I've decided polygamy is an excellent way to raise a family

I just watched a polygamous family on Oprah, Ive watched other reality and documentary stuff, and I am a Big Love fan.

I think that if your goal is to raise children, especially if you want lots, polygamy is a terrific way to do it - I think it’s better for kids than monogamy, assuming the adults can be happy with it.

It seems very clear that it’s a wonderful boon to the women involved, enormous support, plenty of support and supervision for the kids… I just don’t see a downside, if you can manage to handle the expense, which is an issue for lots of families and may be less of one when you have four wives and 2-3 of them work - built in childcare!

On the whole I think monogamy vs. polygamy is all about sexual jealousy, because for raising families it’s hard to make a case that monogamy is better.

Uh oh.

I could get behind this, with a couple of IFs. First, the polygamy must be true polygamy, not polygyny. That is, there can be multiple husbands as well as multiple wives. And any spouse can have sex with any other spouse. Second, nobody can enter into a polygamous marriage until s/he’s at least 25. The societies that have traditionally had polygynous marriages have also traditionally married off the girls quite young. At 25, a person is old enough to have been around the block a few times, and has probably finished all or most of his/her schooling. Third, nobody can enter into a polygamous marriage without having at least a GED, no matter HOW old s/he is.

If it’s good for women to have other women to support them, then it’s good for men to have other men to support them as well. I strongly disagree that polygynous marriages are good for women. Nor are they particularly good for men…Google “Lost Boys” with Mormon or Latter Day Saints to see how teen boys are rounded up and dumped in the nearest big city, with no preparation, because there are too many males and not enough females to go around.

I hate to “me too” sometimes but i do agree with Lynn. Mostly because i was kind of stupid then and there’s no reason for anyone to marry that young.

And how much replenishing does the earth needd, for pity’s sake, when there are already 6.8billion people?

Most polygamy doesn’t fit into the “one big family under one roof” scenario.

The vast majority of polygamous households have separate apartments or outbuildings for each wife and her family. Each wife usually gets an allowance, but otherwise bears primary responsibility for her children and their upbringing until they reach puberty. The husband keeps a rotation of households, eating and staying over with a different wife on different nights- Islam requires him to keep an even rotation, but obviously favorites happen. The husband maintains his own central living space, and there is also usually a separate apartment for teenage boys who have not yet started their own family (unmarried teen girls stay with their mothers helping out around the house.) The husband usually does not have much to do with the wives’s day to day lives, and the wives are more like neighbors to each other than anything else- sometimes friendly, sometimes full of petty conflict. With the occasional exception, I don’t think they feel any particular bond or sense of family with each other or each other’s children- at least, not more than you’d feel about any other neighbor.

There are other arrangements, but they are anomalous and I think they probably require a lot of social controls to stay stable. My personal opinion is that if you have to live in a country where women cannot work to support themselves, at least polygamy means they can still be taken care of should their husbands find someone new. It’s not an awesome arrangement, but it’s better than being forced into prostitution or being left on the streets.

I agree that raising children in a big, lively house with an extended family full of kids and caring adults is a great idea. I think our society lost a lot when we moved away from that. But I don’t see why these people also all have to be sleeping with each other. I could very easily see the same benefits in a child-centered group living co-op, where, say, a group of single mothers could live together and help each other out with the kids. Young adults live in group living arrangements all the time. I could see how that might be difficult for a couple with kids, but I think it’d work great for single mothers.

I had a friend in Liberia who was raised in a polygamous family. His father had several wives (polygamy was legal there). They were chattel. Polygamy in real world practice is fucked up, misogynist garbage. Enslavement of women. Big Love is bullshit.

Just to set the tone for the rest of the thread: Dio, is it your position that it is impossible for a polygamous/polyamorous relationship to not be misogynistic?

Depending on your gender, the math of the situation may not be in your favor.

Assuming you’re speaking of the way most polygamists work, a man having multiple wives, it’s not much of a deal for the women. The man gets to father a lot more children than he would in a monogamous marriage. The only limit is the number of wives he can attract and support. What do the women get out of it? They can’t really give birth to any more kids than if they were monogamous, and they get only 1/2, or 1/3, or whatever of the man’s time and resources.

