The African Family and the Multifaceted Human Toll Exacted By the Time-Honoured Practice of Polygamy cum Unbridled Male Promiscuity: An Examination of the Official Wife by Mary Karooro Okurut

Abstract

Using the Official Wife as a stepping-stone, we set out in this research paper to tackle the issues of polygamy and male promiscuity with a view to highlighting their attendant human ravages on the African family. The article argues that, unlike what conventional wisdom believes, polygamy comes in many forms, all of them having the potential for wreaking flat out untold havoc on the structure of a family. Women in polygamous unions or bonded to philandering husbands are prone to be on the receiving end of attachment injury which, oftentimes, culminates in excruciating mental disorders. Yet they are no slough when it comes to devising coping strategies against all the odds. The paper further suggests that children are not immune to the physical cum psychological downsides of the trauma injury experienced by either parent. In the event of a divorce or estrangement, there is a realization that the fact of the uncoupled partners maintaining some level of ‘civil’ physical contact might go some way towards allaying hostility between them, for the benefit of their children.

Keywords: Attachment Injury, Jealousy, Polygamy, Polygyny, Promiscuity, family


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 21-41 (Download PDF)

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