Drawing on the work of Ester Boserup, Goody notes that the sexual division of labour varies between the male-dominated intensive plough-agriculture common in Eurasia and the extensive shifting horticulture found in sub-Saharan Africa.In some of the sparsely populated regions where shifting cultivation takes place in Africa, women do much of the work.Polygyny may also result from the practice of levirate marriage.In such cases, the deceased man's heir may inherit his assets and wife; or, more usually, his brothers may marry the widow.If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it can be called a group marriage.
Goody however, observes that the correlation is imperfect and varied. Burton discuss and support Jack Goody's observation regarding African male farming systems in "Causes of Polygyny: Ecology, Economy, Kinship, and Warfare" where these authors note: "Goody (1973) argues against the female contributions hypothesis.
If every brother married separately and had children, family land would be split into unsustainable small plots.
In Europe, this was prevented through the social practice of impartible inheritance (the disinheriting of most siblings, many of whom went on to become celibate monks and priests).
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.