Polygamy-- let's spread the love.

Chou Toshio

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edit: Wow, ^Child Daemon... incredible post... thank you.

@Mattj--Children being hurt (being born into families that cannot support them) is not causational from polygamy. Just because some people will practice bad household management, doesn't make polygamy itself a bad thing.

In what you're describing, child abuse, child abandonment, etc. are wrongful acts-- polygamy itself is not, and answer is simply law enforcement and child protection laws. Polygamy itself isn't at fault, and you know that the reason you described isn't a reasonable one to outlaw people from responsibly practicing polygamy.


blatant Nintendo fanboy
Respectfully, I do believe that the fact that their parents chose a polygamous relationship instead of a monogamous relationship is the reason they abandoned their unwanted male teen children. The rate of child abandonment is miles higher in the FLDS than it is in any nearby, or comparable monogamous community. I don't believe its just an issue of bad household management. If 1 man takes 20 wives, and 19 men are left without wives, there is no good way to manage your household, and child abandonment does seem to me to be a direct effect.
I personally think it very likely that the LDS would shift toward what the FLDS is currently doing right now. Not every single member obviously, but I think some shift would be unarguable.
I completely disagree. I am LDS and it is literally unthinkable that any significant amount of members would make the shift to polygamy. The church has a strong stance on monogamy and the only time that polygamy has ever been used in church history is for the purpose of having a lot of babies. Polygamy was hardly widespread at all with LDS in the late 1800's and was not very popular in the slightest.


blatant Nintendo fanboy
I appreciate your post! My position was based completely on my limited knowledge of Mormon history gleaned from talking to the few Mormons I know personally, as well as general research and news reports. I'd love to hear anything you'd have to say on the subject!
I appreciate your post! My position was based completely on my limited knowledge of Mormon history gleaned from talking to the few Mormons I know personally, as well as general research and news reports. I'd love to hear anything you'd have to say on the subject!
ah i probably sounded a little harsh. I'm by no means a church historian myself but as i understand it the reason the practiced was discontinued was to stay in compliance with the laws of the US and that property seizure of LDS temples was being threatened.

Anywho onto the topic at hand I don't support polygamy at all actually. but i also don't support any marriage outside of man and woman. However i do find it interesting that a lot of people who would be in support of marriage outside of man and woman ignore or object to polygamy. I think it could be practiced without a lot of problems as long as consenting adults are making the choices without the whole cult influence. It is interesting that bigamy is somehow still on the lawbooks today, considering similar laws concerning homosexuality, adultery, etc have been disregarded or taken off the books.


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Polyamorous relationships would not work for me. I am highly territorial and I want exclusive sexual and (to a degree) emotional access to the woman I am choosing to be with. Honestly, that's probably a little more sexist than the attitudes of those who support polygamy, so I'm not sure why that criticism is commonly levied against them. The idea that, in this society, polyamorous relationships will necessarily be exploitative seems to overlook the fact that women are actually capable of making their own decisions, one of these decisions being whether or not to engage in a polyamous relationship.

Polygamy should be legal because consenting adults etc. That said, I would not recommend engaging in a polyamorous relationship to most people. I recognize that it works for some...but I know a few people who have tried. And it didn't work for them.
I wouldn't do it personally, but I have no problem with other people doing it, if another guy wants to deal with several potentially angry wives while supporting them, more power to him lol. Just as long as you don't steer into the whole cult thing with underage teens, which is what probably most of the backlash is directed at I'd think, religion aside.
I don't understand how polygamy would ever work without being totally mysoginistic and bigotted. How does it work if you let women marry men while she's married? What if the woman marries another man while the man is married to the woman? Wouldn't that man ultimately become the first man's husband? And what if he chooses to marry another woman? Polygamy only works if there is one central spouse with multiple wives that are in the strictest sense, his property. Otherwise, it could easily become a totally disorganized and messy affair where everyone is married to each other and the boundaries between each family unit become too obscure to be healthy environments in which to raise children.
I've thought about this before, but haven't given it much thought/read opinions about it. My current position is like this, as long as all partners agree, and each gets their fair play, and no child is affected (whether emotionally or financially) then it should be fine. Would society accept it? well if there are good points to it, and enough speak/stand out people will get convinced gradually, or at least tolerate it.

