, 186 were monogamous and 4 had polyandry; From a religious point of view, in contemporary society polygyny is associated with the Muslim religion, although not all Muslim cultures practice it, and neither is it restricted to this religion.
In some of the sparsely populated regions where shifting cultivation takes place in Africa, women do much of the work.
Marriage is the moment at which a new household is formed, but different arrangements may occur depending upon the type of marriage and some polygamous marriages do not result in the formation of a single household.
In many polygynous marriages the husband's wives may live in separate households Polyandry is the practice wherein a woman has more than one husband at the same time.
Like "monogamy", the term "polygamy" is often used in a de facto sense, applied regardless of whether the state recognises the relationship.
In sociobiology and zoology, researchers use polygamy in a broad sense to mean any form of multiple mating.