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Polygamy: What are the Pro's and Con's


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#21 vertical platypus

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:59 PM

Pros: Variety

Cons: I believe multiple wives would take away from the intimate relationship that would develop between husband and wife in a monogamous relationship. I also abhor the shallow "you are for making babies" role polygyny can place a woman in.
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#22 belledame2

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:59 PM

The only pro i see with polygamy is to raise up more children when the human population is devestated. This actually happened during the war of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) fought by Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentinia over Brazilian intervention in Uruguay. Two-thirds of the men were killed off, leaving 190,000 women aod 29,000 men. Polygamy was actually legalized for a while in order to increas the population as quickly as possible. This is in the People's Alamanc by David Wallechinsky and Irving Waliace, page 439, published in 1975.

Other than than, I CONDEMN the practice completely!:P
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#23 staccato

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 06:06 PM

Excellent analysis but I have to take issue with this part. I have yet to see a discussion of polygamy that takes the 21st century into account which is kind of bizarre. Wasn't there a recent flap about some movie star saying men weren't necessary? That is today's reality. But I think a modern woman would just rearrange her life if necessary. The man would have no personal resources. He likely wouldn't be scheduling a thing, either. Nor would he be in charge of picking wives when he is outnumbered. Women would not be picking competition (their idea of that is probably different than a man's) If a woman played it right she would pick women with skills and wealth. It would be easier for women to compete in society because of the support. Men would feel that keenly in the market place. I don't see this as very encouraging for men because no woman is going to hand over control let alone several of them. It would be rather emasculating, for lack of a better term.

I've never seen polygamy discussed as anything but a 19th century reconstruction and we just don't live like that anymore... This would be a matriarchy not a patriarchy.


This is true. On top of women being able to bring income and her own personal financial control into the home we should probably also factor in the fact that today's reality includes birth control which alleviates some of the sting of trying to compete for attention for their children. Any 21st century scenario likely takes all of the fun out of polygamy for the man....except for the endorsed multiple sexual partners scenario which I see few men complaining about.

Edited by staccato, 12 August 2010 - 06:08 PM.

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#24 Mudcat

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 07:47 PM

Thanks for all the input from posters so far. Likely towards the wind down of the thread I will try to compile all responses in to some sort of pro/con list for posterity's sake.

I don't agree with notion of polygamy but I am trying to be objective as I can on the matter. At least for me, I am trying to separate religious belief from it for the moment.

Some Con's
1A. A diminished gene pool. One male producing offspring from many females could potentially have positive impact if his traits were dominant through his offspring and also if his passed on traits had positive impact. However if he had undesirable traits that were dominant it would be a detriment. Regardless, if the number of reproductive males were reduced and the number of reproductive females were status quo or even increased it would lead to the potentiality of 1B.

1B. Potential for incest over time. In a grouping, where only a small number of males were reproductive and also the same number or more of females were reproductive then it would stand to reason that given that many offspring genes would be attributed to only a small number of males and the propensity of inbreeding would increase. A number of diseases are associated with such actions so this would also be a con worth consideration.

2. All your eggs in one basket is a bad thing. To clarify. In a situation where a number of females maintain relations with a single man, it should be taken into consideration that males live shorter lives. At some point, all females associated with such a male run the risk their children being raised without a biological father.

To give an example, a man with 20 wives and 60 children dies at the age of 35. His oldest child is 15 and his youngest is 6 months. Either 20 women and their children(average 3 per female) must find a mate who will sustain them and their children, or they must go it alone or some other permutation.

Those are a couple that come to mind, but I may add more later. Thanks again for your responses.
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#25 Glenn101

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:36 PM

Thanks for all the input from posters so far. Likely towards the wind down of the thread I will try to compile all responses in to some sort of pro/con list for posterity's sake.

I don't agree with notion of polygamy but I am trying to be objective as I can on the matter. At least for me, I am trying to separate religious belief from it for the moment.

Some Con's
1A. A diminished gene pool. One male producing offspring from many females could potentially have positive impact if his traits were dominant through his offspring and also if his passed on traits had positive impact. However if he had undesirable traits that were dominant it would be a detriment. Regardless, if the number of reproductive males were reduced and the number of reproductive females were status quo or even increased it would lead to the potentiality of 1B.


1B. Potential for incest over time. In a grouping, where only a small number of males were reproductive and also the same number or more of females were reproductive then it would stand to reason that given that many offspring genes would be attributed to only a small number of males and the propensity of inbreeding would increase. A number of diseases are associated with such actions so this would also be a con worth consideration.

