Boy Wives or Male Wives was a term used within Africa in the Azande community, describing men who were married to men, mainly for sexual purposes and servitude. Boy wives would take on the traditional roles and mannerisms of the wife; cooking, cleaning, keeping the house warm, speaking softly, and making the bed.
This was due to a shortage in women, leaving many men within the community unable to have a female wife. Most women were married to the rich, leaving men with lower statuses without wives. Because of this, if they found interest in a boy, and wished to take them as a wife, they'd pay the family a bride price of five spears. After paying this price, they'd care for the boy's family, as it was now their in-laws. If the husband treated the boy wife well, oftentimes the family would thank the husband by offering a woman within their family to be a wife.
Having a boy wife did not stop husbands from getting married to a woman. This is because the service of the boy wife is mainly needed when the men go to wars, as female wives would not join their husband on the battlefield. A high-ranking man was allowed to have more than one boy wife.
This tradition died out as Europe colonization occurred.