Polygamy being found in some religions (such as Islam) and cultures, doesn't make it more or less right or wrong, and such religions and cultures have already accepted it and applied it, whether others accept it or not.
Polygamy is basically where the man in the relationship gets to do whatever he wants while his wives serve him. The wives do not have the same rights that the man has. The man can date whoever he wants, but the woman must stay committed to the man. Women cannot marry out of the family group while the man can marry other women in. My head isn't up my ass. If anything, yours is up yours. I read Daemon's post. I never said I favored monogamy and disfavored polygamy. I am indifferent about monogamy. I believe a mutual relationship between two people with equal power under the law under a social contract is fine. I do not support polygamy, however, as the dynamic of power in those relationships is way too imbalanced. When a woman marries into a polygamous marriage, she effectively declares herself as her husband's property. She cannot marry others, but the man can. That is my main problem with polygamy. I am fine with people loving many people at once and having consensual emotional and physical relations with one another. I am not fine with women being legally bound to a sugar-daddy.

I believe the book The Island shows the best solution where two people are bound to each other legally but are able to take leave from their marriages to pursue a sexual endeavor with another partner temporarily. Aldous Huxley was very intuitive when it came to how our society is in basic conflict with our biological makeup and I think that was a pretty good idea he had there.

I don't know, maybe watching Big Love made me biased.
My post being the last on the previous page, I'm not sure how many people read it. I want to re-emphasize that the type of polygamy being referred to in this thread seems to consistently be the negative religion associated kind. While I suppose that I am focusing on polyamory more than polygamy, I feel many people judge polyamory as the same, so I feel it is right for me to discuss it here.

I am not denying that what other people have said about polygamy is potentially true (and may well be in certain existing circumstances). I just want to point out that this is not the only way things can work out. Newspapers/sites/shows love to broadcast bad news; a story of a man with 30 wives forcing children to marry him is going to get much more attention than a story of how a poly family is happily living together. I imagine it is much the same as years ago when homosexuality was much less accepted. They were painted as immoral freaks who had sex with everyone they could and spread AIDS rampantly. While to be sure, this held true for a certain subculture of homosexuals, presumably there were also perfectly normal, upstanding gay couples who just floated under the radar (either for fear of discovery or because people weren't interested in looking at the good aspects). I worry that polyamory has gotten much the same sort of bad press.

Again, I don't deny there are bad aspects of polyamory. And I DO NOT support misogyny, child abuse/abandonment, or any of the other ill effects that can be born from polygamy. But I would like to show people who are zeroing in on those specific cases that there are in fact other types of polyamory. They aren't as well publicized, but they are out there and they work.

This site has many interesting articles regarding polyamory (what it is and isn't, etc.). This blog seems to have a poly perspective and also links to more information. Admittedly I haven't read much of either of these sites. I encourage you to find other resources. Use google scholar to look up polyamory or non-monogamous relationships. I'm happy to answer questions as well, though I don't have that much knowledge and only limited experience in polyamorous relationship.

EDIT: @iDunno, polygamy as it is practiced now may mainly have many wives to one husband, but by definition it does not have to be that way. Looking at healthy polyamorous relationships, you can see often the women have multiple partners. As I mentioned before, this has been true even in just my personal experience.

EDIT2: There are books with entired chapters dedicated to how to properly deal with children in polyamorous relationships. So people who care enough to practice this responsibly actually do try to think through the repercussions of their actions for themselves and their dependents.
Said it before, but I'll say it again. Polygamy refers to any sort of marriage where there are more than two people involved. It may be healthy and consentual for all involved, it may involve everyone marrying each other, it may be abusive as hell. It completely depends on the people involved, just like any other marriage. Polygyny is the one everyone refers to when talking about FLDS and all that sort of thing, where it is one man married to multiple women (and generally these women are exclusive to the man). Polyandry is the opposite, one woman, multiple men... less commonly practiced historically. Both polygyny and polyandry have the obvious problems of men/women respectively "having" to be removed somehow from the dating pool, assuming one is practiced over the other and enforced, whether socially or legally. Polygamy does not, assuming it's equally practiced between sexes.