2. All your eggs in one basket is a bad thing. To clarify. In a situation where a number of females maintain relations with a single man, it should be taken into consideration that males live shorter lives. At some point, all females associated with such a male run the risk their children being raised without a biological father.

To give an example, a man with 20 wives and 60 children dies at the age of 35. His oldest child is 15 and his youngest is 6 months. Either 20 women and their children(average 3 per female) must find a mate who will sustain them and their children, or they must go it alone or some other permutation.

Those are a couple that come to mind, but I may add more later. Thanks again for your responses.


Mudcat, Thoughtful responses. But it seems to me that these responses are predicated upon wide spread practice and one man, many wives. This is not the norm in most polygamous societies from what I have learned in my basic research. Most polygamous situations are circumscribed by practical limits. The financial aspects are more often than not the main limiting factor. But that is in countries less affluent than the U.S. And here in the U.S. many married women work. The male is no longer the only provider in the home. I could see where polygamy would be advantageous in such situations. Say a man has three wives. He and two of the wives work while one wishes to be a home body and take care of the house and children.
In the US the women would not be chosen by the men and forced into a situation they would not want, but would be allowed to choose polyamy or monagamy. Practically speaking most women would choose monagamy as would most men. That is my opinion.
This would be unlike closed societies such as the FLDS where the women seemed to be if not forced at least urged strongly towards men chosen for them and not by them.
But even in that controlled society of the FLDS, the children in the families seemed to be very well cared for in the most part. Probably better than the average monagamous household outside their community.
If polygamy were to be made legal in the United States, I doubt that there would be a rush to embrace it by the mainstream body of Americans. But it might do a lot to open up communities such as the FLDS and prevent many of the problems or at least ameliorate many of the problems caused by those closed and controlled societies.

Glenn
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#26 Nathair/|\

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:48 PM

Pro for the women, not having to put up with the husband as much, being able to dump him off on one of the other sister wives.
Cons for the man: never getting a break having more contradictory commandments to obey, having to perform his husbandly duty more often without a chance to recharge.
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#27 Brenda

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 12:06 AM

For you, Mudcat, I'll trust the integrity of this thread.

Cons: Extremely difficult to live in our imperfect mortal state. Impossible to successfully live in a Godless society. Human frailties and weaknesses could potentially run amok.
Some men would take unrighteous advantage of the situation. Potential abuse and neglect, loneliness and depression. But then this sometimes occurs in monogamous marriages.

Pros: Since we believe that eternal marriage is an essential ordinance for the Celestial Kingdom, then it affords it to everyone. That's pretty huge. In a more perfected Christlike state, we women would love our sisters so much that we couldn't bare to see any of them alone.
When handled properly, one can learn to love as Christ loves, without jealousies and envy. Extreme lessons in service, generosity, and trust in God.

I have not progressed to a point where I am willing to share my husband. I cannot even conceive of it. I believe that we will never be required to do anything we are not willing to do. So I don't worry about it. Someday I'll understand it better. Till then, I'll just trust God and know that He loves me and only wants me to be happy.

Edited by Brenda, 13 August 2010 - 12:07 AM.

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#28 rodheadlee

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 04:53 AM

This is true. On top of women being able to bring income and her own personal financial control into the home we should probably also factor in the fact that today's reality includes birth control which alleviates some of the sting of trying to compete for attention for their children. Any 21st century scenario likely takes all of the fun out of polygamy for the man....except for the endorsed multiple sexual partners scenario which I see few men complaining about.

I think Juliann's view is correct, but your assertion that a 21st century scenario takes the fun out of it for the man is incorrect. I see this situation described by Juliann in monogamous relationships in today's world in families that are childless and the woman is the main bread winner. The man's main job is to protect the assets of the woman and add a bit of excitement to an otherwise dull life. It's not bad being a trophy husband, I don't have to work, my wife doesn't like it when I work but she would never have jumped on sailboat and sailed halfway around the world without my instigation. We're not wealthy but we can make do on her assets alone. One of my best friends is in a similar situation but his wife makes mega bucks and she would have led a dull life had she not married him. He taught her how to enjoy life. We are the "E ticket" ride at Disneyland.

edited to add: When I say I don't work, that just means 9-5. I work at keeping the people, house, cars and boat in working order. It's a new situaton for me and I'm struggling with the fact that I'm more valuable at home rather than working for money.

Edited by rodheadlee, 13 August 2010 - 10:15 AM.

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#29 hordak

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 06:26 AM

Pro. Many men (and even some women) suffer from Multiple partner attraction (It's similar to SSA but doesn't have the same support) and as such many men (and some women) live a polygamous lifestyle already. By recognizing these unions we protect the children that result from them.

