My answer to Polygamy: Where do the extra girls come from? Even with multiple wives, kids are 50% boys/girls. Impor…
Answer by Viktor Leberecht:
Actually there is usually no need for "extra girls". The common assumption that few men take all the women is wrong, except for such cases as the FLDS, where giving many women to his supporters is one of the methods of their prophet to stay in power.
In most societies there is actually a surplus of women because boys die more often shortly after birth than girls; the exception are societies like India and China where girls are either aborted or killed after birth because the parents want boys so much.
Over 80% of societies allow polygamy, but in these societies only about 5-10 percent of men have multiple wives, due simply to ecnomic reasons i.e. having to support the women.
A short summary of the science can be found here (after clicking only a short excerpt will open, click on that again and you´ll see the whole text):
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