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Can Koreans have more than one wife?

Can Koreans have more than one wife?


Korean culture has always been rich and diverse, but it is also shrouded in mystery. One of the most intriguing questions about the Korean culture is whether or not they can have more than one wife. This article aims to answer that question.

The history of polygamy in Korea

The history of polygamy in Korea dates back to the Joseon dynasty, where it was common for men to have multiple wives. However, this practice was abolished during the Japanese occupation, and it has been illegal ever since.

Religious beliefs and polygamy

There are no religious beliefs in Korea that promote or support polygamy. The majority of Koreans practice Buddhism or Christianity, and both religions do not condone having more than one spouse.

The legal perspective on polygamy

Polygamy is illegal in Korea, and those who engage in it can face criminal charges. The law also prohibits bigamy, which refers to being married to two people at the same time.

Cultural attitudes towards marriage

Marriage is highly valued in Korean culture, and it is seen as a sacred bond between two people. Koreans tend to marry for love and companionship rather than financial or social gain.

Family structure in Korea

The family structure in Korea is patriarchal, with the father being the head of the household. However, women play an important role in the family and are often responsible for managing the household and raising the children.

The role of women in Korean society

Women in Korea have made significant strides towards gender equality in recent years. They have gained more access to education and job opportunities, and there is a growing movement towards empowering women in the workforce.

Polygamy in other cultures

Polygamy is still practiced in some cultures around the world, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. In these cultures, it is often seen as a way to increase wealth and social status.

The impact of polygamy on women

Polygamy can have a negative impact on women, particularly in cultures where it is used to subjugate them. Women can be forced into marriages against their will and are often treated as property rather than equal partners.

The benefits of monogamy

Monogamy has many benefits, including increased emotional intimacy and stability in relationships. It also promotes gender equality and reduces the risk of sexually transmitted infections.


In conclusion, Koreans cannot have more than one wife. Polygamy is illegal in Korea, and it goes against the cultural and religious values of the country. While polygamy may be practiced in other cultures, monogamy is the preferred form of marriage in Korea.


1. “The Rise of Monogamy.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers,
2. “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.” United Nations Development Programme, 2021,
3. “Polygamy: The Pros and Cons of Multiple Marriages.” The National, 23 Apr. 2018,

How many wives can Koreans have?

In ancient Korea, men were allowed to have multiple concubines as long as they could support them. However, starting in the 15th century, Korean law stated that every man was only allowed one wife. Men were expected to remarry after their spouse’s death, while women were discouraged from remarrying.

What country allows more than one wife?

Polygamy is most prevalent in Africa, especially in West and Central Africa, where it is known as the “polygamy belt”. The countries with the highest rates of polygamy in the world include Burkina Faso, Mali, Gambia, Niger, and Nigeria.

What are the rules for marriage in Korea?

In South Korea, marriage is only allowed between individuals of different genders since same-sex marriages are not recognized. People who are 18 years old or older and male, or 16 years old or older and female, can get married with the approval of their parents or guardians.

Can Kim marry Kim in Korea?

There used to be a law in place in South Korea that prohibited individuals with the same surname and paternal ancestry from getting married. However, in 1997, the Constitutional Court declared this law to be unconstitutional. The civil code was subsequently modified in 2005, and it now prohibits only marriages between closely related individuals.

Does USA allow 2 wives?

Polygamy is the act of being married to more than one person at a time. This practice was originally illegal under common law and is now forbidden in all U.S. states. The Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act of 1882 officially made polygamy a crime in the United States.

What country can a man have two wives?

Polygamous marriages are recognized by the governments of India, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore, but only for Muslims. Meanwhile, in Australia, polygamous marriage is illegal, but some indigenous Australian communities engage in polygamous relationships.

The Global Perspective on Polygamy

While polygamy is illegal in Korea, it is still practiced in some parts of the world. In Africa and the Middle East, polygamy is often seen as a way to increase wealth and social status. In many cultures, having multiple wives is a symbol of a man’s power and prestige. However, this practice can have negative consequences for women and children.

Polygamy can lead to unequal treatment of wives and their children. The first wife often has more rights and privileges than subsequent wives, and her children may receive preferential treatment. This can create tension and conflict within the household. Additionally, polygamous families may struggle financially, as supporting multiple wives and children can be expensive.

In some cases, polygamy can also lead to abuse and exploitation of women. Women may be forced into marriages against their will or subjected to domestic violence. Children may also suffer from neglect or lack of resources.

As a result, many countries have banned polygamy to protect the rights of women and children. However, some argue that banning polygamy infringes on individual freedom and religious beliefs. The debate over polygamy continues to be a complex issue with no easy answers.

The Future of Marriage in Korea

While Koreans cannot have more than one wife, attitudes towards marriage are changing in the country. Many young people are choosing to delay marriage or not get married at all. This trend has been attributed to various factors, including economic uncertainty, changing gender roles, and a desire for personal freedom.

As a result, there is a growing movement towards alternative forms of relationships, such as cohabitation or non-monogamy. These relationships may not fit traditional notions of marriage, but they offer individuals more flexibility and autonomy.

At the same time, there is still a strong cultural emphasis on marriage in Korea, particularly for women. Many women face pressure to get married and have children, and those who remain single may be stigmatized. As Korean society continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how attitudes towards marriage will change in the future.

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