Open relationships are relationships where the two people are socially monogamous (i.e. they don't date/marry other people and only love each other, like most people do), but have sex with people outside the relationship. Chou, you having sex with prostitutes with your girlfriends' consent would not make you a polygamist, it would put you in a really biased open relationship. Polyamory is sort of like polygamy, except without the marriage. Generally the idea that you can love multiple people at the same time, like ChildDaemon said.

Personally, I've been in an open relationship for about 16 years now (old people on Smogon!)... but I can't even fathom the idea of dating or falling in love with someone else. There's no jealousy involved, but obviously this wouldn't be the case for a lot of people. Your feelings are not my feelings, etc. It's also entirely different on a social level than polyamory/polygamy, which, while not inherently bad like some people in this thread seem to think, would be an absolute quagmire to legalise.

Chou Toshio

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^Yeah, I'm aware of the distinctions. I was just posting examples of how cultural context often shows different attitudes to the very strict 1 man 1 woman we're in love and totally devoted to each other model that is very rigid in the west.
Just watched a local news where a Muslim guy and his 2nd wife were killed by the 1st wife due to jealousy.. Polygamy (or whatever) MIGHT be a bad thing after all.

Aside from society and freedom, there are things such as jealousy, envy and selective preference, which are all human in nature and can cause bad things when given a spark..
Just watched a local news where a Muslim guy and his 2nd wife were killed by the 1st wife due to jealousy.. Polygamy (or whatever) MIGHT be a bad thing after all.

Aside from society and freedom, there are things such as jealousy, envy and selective preference, which are all human in nature and can cause bad things when given a spark..
While this is true, almost anything can give humans a spark to do something bad. There are countless cases of monogamous couples killing each other, mothers killing babies, and things even more bizarre. I don't think we can possibly eliminate everything that could possibly cause someone to go nuts and kill someone.


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Just watched a local news where a Muslim guy and his 2nd wife were killed by the 1st wife due to jealousy.. Polygamy (or whatever) MIGHT be a bad thing after all.

Aside from society and freedom, there are things such as jealousy, envy and selective preference, which are all human in nature and can cause bad things when given a spark..

Polygamy isnt at fault here though. It's the peoples own choice to do whatever it is they like, and if you cant bear it you shouldnt do it, simple enough. You'd have the same scenario if the women had killed her ex+wife because she couldnt handle him being with someone else. The added thing as was mentioned earlier is that you only hear the bad stuff in the news and never the good stuff regarding these types of things.

Polygamy is something I probably wouldnt be comfortable with, but hey, I've had no experience with it whatsoever, but I can see why people can go with it. The feeling of being loved and loving in return is like the best feeling ever, it just applies to multiple people in this regard.

Maybe its just my upbringing but I dont have any issues with polygamy in itself, as long as its all healthy and whatnot and all parties have no issues with the relationship. In my case that applies to everything as long as you dont bother anyone with what you want to do.


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lol polygamy not hurting anyone. Our population has been increasing at a rapid rate due to the advances in science and hence medicine. People live a much longer and healthier life while people are still procreating. Don't you realise that at this rate many of our resources will be gone within the next few decades (e.g. petrol) or few centuries? Scientists are already looking for many prospects to migrate human life to because we're getting that desperate. Polygamy would not be good for the future generation if that means making 1000 babies per man. Not to mention, how the hell is he going to support them all?

and besides, let's ignore all of the 'objective' points, who the fuck would want to share their life partner?


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Well, I don't support polygamy at all, but respectfully, the whole "1,000 babies per man" argument doesn't really hold water. One man may very well have 1,000 children, but each of those wives are taken from another man. Men and women are born at about a 50/50 ratio, a few more or a few less here and there. If one man takes 30 wives and somehow pushes out 33 kids a piece over the period of say 40 years or so, Thats 29 less available women for everyone else. Its not like if polygamy was made legal all of a sudden every man in the United States would have 20 wives. Maybe a few hundred would, or even a thousand, and maybe they really would have tons of kids, but that would mean there would be more single men out there not producing children.