We’re talking about polygamy, not polyamory. One guy with lots of chattel slave wives. The participants are not equal, and there is no mutual reciprocity. I’ve seen it in real world practice, and it’s primitive, archaic, sexist shite.

The examples in the US are just as bad – sex farms pimping out teenage girls to their uncles. If you are aware of a real world polygamous practice which is not sexist, let me know what it is.

To the OP, as best I could tell in my research from a thread some time ago, the end result for the children was that they tended to have less assertiveness compared to those raised in smaller/monogamous families. Outside of that, they seemed no different. (And obviously, that’s simply the impression that the researcher had as that’s something not terribly quantifiable.)

I’d venture to guess that in a polygamous US, the government would be more left-leaning because of this. :wink:

Woo, a whole new chance to watch Dio threadshit. May as well start it early.

What’s the functional difference between polyamory and polygamy in the United States? I mean, what the OP describes sounds like the polyamory I’ve heard of.

Polygamy means one male with multiple wives. Maybe it’s a subset of “polyamory,” but one think that differentiates it is that it’s not coequal or reciprocal. The guy can have multiple partners, but the women cannot (not even with each other), They also have to submit the authority of the male. What the OP is talking about does not exist in the real workd.

It’s not so bad. Dio did leave it open by asking for evidence of a non-misogynistic version of polygamy. He admits that he is not of aware of one, but entertains the possibility.

I would guess that some form of 70s style free love might be able to pull it off, but he’s right that, at least in the big places that practice it, it is almost certainly misogynistic.

For example, I know a fairly lecherous heterosexual guy who lives with two lesbian females. I’m pretty sure they wear the pants in the oddly romantic but nonsexual relationship. But, as Dio would likely say, those seem to be the exception.

Paraguay’s generals managed to fight a war against 3 bordering opponents in 1865-1870. They lost. At the end the sex ratio was about 7 females to 1 male. Under the circumstances, the Catholic church gave its approval to polygamy, so as to repopulate the country. Today, polygamy is illegal in Paraguay. But for those wondering what might happen when polygamy is suddenly introduced, that’s as good of a natural experiment as any. Unfortunately I haven’t located details about this event on the internet.

I made a mistake in my last post: I said that what the OP had described seemed like polyamory to me. I was mixing up Lynn’s post and the OP’s.

Not quite. Polygyny and polyandry mean one man with multiple wives and one woman with multiple husbands respectively. Polygamy is the general term for multiple marriages, regardless of the genders. Finally, I believe polyamory is a descriptor created by polyamorists to separate themselves from their less ethical bretheren.

In response to the OP: while I agree that polygamy would work if the adults are happy with it, that’s a massive “if”. It doesn’t work if anyone feels pressured to accept this arrangement, and that’s going to be a difficult thing to achieve.

You’re so cute.

The people on Oprah were the stars of the new TLC reality show, “Sister Wives”, and it was clear that this family was the “Big Love” family made flesh, so to speak.

I wasn’t and I don’t advocate for the compound thing, for the messianic ephebophile, none of the popular assumptions.

The Oprah show will probably be repeated this weekend. If you don’t catch it, you should watch the TLC show. These are happy people making a choice that works for them.

And I disagree about the women and the husbands. It isn’t the same. (I’m not saying it should be outlawed or anything, just that it isn’t supportive of a family in the same way.) One man can father many children with many women, one woman can have a hundred husbands, her ability to have children has a limit. It’s a different dynamic in every way.

I also think the idea of “bigamy” as a punishable crime in a situation like this is ridiculous. There’s no law against people living together, having sex, and raising children. These people aren’t trying to claim that all the marriages are legally recognized, they consider it spiritual marriage. How can the state possibly insert itself? (I bring it up because the family at the center of the show is being investigated for bigamy with the possibility of charges being brought. Fucked up.)

No, WE are not, I’m certainly not. You are.

your head.

It does exist in the real world.