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Partible Paternity Enables Unborn Children Have Multiple Fathers

Partible paternity is a form of sexual relationship that allows for a woman to have sexual relations with several men so that they can lay claim to the paternity of the child.
This form of paternity is common in Southern America. According to a researcher Stephen Beckerman, the woman is usually at an advantage especially when she is married or has a supportive husband.


To avoid times where there are conflicts on the child’s paternity, there are controls that are exercised. Sometimes, the man’s husband comes into an agreement with the men and the woman over the roles of the men in the offspring’s life.

A pregnant lady

Photo Pixabay

For men interested in pursuing extramarital affairs, this is a getaway route. Also, another category of men who engage in partible paternity uses this option because they do not want to have sole responsibility as the father of an offspring. And in some other instances, it is culturally based. For instance, the Ovumanba tribe that offer their wives to their guests (to read this, visit the Guardian Life’s culture category.)

This practice has an advantage on the children. Children fathered by multiple men are 16% more likely to live up to the age of 15 than those fathered by one man. These children also have access to improved nutrition and are less likely to experience violence.

However, Anthropologist Warren Shapiro argues that partible paternity is “ ‘simply prostitution’ for access to fish, meat, and gifts for sex (sex for resources hypothesis)”.

Yet, Beckerman says that women also give gifts to their partners as a way of sparking competition among their partners on who has the best investments on the offspring. These men reap the benefits of being recognised publicly as secondary fathers.

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Partible paternity
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