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Polyandry vs. Polygamy

  1. Jun 2, 2007 #1
    I have taken this from a post I made on another thread.

    Polyandry (many husbands) vs. Polygamy (many wives)

    - Which spouse is generally more likely to commit adultery?

    - With how many partners can one share real love, not just sexual relation?

    - Who undergoes pregnancy for 9 months and therefore becomes quite dependent during that period? Would that cause problems for another partner(s) who isn't the father of the child? During pregnancy there most likely isn't mutual input into the relationship, but it is worth it for your own child (or another man's child but only if your wife is still not still with them!).

    - Watch a chat show (actually, don't!), you will see the concept of polyandry (not marriage, but women with multiple male partners) gone wrong, where people call for a DNA test to sort out the child's need for their father...and FUNDING has to be someone's legal responsibility for society to function.

    - Can we leave children to fend for themselves from birth?

    - "Remove children from the argument, we have no need to procreate because we just live our lives having protected sex and we will be all fine and dandy, and have a party of a time, because we only live once so lets make the most of it. There is no personal benefit because they are purely reliant on us anyway" Reality: many have the urge to have children. Heavy partying-drugs-no aims lifestyle isn't what it is made out to be.

    - Whose child is it? Polyandry vs. Polygamy, you always know the woman but not always the man!

    - People only find it interesting to watch other peoples affairs and adultery on TV and know the gossip about everyone, they don't consider if it was their own marriage at stake.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2007 #2
    One is totally gross, and the other is totally awesome.
  4. Jun 2, 2007 #3
    Ok, I think your a male.

    Anyway, this is more of a philosophical discussion, to discuss morality.

    I write this because in reply to hearing of polygamous marriages, many, without thinking it through, say, "Well, why can't a woman marry many men"...and I thought it would be an interesting discussion to really think through.
  5. Jun 3, 2007 #4
    Polyandry is practiced by the Tibetans and Escamos. In their case, it helps to prevent inbreeding and was often the duty of the wife, whether or not she wanted to bed so many partners. Poligamy has mostly been practiced by the wealthy, and in some cases was considered their duty as a way to prove their virility and strength... their right to rule. Among primitive hunter gatherers people often slept with whoever they wanted, but again, this helped to reduce inbreeding and ease social tensions.

    With modern contraceptives exactly who sleeps with who in the developed world is not such a big deal, especially if they use condums. Some anthropologists describe humans as "serial monogamous" because so few of us actually stay married to one partner for life. Interestingly enough, the part of the brain responsible for monogamous behavior is also responsible for certain addictions such as cocaine.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  6. Jun 3, 2007 #5
    Why do you ask questions about love? Case studies have shown that polyandry causes hardships and is usually only practiced in extreme cases. For instance, in remote areas of the Himalayans, a woman will marry a group of brothers because these brothers do not want to divide their inherited household. Often these types of people are herders by trade--the brothers will take turns staying at home with the wife while the others tend to their livestock extended periods or travel to a place of civilization. So, I don't think that anyone prefers polyandry. I think it is something that is practiced out of necessity.

    Here is an interesting fact....

    Amongst the primates, there is an interesting relationship between sexual dimorphism and having multiple partners. Mating for life exists in groups of some new world monkeys which have very little sexual dimorphism. I'm not certain why this is, but it is safe to say that jealousy keeps us from wanting to share our sexual partners. I suppose that when gender differences go away, there is somehow less jealousy.
  7. Jun 3, 2007 #6
    That sounds quite similar to communities we know. But they aren't seen as backward, especially not that far back...which takes me to a new topic to post.

    If a man marries more than one woman, and he provides what he should and gives them their rights as a wife; he has fulfilled his duty as a husband. But to make a marriage really lasting and enjoyable, there should be love between those involved.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  8. Jun 3, 2007 #7


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    Or put another way, is it possible to love more than one person in a similar way?

    Sure. I can love many women in the sense that I care very much about them, but I can only be a husband to one. Most women I know prefer to have one special partner, someone with whom they can participate in a mutally supporting relationship.

    I actually did get into a situation between two women - both wanted me. It was not pleasant - both women got terribly hurt :frown: - and I found myself torn apart. I never want that to happen again.

    I don't polygamy as being a satisfactory situation for all - it seems to me to be unfair for the multiple gender.
  9. Jun 4, 2007 #8
    Excellent, a proper and objective response. Thank you for putting it another way, I think you clarified it compared to what I put.

    However, you still liken both multiple genders together, whether husbands or wives. Although it sounds equal, the questions above should perhaps have differentiated.

    Now, one more question particularly for you Astronuc, what if there are more women than men (which there statistically are)? Especially at times of war? And what if the commitment of marriage should be the only way to be with a woman and vice versa?
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
  10. Jun 4, 2007 #9


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    Well, certainly that was the case after WWI and WWII when millions of men were slaughtered, but so were many women and children.

    For me personally, if I chose to marry, it would mean one woman/wife. I would expect to help those women who did not have husbands, but the relationships could not be more than platonic. Monogamy is a constraint I impose upon myself regardless of what society expects.
  11. Jun 5, 2007 #10
    Why do you people make the assumption that when there are more females than males, the males automatically get more girls?

    I remember in the 90's in was pretty chic for college girls to be bisexual. It's possible that someday it will be cool for girls to be balls-against-the-wall, hardcore butch lesbians.
  12. Jun 5, 2007 #11
    Ok. We would both agree that there were more men than women and children that were killed, and frankly I would hope so.

    Completely valid, choosing monogamy yourself, that's fine. I would add another more point in that there is more security in a marriage than not, but nobody should ever feel obliged to marry.

    Surrealist, your a sicko (!)... please control your imagination before 'everything' you are thinking comes on to the forums. hehe
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2007
  13. Jun 5, 2007 #12


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    I never felt obliged to be married, and had I not met the woman I married, I might not be married. On the other hand, I have since met two women whom I would marry if the circumstances were favorable, and one of those women is one of my best friends.
  14. Jun 5, 2007 #13
    Why am I a sicko?

    Lesbian inclination is natural behavior occuring in at least 10% of society. That figure might increase as social norms and family expectations become more liberal with time.

    If you look at history, there have been different social trends concerning human sexuality. In ancient Greece, bisexuality among men was considered normal. In New Guinea, there are tribes consisting entirely of homosexuals. From the poems of Sappho, we have reason to believe there was at one time a lesbian society on the Lesbos Island. So although homosexuality is a biological preference for some, there have been times throughout history, in certain societies, when it was a social norm.

    Tosh, by any chance are you from a country that is not the USA?
  15. Jun 5, 2007 #14


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    Staff: Mentor

    Our dear Tosh, has been lined through, i.e. temporarily or permanent banned.
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