Excluding unrelated factors like just having sex more, polygamy itself wouldn't produce more children compared to monogamy.


You know, I've never seen any studies that have looked into this, but I would venture to suggest that polygamy would actually produce less children than monogamy.

In a monogamous community of 200 people, (100 men and 100 women), Each of those men would most likely have sufficient energy to mate whenever the mood was right. Barring factors like, medical conditions, birth control, and cultural norms, there really isn't any reason all of those 100 couples shouldn't produce 100-200 or more children, 1 or 2 a piece. But in a polygamous community, one man has to have the time and energy to mate with as many as dozens of women. It could be very possible that the males who have multiple wives in those communities may not have the time or energy to father as many children as those women could have had in a monogamous relationship.

In that sense polygamy would (or might) produce less offspring than monogamy.
The only reason I don't like polygamy is that a Heterosexual relationship with multiple partners is always imbalanced to one person, since the other two, or three or whatever will be "forced" to stay with the other same sex persons that feel nothing for each other, other than maybe friendship, unless they also take a partner, in which case the other person involved would be also involved with the first wife/husband even if they barely know each other, and so on, so what's the limit?, are all of them involved in a huge marrage or just in several separate ones?, and does anyone owns anything at this point (house, kids, etc...)?

I support multiple relationships, as long as all the people are informed about the situation of all the other people, but it still sounds weird somehow, since tbh I wouldn't be able to be with half a person, having my time restricted to how many other halfs the other person would make me mad, but if somebody can deal with that (or even better do it work for them too), more power to them
Legislating against polygamy would imply that either every single instance of polygamy is morally wrong (although it is quite possible for healthy polygamous relationships to exist), *or* that polygamy is somehow so attractive that allowing it would open the floodgates to a widespread cultural shift (which is preposterous), *or* that polygamy can potentially hurt other people (which it doesn't).

The best approach here is to fully allow polygamy, but reinforce monogamy through a kind of positive propaganda. Basically, rather than attacking polygamy, it's better to attack the cultural memes promoting it, replacing them widespread visibility of healthy monogamous couples. Make sure that monogamy is what most people will want, and accept (do *not* persecute) the minority that doesn't want it. As long as you manage to create a stable "baseline" for behavior in society and break cultural isolation, there is nothing to worry about.

Basically, legislation is ineffective at stopping people from wanting what they want. The catastrophic failure of prohibition and of the current wars on drugs and piracy are good evidence of this fact. The best weapon against harmful trends in society is propaganda, not legislation: you need to align the will of the average person with something that works well for society. Once that's done, you know that a minority will indulge in potentially harmful behavior, but it's just a minority, so you leave them alone. And if you fail, well, it's pretty clear that only a police state could have any success in legislating against the majority, so maybe you should re-evaluate your position.

Polygamy can only become a problem if you let it spin out of control. The only way that can happen is through cultural isolation: a polygamous subset of society perpetuating the behavior among its own members. They start with the same "baseline" as the others, then add a slight deviation, which becomes the new baseline, and so forth, compounding deviation upon deviation until the group is stuck in a self-destructive loop. Hermetic cultures cause all sorts of problems, though, and I'd rather use a silver bullet to break them than add a whole pile of legislation that's bound to conflict with legitimate situations. Basically, create huge incentives for people to question (or leave) these cultures and make sure they are aware of them. Maximize the exposure of all citizens to alternative viewpoints, facts and rational arguments. I think this ought to do the trick, though I bet many cultures would be scandalized by what essentially boils down to eliminating them through attrition.


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Polygamy could work as a system. You know, if humans weren't so retarded by nature that is. We can't even make monogamous relationships and marriages work most of the time, so how would we handle polygamy? Legalizing polygamy would assume that we, as humans, could handle all the baggage it comes with (which we couldn't). It's a bit like socialism actually - looks ok on paper, but we as humans are flawed and we lack the maturity and willpower to make it work correctly. Legalizing polygamy would ultimately cause more problems that it would solve, so it's a bad idea.

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