An avuncular solution

The Western ideal of monogamous husband and wife is not universal.

There is, for example, no word for father in Mosuo (China). The nearest translation for a male parental figure is axia. An axia has a series of night-time trysts with a woman, after which he returns home to his mother.

Any children resulting from these liaisons are raised in the woman’s household. There are no fathers, husbands or marriages in Mosuo society. Brothers take care of their sisters’ children and act as their fathers. Brothers and sisters live together all their lives in their mothers’ homes.

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