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J Biosoc Sci. 2003 Oct;35(4):513-26.

Effects of polygyny and consanguinity on high fertility in the rural Arab population in South Jordan.

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  • 1Department of Social Welfare, Kibi International University, 8 Iga-machi, Takahashi-shi, Okayama, Japan.


Based on the authors' interview survey for 608 randomly selected women of the rural Arab population in the South Ghor district of Jordan, this paper examined the effects of polygyny and consanguinity on high fertility, which was recognized as natural fertility. The prevalence of polygynous and consanguineous marriages was 28.0% and 58.1%, respectively, largely reflecting the population's traditional marriage customs. The findings highlighted a significantly higher total marital fertility rate (TMFR) in the monogamous wives (10.5) than in the senior polygynous (8.1) and junior polygynous wives (8.6); the TMFR did not significantly differ among the wives of non-consanguineous, first-cousin and second-cousin marriages. The formation of polygynous marriage was decided by the husband, mostly as a result of his senior wife's infecundity or sub-fecundity, and the age of the husband at marriage to his junior polygynous wife was high in many cases, leading to a decline in this wife's fecundity.

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