Chris's article

FINDING POLY LIFE AND POLY LOVE


The prospect of finding multiple romantic partners for a long term relationship can seem daunting. Knowing some people will shudder at the thought of polygamy and/or polyamory creates a natural sense of reluctance to always be as open and honest about your lifestyle as you need to be. In time you will build confidence. Looking for a sister wife or to get involved in a relationship with multiple partners won’t feel so odd to mention. People reacting negatively to your desires will eventually have little effect on you aside from a brief sigh. Until you’ve reached that level of confidence having a few safe places to be yourself and find friends and dates will be a life saver. Active participation in the polyamorous or polygamy community will also help build confidence in the community overall. 


Polyamorous Meetups  are an excellent option. Groups already exist or you can create a Meetup that is more in tune with your preferences. Read Meetups descriptions carefully as there are groups with very specific standards and desires. Polygamy specifically is not a term accepted by some polyamorous people. If you are seeking a sister wife you will not find her at a swingers event (most likely). If you’re seeking a second husband you will not find him at a polygamy event so easily as a polygyny gathering. Brush up on your terminology and know exactly what you want to find. This helps ensure you find the correct Meetup or help create one with clear details of the desired crowd for the event. 


Polyamory Events are popping up all over the world and their sheer size makes them an excellent option to find your soulmates in an offline environment. The prospect of finding people from your area to build a local poly community or set up smaller local activities is another bonus to major events. Being broad and less specific due to the large number of people involved allows you to explore different facets of the polyamory world and to share your world with others. You may realize there are possibilities you hadn’t considered before. Your ideas might spark an unknown passion in someone else. Keeping an open mind and sharing the joy of polyamory only leads to better outcomes for everyone involved.  


Online poly communities and dating sites remain the most accessible resource for poly dating. It’s easier to avoid meeting the wrong groups or people as well. If you are a polygamist and want a very traditional sister wife to join your family you can be very specific about that and find women looking for a polygamist family to join. If you are a polyamorous single person or family looking for dates or more lovers you can find them with relative ease this way. Being specific and targeting your audience is far easier online than most real life circumstances. The added benefit of building and maintaining an online community is having a supportive place to turn for continued friendships, fun, and advice. 


Watch out for fake accounts and scammers, as with any online dating, and use dating sites that are committed to your privacy and protection like Sister Wives. With only a little effort you can be chatting with possible soul mates and building new friendships in no time. Be honest, active, and straightforward and your ideal poly matches will find you.










Published By: Christopher Alesich

Matchmakers, Inc - Sisterwives.com


So the decision has been made and becoming a sister wife is the way you’ve decided you’ll find love and fulfillment. It is a whole new world to you and a completely different way of dating. It can seem too difficult at times and giving up will be on your mind occasionally. Getting over the hurdles you’ll face is not impossible and dealing with a society that frowns upon your desires is nothing new. Hang in there and consider a few of these realities to be prepared. 


First off, if you are living the way that makes you truly happy and are harming nobody, including yourself, you have to develop a thick skin against the judgments of the world around you. All of the ‘poison’ people try to give you stems from their own shortcomings and desperate lack of joy. You are the happy one and can only hope you’ll affect toxic people in a positive way. It is not your responsibility to explain yourself or to appease them. Let it go and stay focused on your joy. 


Don’t be fooled into thinking dating will be easier in the polyamorous or polygamous world. There are many differing ideas about what a polygamous relationship means and finding sister wives that share your ideals can be tricky. It’s important to be completely straightforward and honest when seeking a poly relationship. 


Some polygamist families are very traditional with one male leading his sister wives as the head of the family. Sexual contact will be only with the husband, or the male head of the family, and there will be no group sexual activity. Women in a very traditional polygamy situation can expect to fulfill traditional ‘wife duties’ with the purpose of raising children and supporting your husband and family. A strong religious affiliation is often involved as well. The traditional polygamist family is also one of the most heavily scrutinized and often results in the need to move into communities that share your values. 


Polyamorous relationships have become more popular recently and while you can be a sister wife and have one male in the relationship it no longer means the family must follow traditional or religious marriage ideals. Modern poly families can involve lesbian, straight, or bisexual females. The guy could be gay, straight, or bisexual as well but the focus here is on becoming a sister wife. The modern take on polygamy is wide open for interpretation by individual families and requires everyone involved to be well in touch with their sexuality and relationship goals. 