Yes it would suck for an employer to have to provide insurance/ benefits to more family members due to polygamous unions. But it is even more a crime that these kids and extra "wives" go without such benefits.


Generally speaking a married family (I.E. Husband, wife, kids) provides more stability then not(I.E. Father Baby mama, kid) so i think naturally legal polygamy(Husband, wife, wife, kids) would provide more stability then the (Husband, wife, kid from marriage, mistress, kid on the side) polygamous unions we see today.
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#30 Ceeboo

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 06:33 AM

Pro's- Ceeboo ;)


Con's- Ceeboo's wife :P


Peace,
Ceeboo
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#31 SlackTime

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 06:48 AM

Please see my post here:
My concerns with polygamy

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#32 BCSpace

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:19 AM

I find it interesting that many women seem to think that the only or main motivation for God authorized plural marriage is sex for the male. I daresay this is evidence that such women have poor sex lives and/or are used to using sex as a weapon against their husbands which is more difficult to accomplish in a plural marriage situation. It also shows an almost apostate level of disbelief in the scriptures and the prophets.
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#33 thesometimesaint

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:31 AM

Pros... More than one wife.

Con... More than one mother-in-law. Sorry mom old joke. I actually love you very much, and not just because you produced such a wonderful daughter. :P
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#34 juliann

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:33 AM

Thanks for all the input from posters so far. Likely towards the wind down of the thread I will try to compile all responses in to some sort of pro/con list for posterity's sake.

I don't agree with notion of polygamy but I am trying to be objective as I can on the matter. At least for me, I am trying to separate religious belief from it for the moment.

Some Con's
1A. A diminished gene pool. One male producing offspring from many females could potentially have positive impact if his traits were dominant through his offspring and also if his passed on traits had positive impact. However if he had undesirable traits that were dominant it would be a detriment. Regardless, if the number of reproductive males were reduced and the number of reproductive females were status quo or even increased it would lead to the potentiality of 1B.

1B. Potential for incest over time. In a grouping, where only a small number of males were reproductive and also the same number or more of females were reproductive then it would stand to reason that given that many offspring genes would be attributed to only a small number of males and the propensity of inbreeding would increase. A number of diseases are associated with such actions so this would also be a con worth consideration.

2. All your eggs in one basket is a bad thing. To clarify. In a situation where a number of females maintain relations with a single man, it should be taken into consideration that males live shorter lives. At some point, all females associated with such a male run the risk their children being raised without a biological father.

To give an example, a man with 20 wives and 60 children dies at the age of 35. His oldest child is 15 and his youngest is 6 months. Either 20 women and their children(average 3 per female) must find a mate who will sustain them and their children, or they must go it alone or some other permutation.

Those are a couple that come to mind, but I may add more later. Thanks again for your responses.


Mudcat, you are still unable to think beyond politically repressive societies. Make yourself focus on today. When you think of polygamy you have to think of your neighbors not compounds or 19th century culture and law.

If I was to engage in this there would be a prenup with all partners. My assets would be protected. I would be in no worse situation with the death of the husband than I am now. There would have to be members paid to manage the household. Only men see that as an unpaid position. You must remember that in today's society this would look more like a business arrangement than a honeymoon. We have airplanes and cars now. There is no reason families would even need to be in the same state so gene pools aren't necessarily revelant. And paternity would be known unlike today when affairs cover it up. If the families were in close proximity, however, the financial advantages could be huge. Imagine what you would save if you shared items with neighbors. There wouldnt' have to be as many cars and tools. It would function as a co-op (with the man included as goods, unfortunately). The only way a man could hope to retain control is through money and he would have to be very, very rich.

A con would be how to manage divorce. Since women will have a larger voting block they will probably make sure men are not allowed to abandon families and if they do they will spend every cent they will ever have on support.
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#35 juliann

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:37 AM

I find it interesting that many women seem to think that the only or main motivation for God authorized plural marriage is sex for the male. I daresay this is evidence that such women have poor sex lives and/or are used to using sex as a weapon against their husbands which is more difficult to accomplish in a plural marriage situation. It also shows an almost apostate level of disbelief in the scriptures and the prophets.


It would be very entertaining to see you in a polygamous marriage.
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#36 MorningStar

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:39 AM

I find it interesting that many women seem to think that the only or main motivation for God authorized plural marriage is sex for the male. I daresay this is evidence that such women have poor sex lives and/or are used to using sex as a weapon against their husbands which is more difficult to accomplish in a plural marriage situation. It also shows an almost apostate level of disbelief in the scriptures and the prophets.


