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Polygamy Why is it bad?

  1. Aug 10, 2003 #1
    Why is it bad? What are the benefits?

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2003 #2
    Well of course as a guy my natural inclination is to support it ala mormons, but I'll play devils advocate.

    Of course it depends on your true definition of polygamy. If you mean in the mainstream sense, with only the men having multiple wives, then it would be supremely unfair. Is it fair to ask a woman that she be with one man while he in turn is with many others? It's not fair to the person if they have feelings for thier husband and it also lowers the woman socially.

    If we mean polygamy in the truest sense, where both man and woman have multiple parteners.. well then it derfeats the purpose of marriage alltogether. Marriage is a bond between two people. It elevates them socially and seperates them from singel peopel By pursuing polygamy you're taking away that individualism that marriage stand for. In essance it's as if you're not really married, just dating around.
  4. Aug 10, 2003 #3
    Depends on how you define marriage, doesn't it? If you define it as a 'social contract between people romantically joined', then any number of people could be involved.
  5. Aug 10, 2003 #4
    People are usually sporadically monogamous which confirs the advantages of monogamy upon the children, as well as allowing for healthy mixing of the gene pool. This is similar to the manner that birds organize and mate, which has clear advantages for a species who's young require a fair amount of resources to raise. Similarly, polygamy allows for the advantages of mixing up the gene pool and spreading the load.

    Among birds, males with less healthy genes tend to be the ones who early on look for the best nesting sites and most aggressively defend them from interlopers. With their prized possession, they then attract a mate. However, genetic studies have shown that only about half of the female's offspring will be sired by this male, the other half by males with healther genes. Being uncertain as to which baby is which, the male with the unhealthy genes will help to feed and defend them all. Polygamy confirs similar advantages upon the children, allowing for the distribution of resources and mixing of the gene pool.

    At one point in time, the monogamous British royalty became rather inbred. Eventually, Henry the VIII came along and instead of keeping a harum of several wives, he had to kill or otherwise dispose of his previous wives before he could acquire a new one. This rather restrictive process did not help to aleviate inbreeding among the royals, but contributed to their inbreeding. In contrast, middle eastern royalty often possessed harums of up to three hundred wives and inbreeding was never an issue.
  6. Aug 10, 2003 #5


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    first off, polygamy does still exist in the mormon culture, just not "legally" -hence, the marriage is not recognized by the state...but, the marriage is acknowledged by the mormon church...a man can have several wives and all will bear children, and then the state can give welfare benefits the what the state considers a single mom...

    so, if you have a religion or social organization that has an ordained minister who is accepting of polygamy, then great, but don't expect the state to legally acknowledge the marriage - and there are many benefits to a legalized marriage financially these days, at least in the USA...

    i personally wouldn't want polygamous marriage, whether my fiance has multiple partners or myself to have them...the real evidence of how polygamy affects everyone, including the children born of it, could show if it works well or not...
  7. Aug 10, 2003 #6
    That depends upon the culture and the situation. The Tibetan Buddhists practice polyandry, where a woman has many husbands. The amount of land they have for cultivation is severely restricted by their up and down geography. As a result, twenty percent of the population ends up in a Buddhist monestary, usually the youngest son. Instead of the youngest son's genes going to waste, part of the wedding ceramony is for the bride to sleep with each brother in succession.

    That this system has worked for them for hundreds of years is undeniable. Likewise, that it is not applicable to expansionist pioneering patriarchal cultures such as ours goes without saying. It is a much more localized phenomenon, for example, instead of sending pioneers to conquer the four corners of the globe, Islamic cultures practicing polygamy tend to merely conquer their neighbors.
  8. Aug 10, 2003 #7
    Are there any animals out there except for humans that practice monogamy? As far as I can recall, humans are the only ones that do while all of the species that are biologically closer to humans practice polygamy. I guess it wouldn't be too far fetched to say that its more natural for a mammal to practice a polygamous lifestyle, and may very well be in our genes.
  9. Aug 10, 2003 #8
    Humans are not monogamous. At best some of us practice sporadic monogamy, cheating on our mates periodically. True monogamy is extremely rare among animals, and among mammals less than two percent practice monogamy of any kind. Birds practice monogamy to an even greater extent than people, but they are sporadic as well.
  10. Aug 10, 2003 #9


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    very true within our genetics, but socially we are taught that it is the "normal" and good way...what is even more interesting is that gay couples also follow this social standard...
  11. Aug 10, 2003 #10
    Again, this is not just our genetics, it is not nature vs nurture, it is nature and nurture. If gay couples adopt these standards, and then cheat on their partner, it does not support the idea of strict monogamy. On the other hand, fifty percent divorce rates for the last forty years, institutionalized polygamy lasting for thousands of years in other countries, etc. are not short term convient lies or self-deceptions.
  12. Aug 10, 2003 #11
    I personally think that strict monogamy is based on negative foundations, and therefore simply doesn't work. Especially and most certainly, the Judeo-Christian marriage is based on ownership, mistrust, and jealousy.
  13. Aug 10, 2003 #12
    Actually, the Mormon church internally outlawed polygamy in 1890 - all those who are found to practice polygamy are excomunicated from the church. I know this because I was raised a Mormon.
  14. Aug 10, 2003 #13
    Exactly. I applaud your move past the nature/nurture debate.

    Most human cultures are polygamous but many, like ours, are monogomous. There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems, but, in my opinion, they can only be outlined by a culture to culture basis.
  15. Aug 10, 2003 #14


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    do you reside in utah? yes, it is out lawed but still occurs on the religious level...
  16. Aug 11, 2003 #15
    Those polygomists that you see on television are not members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" - they are associated with splinter groups not recogonized by the Mormon church. Polygamy is unheard of in the major cities - Salt Lake, Provo (where both my siblings were born) - and is generally only found in rural communites. Again, if you practice polygamy in the Mormon church you get excomunicated.
  17. Aug 11, 2003 #16
    The only animal (including humans) that I know that is strickly monogamous are Sea Horses. This has become a survival problem, given they mate for life - and they are being hunted to the point it threatens the species. With the loss of a mate, the Sea horse that is left will not find another mate - this is lowering the reproductive capacities of the Sea Horse population.
  18. Aug 11, 2003 #17


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    television? assumptions are not a good habit to get into:wink: this information i received was from a co-worker who visited utah extensively and has a degree in relgious studies...
  19. Aug 11, 2003 #18
    Then he doesn't know what he is talking about. "Degree in religious studies" in this case most likely means "dislikes Mormons". Your information is frankly false.
  20. Aug 15, 2003 #19
    Monogamy is "safer".

    1. You've always got someone to fall back on.

    2. No diseases.

    3. You need a union of people to raise children, a bigger union is more likely to fall apart.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2003
  21. Aug 15, 2003 #20
    I have enough trouble keeping one woman happy
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