Once you’ve done some soul searching to figure out what you’re looking for you’ll be ready to put yourself out there and connect with the right people. You’ll face the same struggles as traditional dating and the prospect of losing more than one lover in a breakup means heartache along the way can be worse until you find ‘the ones’. A new sister wife entering an existing relationship can be very difficult so you’ve got to be mentally prepared for the struggle. Starting a new plural relationship is also not easy. Being confident and honest is vital to success on your journey. Meeting a family seeking a sister wife with completely different views on sex and lifestyle will be a waste of time and energy for everyone involved. Be clear up front with your expectations. 


A supportive community is helpful to ensure you’re meeting the right people and are able to discuss your experiences and expectations freely. There are online communities for poly or polygamy dating and discussion. Take advantage of them. Becoming a sister wife should be an empowering experience and sharing the experience with new sister wives is a beautiful thing. Don’t be afraid to speak candidly and bring up difficult topics. The more you expose your true self the more likely you are to find the right matches. Love yourself first and your possibilities are endless.











Published By: Christopher Alesich

Matchmakers, Inc - Sisterwives.com

All This Love but Why Do I Still Feel Low,


The holidays bring loads of joy to many people. The excitement of holiday parties and spending time with loved ones you may rarely get to see puts a smile in many hearts. However, there is a darker side to the holidays. Financial problems, family problems, relationship troubles, pressure to find the perfect gift, and the list is endless. Being in a poly relationship brings great joy to your life but can also expose you to the risk of negative situations that could turn your holiday joy into a seasonal depression.


Family members sometimes struggle accepting polygamous or polyamorous relatives and they may not realize the severe effect they have on them. Being a sister wife or being involved with multiple partners will always be outside of social norms for many people and depression from feeling like an outcast by those people is an inevitable struggle. Finding family and friends that support you as well as finding others with your poly life in common is key to overcoming the shadow some others would like to cast over you. Find groups online to form a community and turn to your partner and or partners when times feel tough. Don’t avoid these conversations in an effort to keep everyone happy. It doesn’t work in the long run.


Depression over finances is a major and growing issue for the majority of Americans. The suicide rate has been increasing dramatically and shows no sign of slowing down. Much of this is due to financial burdens, lack of resources, and low wages. The holidays can magnify financial woes and send a person over the tipping point. poly families often enjoy the benefit of multiple incomes in one household but this is too often not true or leaves one feeling they need to keep up or do more. Keeping an open dialogue about money is absolutely vital in maintaining a healthy relationship and in ensuring one of your partners is not struggling with an unknown depression over money. If money is tight there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank.


Skip gifts altogether or choose just one great gift the whole house can enjoy. Plan an amazing holiday celebration at home instead of traveling. Draw names so each person in the household needs only to buy one gift for one other partner. If you have kids you can have everyone only buy gifts for the kids. There are few greater joys than watching the excitement when children open gifts. Spend the holidays with your poly family helping others by volunteering to feed the homeless. Helping people in need is an eye opening experience that will help you focus on the positive things in your life.


Depression can be tough to overcome. It can derive from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a chemical imbalance, chronic pain, unresolved relationship issues, a loss, or many things. If you are experiencing depression that just won’t subside do not be afraid to reach out for help. If you cannot talk to your partners, friends, or family about it there are resources that allow you to remain anonymous. Phone numbers and resources can be found in this link. No matter how tough it seems, you are loved, and you can find happiness again.


Sister Wives is not just a Poly Dating Site, they are also a poly support network. Is your Poly Family depending on your situation? You are all together for a reason. Don’t forget the love you all share. Sometimes you have to force yourself to be positive and put on a happy face to push through tough times. A healthy plural relationship will see to it that each member of the poly family is lifting each other up when needed. Be mindful of those around you this holiday season to ensure you are encouraging peace and joy.










Published By: Christopher Alesich

Matchmakers, Inc - Sisterwives.com


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Matchmakers, Inc - Sisterwives.com

Holly Jolly Poly Christmas


It’s that exciting time of year again when lights and festivities are all around and we’re making plans to see friends and family we may not have seen all year. When the stockings are hung and the tree is trimmed we sit back with those we love sipping cider or eggnog while reminiscing about days past and days still to come. For people involved in a poly relationship the days to come might mean a difficult time with disapproving family. 