That makes no sense. Believe it or not, there are women who like having sex with their husbands and are upset by the idea of only getting to sleep with them maybe once a week. It's offensive to suggest that her main gripe would be not getting to use sex against him.
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#37 bluebell

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:46 AM

I find it interesting that many women seem to think that the only or main motivation for God authorized plural marriage is sex for the male. I daresay this is evidence that such women have poor sex lives and/or are used to using sex as a weapon against their husbands which is more difficult to accomplish in a plural marriage situation. It also shows an almost apostate level of disbelief in the scriptures and the prophets.

Which female posters here thought that the only or main motivation for God authorized plural marriage is sex for the male?
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#38 yesucan2

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 12:23 PM

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#39 Mudcat

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 12:32 PM

Mudcat, you are still unable to think beyond politically repressive societies. Make yourself focus on today. When you think of polygamy you have to think of your neighbors not compounds or 19th century culture and law.

Hey Juliann!!!

Long time no see, hope your doing well. You have got a few others on the thread that seem to share your sentiment on the matter, such as Glen101. I have put some thought into this over the course of the evening and today... just haven't had much PC time. You seem to promoting the notion that 21st century polygamy in countries that are free to some degree from the political repression of women, would be imply a drastically different dynamic. I think you may be correct in that, but as of yet am uncertain as to what that dynamic would be.

Hopefully, you won't consider me too close minded for using what you seem to think is an outmoded view. From what I can gather, those cultures that do endorse polygamy are still entrenched in such modes. If there is currently a modern culture in that respect, that does practice polygamy, I confess to having no knowledge of it. Even this current thing going on in Canada seems a bit archaic IMO.

But using Canada as an example, lets say they push it through and polygamy is legally sanctioned.. or even lets say it is sanctioned in the US as well. I would think for certain, that those cultures that currently operate in an outmoded view in other countries that practice polygamy, would then just simply institute the same practices that were in place. The only caveat being that the repression of women in such areas would have less of a barb to it because even though the veil of political repression would be removed, social and cultural forces would likely be brought to bear. IMO, if polygamy were given a pass legally in free nations, likely the ones who would practice it would be the same groups that have done so in other countries and they would do it for the same reasons, for the most part.

However, the concept of an emergent group of people who embraced this concept with a modern perspective is interesting. I suppose I am still trying to determine why exactly someone would choose such a course.

If I was to engage in this there would be a prenup with all partners. My assets would be protected. I would be in no worse situation with the death of the husband than I am now. There would have to be members paid to manage the household. Only men see that as an unpaid position. You must remember that in today's society this would look more like a business arrangement than a honeymoon. We have airplanes and cars now. There is no reason families would even need to be in the same state so gene pools aren't necessarily revelant. And paternity would be known unlike today when affairs cover it up. If the families were in close proximity, however, the financial advantages could be huge. Imagine what you would save if you shared items with neighbors. There wouldnt' have to be as many cars and tools. It would function as a co-op (with the man included as goods, unfortunately). The only way a man could hope to retain control is through money and he would have to be very, very rich.


The only benefit I would see here, would be financial gains. Perhaps homes would be larger, but certainly a need for less appliances and so forth in holistic sense. A man and four women would need only 1 vacuum instead of four.. and so forth. I wonder how much room there is for love in a business relationship of this sort. But a good bit of this sort of ideology is based on a matriarchal background.

I imagine, you would find patriarchy also viable for such a situation, but as you seem to suggest, this would be a wealth driven patriarchy. Surely there would be a trade of on some emotional respect for financial security.

I also wonder how this dynamic would impact the rearing of children. However, in this sort of eclectic type setting, it may be likely that there would be limited children. If financial gain is a motive of sorts for such a relationship, in modern society children are often considered financial siphons of income and large families may be considered unproductive in that respect.

I would think that emotional trade offs would be significant. Also, I wonder if woman might adopt a mentality that 25% of a good man is better than 100% of a bad one or none at all.

A con would be how to manage divorce. Since women will have a larger voting block they will probably make sure men are not allowed to abandon families and if they do they will spend every cent they will ever have on support.

Certainly worthy of consideration. Again, I hope you don't think I am being to close minded on the matter. It is just that much of what is being discussed is fairly speculative in regards to what polygamy would look like in a modern setting.

Kind Regards,

Mudcat
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#40 why me

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 12:35 PM

I see only pros. First, the children will have more than one mom. That can only be a benefit. Second, the wives are a small community of sisters where each wife supports the other. Third, more love in the family can not be a bad thing at all. Fourth, the polygamous family becomes of small community where the support is tremendous in a life that can seem very individualistic. Fifth, the man is important as father and helpful provider but the polygamous family is placing the women at the center and the man is is a conduit but an important one.

I see no negatives.
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