Journal of Undergraduate Research


polygamous relationships, domestic violence, developing countries, Nigeria


Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science


Do the presence and legalization of polygamous relationships affect domestic violence in developing countries? While there is some evidence that polygamous relationships influence domestic violence rates, present research on the subject is sparse. Even less discussed in the field is how the legalization of polygamy affects domestic violence. My research suggests that not only does polygamy influence domestic violence levels in the home, but that domestic violence rates vary based on the legality of polygamy. If the legalization and practice of polygamy together affect domestic violence, this will open up discussion on the viability and legality of polygamy within states—and potentially how those are a measure of larger cultural attitudes about the status of women that affect levels of domestic violence.