Poly dating as well as polygamous relationships have become more accepted in modern times but approval is often hardest to gain from family. A mother knowing her daughter is a sister wife can be tough to accept when she has no exposure to the many great aspects of a healthy plural relationship. A father embracing that his son is a ‘unicorn’ (bisexual) can be nearly impossible because he simply has no positive exposure to the lifestyle. For some situations it might be best to start your own family traditions at home and stay away from toxic family members but here are some ideas to consider if you will be facing the family. 


Killing them with kindness is a must. Deciding to go out of your way to be kind will prevent negative emotions and regretful words or actions on your end. Don’t be affected by a disapproving comment as though you give it any value. Unsolicited advice on your poly relationship can safely be ignored. Smile and say you appreciate the input but you’re doing quite well then ask them to pass the green bean casserole. Keep the conversation moving and push it in positive directions. 


Set a time limit based on the difficulty level of your family. In time if they want to see more of you and your poly family they’ll know they have to accept you as you are. If you’ve chosen to start your own family tradition at home you can invite only amiable family to join you. Don’t be afraid to be honest when the uninvited ask for an explanation. You can assert yourself and be honest in a loving and constructive way and hope your loved ones will eventually come around to respecting you. 


The DNA connection to your family does not mean you owe them anything and does not mean they have any right to pressure you into their standards. Walk into the holiday situation knowing you are fully your own person and your sister wives or lovers are your valid chosen family. Acceptance is not guaranteed, but you don’t have to accept judgment as much as others don’t have to accept your choices. Don’t be afraid to tell family you’d like if they’d embrace you completely but won’t sacrifice your happiness or integrity to gain it. Discussing the beautiful aspects of a polygamous or polyamorous relationship can help them realize it’s a healthy option for many. 


Don’t let toxic or unhappy people ruin your holidays. Your poly life shows we can enjoy an enormous amount of love in our lives and we can share that love in many ways. The number one tool needed to deal with difficult people is confidence, so make sure everyone in your poly family is prepared for less than ideal social interactions. For even more general advice I recommend this livestrong.com article. Go show your family, and the world, their closed minds only hurt themselves. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!





Published By: Christopher Alesich

Matchmakers, Inc - sisterwives.com

Morality and Polyamory


Polyamorous lifestyles are all the buzz in recent years and their prevalence is reshaping the way society views intimate relationships. The freedom to enjoy multiple partners is a promising shift that can lead to living happier and more fulfilling lives. There is some suspicion that nothing is really changing at all. Society is just being more honest and accepting with each other. However, there remain a large number of people that are concerned about the implications of what they see as a society lacking real commitments. There is a moral dilemma to consider here.

 
Morality is defined as the ‘principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.’ For centuries, marriage between two people has represented the unification and basis society needed to maintain a healthy and productive life. A 50 year wedding anniversary still symbolizes a beautiful life lived morally. These things are ultimately good for society so saying a monogamous marriage is a morally sound existence is not inaccurate, but there is another side to this story. 


Historically, monogamous marriage has often been forced onto people, used to control people, used to entrap, take advantage, extort, and the list goes on. Marriage is not always the pretty picture we like to imagine when you peel a bit of the paint from the surface. For many, monogamy will always be the best choice but it is not necessarily a moral choice. Simply a personal preference. There are other options that allow one to lead an honest, moral, and productive life that benefits society.


It is not immoral to choose a lifestyle that will allow you to be happy and content. Trying to live in monogamy when it’s not best for you will lead to temptations and possibly actions that will bury you in fear and regret and may lead to hurting people you love. Living with secrets and dishonesty is bad for society and for your mental health. Sharing your passion and intimacy with as many as you like while ensuring everyone involved is aware of the situation and under no duress to continue is a morally sound decision. 


The moral dilemma being attached to the rise of polyamory turns out to be quite false. It seems some people that disagree with polyamory can’t agree to disagree and prefer to demoralize people. That, my friend, is immoral behavior. Polyamory and monogamy could both tread into immoral territory if someone is not living honestly. Individuals living the life they truly enjoy will make better decisions and have more positive impacts on the world around them. In a nutshell, living morally is only based on individual behavior within whatever relationships are chosen.











