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Professor Melvyn Goldstein believed this affected Tibet's traditional marriage system.
With the change in social stratification the du-jung and the mi-bo lower classes were the first to avoid the forms of marriage that characterized the older society.
Concern over which children are fathered by which brother falls on the wife alone.
She may or may not say who the father is because she does not wish to create conflict in the family or is unsure who the biological father is.
According to Goldstein, the entire family structure and marriage system were subordinated to serve the land and corporate family unit.
The family structure and marriage system of tre-ba were characterized by two fundamental principles: A "stem family" is one in which a married child is inextricably linked to his natal family in a common household.
Polygamous marriage, therefore arose as a solution to this potential threat.
To elucidate, let us consider a family with two or more sons.
Different mechanisms were employed to reduce the number of sons within a household, such as making one son a celibate monk, or sending away a son to become an adoptive bridegroom to a family without male children.Conversely, when a woman with no male offspring was widowed, she would share a husband with her daughter ("bigenerational polygyny"), thus avoiding land partitioning (reference missing).In these mono-marital stem families, the family head, who had a dominant role in the family, was called trong bey abo (or simply abo).Another reason for polyandry is that the mountainous terrain makes some of the farm land difficult to farm, requiring more physical strength.Women take multiple husbands because they are strong and able to help tend their land.
Studies have attempted to explain the existence of polyandry in Tibet.