HETAERISM (Gr. eraipa a mistress), the term employed by anthropologists to express the primitive condition of man in his sexual relations. The earliest social organization of the human race was characterized by the absence of the institution of marriage in any form. Women were the common property of their tribe, and the children never knew their fathers.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)