Published By: Christopher Alesich

Matchmakers, Inc - sisterwives.com

POLY RELATIONSHIP VACATION IDEAS


Traditional hotel bars and cruise ships can be great places for couples to meet couples or a person to date but once you have a polyamorous relationship those places can be difficult to enjoy as a throuple or more. People not involved in the poly lifestyle can get confused and you’ll have to constantly explain your relationship to folks that may not think so kindly about you. The world is your oyster, of course, but sometimes you want to simply relax and enjoy the loves of your life. Here are a few ideas to escape the daily grind and the iffy situations traditional things can bring about. 


A cabin in the woods is the perfect getaway. You can cuddle up with as many lovers every night as you please knowing that every morning will start another day of total immersion with them. No hotel workers looking at you oddly as you walk by them or strange attitude from any ladies at the hotel bar last night. A cabin can be your safe place and you can plan outside adventures such as hikes, rafting, or bird watching with little or no involvement with the outside world (other than nature, of course).  


Rent a boat! Organize your own self-guided cruise rather than risk being stuck for days with people you may not want to be around. Pack all of the food and supplies you need for the number of days you will be at sea and plan fun ports of call along the way. Hire a friendly captain or if you’re so inclined train to lead the boat yourself. Fun and sun for days with your loves and with no interference will provide the perfect escape. 


Find a great Airbnb in a major busy city. This one sounds self defeating but if you treat all the people running around like background characters you can rest assured they will not be offended. The Airbnb is your home base for the vacation and you plan outings to see shows or go to events. If the views from your place are great you may not even want to go anywhere else. 


There are endless possibilities for wonderful vacations especially when the highlight is spending time with the ones you love. If you’re in an open poly relationship you may enjoy resorts or organizations that cater to the poly lifestyle. Do research and know your audience before any of them. Most of all simply enjoy your relationships. Many people never seem to find the one they love and you’ve found the many. It’s a beautiful world to explore.




Published By: Christopher Alesich

Matchmakers, Inc - sisterwives.com

What is Polygamy?


Polygamy (from Late Greek πολυγαμία, polygamía, "state of marriage to many spouses") is the practice of marrying multiple spouses. When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, sociologists call this polygyny. When a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called polyandry. If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it can be called a group marriage.


In contrast, monogamy is marriage consisting of only two parties. Like "monogamy", the term "polygamy" is often used in a de facto sense, applied regardless of whether the state recognizes the relationship. In sociobiology and zoology, researchers use polygamy in a broad sense to mean any form of multiple mating.


Worldwide, different societies variously encourage, accept or outlaw polygamy. Of societies which allow or tolerate polygamy, in the vast majority of cases the form accepted is polygyny. According to the Ethnographic Atlas (1998), of 1,231 societies noted, 588 had frequent polygyny, 453 had occasional polygyny, 186 were monogamous and 4 had polyandry; although more recent research suggests polyandry may be more common than previously thought. From a religious point of view, "The bible shows over 36 named men who had more than one wife. " In cultures which practice polygamy, its prevalence among that population is often connected to class and socioeconomic status.


From a legal point of view, in many countries, although marriage is legally monogamous (a person can only have one spouse, and bigamy is illegal), adultery is not illegal, leading to a situation of de facto polygamy being allowed, although without legal recognition for non-official "spouses".


According to scientific studies, the human mating system is considered to be moderately polygynous, based on both surveys of world populations, and on characteristics of human reproductive physiology.


Forms

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Polygamy exists in three specific forms:


Polygyny, wherein a man has multiple simultaneous wives

Polyandry, wherein a woman has multiple simultaneous husbands

Group marriage, wherein the family unit consists of multiple husbands and multiple wives

Polygamy is also common among some animals, such as the common fruit-fly, Drosophila melanogaster.


Polygyny


Incidence


Polygyny, the practice wherein a man has more than one wife at the same time, is by far the most common form of polygamy. Polygyny is legally accepted in many Muslim majority countries and some countries with a sizeable Muslim minority; it is also accepted in some secular countries to varying degrees.


Polygyny is more widespread in Africa than in any other continent, especially in West Africa, and some scholars see the slave trade's impact on the male-to-female sex ratio as a key factor in the emergence and fortification of polygynous practices in regions of Africa.


