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Polyamory vs. Polygamy

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Polyamory a form of consensual non-monogamy (CNM) with emotionally intimate relationships among multiple people that can also be sexual and or romantic partners.(1)

Polygamy means that a person has taken on multiple spouses.(1)

Polygamy exists in two forms:

  1. polygyny: one man is married to several women, and

  2. polyandry: one woman is married to several men.(2)

A third form, group marriage between several men and women, is rare as is same-sex polygamy is very rare. However, with the rise of social acceptance for polyamory, we may see these forms of marriage are becoming more and more popular. (2)


  1. Elisabeth A. Sheff Ph.D., CSE

  2. ZeitzenMiriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen University of Copenhagen, Denmark

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