Anthropologist Jack Goody's comparative study of marriage around the world utilizing the Ethnographic Atlas demonstrated an historical correlation between the practice of extensive shifting horticulture and polygamy in the majority of sub-Saharan African societies. Drawing on the work of Ester Boserup, Goody notes that the sexual division of labour varies between the male-dominated intensive plough-agriculture common in Eurasia and the extensive shifting horticulture found in sub-Saharan Africa. In some of the sparsely populated regions where shifting cultivation takes place in Africa, women do much of the work. This favours polygamous marriages in which men sought to monopolize the production of women "who are valued both as workers and as child bearers". Goody, however, observes that the correlation is imperfect and varied, and also discusses more traditionally male-dominated though relatively extensive farming systems such as those that exist in much of West Africa, especially in the West African savanna, where polygyny is desired more for the creation of male offspring, whose labor is valued.


Anthropologists Douglas R. White and Michael L. Burton discuss and support Jack Goody's observation regarding African male farming systems in "Causes of Polygyny: Ecology, Economy, Kinship, and Warfare" where these authors note: "Goody (1973) argues against the female contributions hypothesis. He notes Dorjahn's (1959) comparison of East and West Africa, showing higher female agricultural contributions in East Africa and higher polygyny rates in West Africa, especially the West African savanna, where one finds especially high male agricultural contributions. Goody says, "The reasons behind polygyny are sexual and reproductive rather than economic and productive" (1973:189), arguing that men marry polygynously to maximize their fertility and to obtain large households containing many young dependent males."


Types of polygyny


Polygynous marriages fall into two types: sororal polygyny, in which the co-wives are sisters, and non-sororal, where the co-wives are not related. Polygyny offers husbands the benefit of allowing them to have more children, may provide them with a larger number of productive workers (where workers are family), and allows them to establish politically useful ties with a greater number of kin groups. Senior wives can benefit as well when the addition of junior wives to the family lightens their workload. Wives', especially senior wives', status in a community can increase through the addition of other wives, who add to the family's prosperity or symbolize conspicuous consumption (much as a large house, domestic help, or expensive vacations operate in a western country). For such reasons, senior wives sometimes work hard or contribute from their own resources to enable their husbands to accumulate the bride price for an extra wife.


Polygyny may also result from the practice of levirate marriage. In such cases, the deceased man's heir may inherit his assets and wife; or, more usually, his brothers may marry the widow. This provides support for the widow and her children (usually also members of the brothers' kin group) and maintains the tie between the husbands' and wives' kin groups. The sororate resembles the levirate, in that a widower must marry the sister of his dead wife. The family of the late wife, in other words, must provide a replacement for her, thus maintaining the marriage alliance. Both levirate and sororate may result in a man having multiple wives.


In monogamous societies, wealthy and powerful men established enduring relationships with, and established separate household for, multiple female partners, aside from their legitimate wives; a practice accepted in Imperial China up until the Qing Dynasty of 1636-1912. This constitutes a form of de facto polygyny referred to as concubinage.


Household organization


Marriage is the moment at which a new household is formed, but different arrangements may occur depending upon the type of marriage and some polygamous marriages do not result in the formation of a single household. In many polygynous marriages the husband's wives may live in separate households often at a great distance. They can thus be described as a "series of linked nuclear families with a 'father' in common".


Polyandry


Incidence


Polyandry, the practice of a woman having more than one husband at the one time, is much less prevalent than polygyny and is now illegal in virtually every country in the world. It takes place only in remote communities.


Polyandry is believed to be more likely in take place societies with scarce environmental resources, as it is believed to limit human population growth and enhance child survival. It is a rare form of marriage that exists not only among poor families, but also the elite. For example, in the Himalayan Mountains polyandry is related to the scarcity of land; the marriage of all brothers in a family to the same wife allows family land to remain intact and undivided.[citation needed] If every brother married separately and had children, family land would be split into unsustainable small plots. In Europe, this outcome was avoided through the social practice of impartible inheritance, under which most siblings would be disinherited.


Types


Fraternal polyandry was traditionally practiced among nomadic Tibetans in Nepal, parts of China and part of northern India, in which two or more brothers would marry the same woman. It is most common in societies marked by high male mortality. It is associated with partible paternity, the cultural belief that a child can have more than one father.


Non-fraternal polyandry occurs when the wives' husbands are unrelated, as among the Nayar tribe of India, where girls undergo a ritual marriage before puberty, and the first husband is acknowledged as the father of all her children. However, the woman may never cohabit with that man, taking multiple lovers instead; these men must acknowledge the paternity of their children (and hence demonstrate that no caste prohibitions have been breached) by paying the midwife. The women remain in their maternal home, living with their brothers, and property is passed matrilineally. A similar form of matrilineal, de facto polyandry can be found in the institution of walking marriage among the Mosuo tribe of China.


Serial monogamy


Serial monogamy refers to remarriage after divorce or death of a spouse from a monogamous marriage, i.e. multiple marriages but only one legal spouse at a time (a series of monogamous relationships).


According to Danish scholar Miriam K. Zeitzen, anthropologists treat serial monogamy, in which divorce and remarriage occur, as a form of polygamy as it also can establish a series of households that may continue to be tied by shared paternity and shared income. As such, they are similar to the household formations created through divorce and serial monogamy.


Serial monogamy creates a new kind of relative, the "ex-". The "ex-wife", for example, can remain an active part of her "ex-husband's" life, as they may be[according to whom?] tied together by legally or informally mandated economic support, which can last for years, including by alimony, child support, and joint custody. Bob Simpson[who?] notes that in the British case, it creates an "extended family", that is, a number of households tied together in this way, including mobile children, noting that Britons may have ex‑wives or ex‑brothers‑in‑law, but not an ex‑child. According to him, these "unclear families" do not fit the mold of the monogamous nuclear family.


Group marriage


Group marriage is a marriage[when defined as?] wherein the family unit consists of more than two partners, any of whom share parental responsibility for any children arising from the marriage. Group marriage is a form of non-monogamy and polyamory.


Contemporary religious attitudes to polygamy

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Hinduism


The Rig Veda mentions that during the Vedic period, a man could have more than one wife. The practice is attested in epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. The Dharmashastras permit a man to marry women of lower castes provided that the first wife was of equal caste. Despite its existence, it was most usually practiced by men of higher castes and higher status. Common people were only allowed a second marriage if the first wife could not bear a son.


According to Vishnu Smriti, the number of wives is linked to the caste system:


Now a Brāhmaṇa may take four wives in the direct order of the (four) castes; 

A Kshatriya, three;.

A Vaishya, two

A Shudra, one only


This linkage of the number of permitted wives to the caste system is also supported by Baudhayana Dharmasutra and Paraskara Grihyasutra.


The Apastamba Dharmasutra and Manusmriti allow a second wife if the first one is unable to discharge her religious duties or is unable to bear a son.


For a Brahmana, only one wife could rank as the chief consort who performed the religious rites (dharma-patni) along with the husband. The chief consort had to be of an equal caste. If a man married several women from the same caste, then eldest wife is the chief consort. Hindu kings commonly had more than one wife and are regularly attributed four wives by the scriptures. They were: Mahisi who was the chief consort, Parivrkti who had no son, Vaivata who is considered the favorite wife and the Palagali who was the daughter of the last of the court officials.


The other practice though not well documented is polyandry, where a woman marries more than one man. Draupadi in the epic Mahabharat had five husbands: the Pandavas.


Traditional Hindu law allowed polygamy if the first wife could not bear a son.


The Hindu Marriage Act was enacted in 1955 by the Indian Parliament and made polygamy illegal for everyone in India except for Muslims. Prior to 1955, polygamy was permitted for Hindus. Marriage laws in India are dependent upon the religion of the parties in question.


Buddhism


In Buddhism, marriage is not a sacrament. It is purely a secular affair and the monks do not participate in it, though in some sects priests and monks do marry. Hence it receives no religious sanction. Forms of marriage consequently vary from country to country. It is said in the Parabhava Sutta that "a man who is not satisfied with one woman and seeks out other women is on the path to decline". Other fragments in the Buddhist scripture can be found that seem to treat polygamy unfavorably, leading some authors to conclude that Buddhism generally does not approve of it or alternatively that it is a tolerated, but subordinate marital model.


Until 2010, polygyny was legally recognized in Thailand. In Myanmar, polygyny is outlawed since 2015. In Sri Lanka, polyandry was practiced (though not widespread) until recent times. When the Buddhist texts were translated into Chinese, the concubines of others were added to the list of inappropriate partners. Polyandry in Tibet as well was common traditionally, as was polygyny, and having several wives or husbands was never regarded as having sex with inappropriate partners. Tibet is home to the largest and most flourishing polyandrous community in the world today. Most typically, fraternal polyandry is practiced, but sometimes father and son have a common wife, which is a unique family structure in the world. Other forms of marriage are also present, like group marriage and monogamous marriage. Polyandry (especially fraternal polyandry) is also common among Buddhists in Bhutan, Ladakh, and other parts of the Indian subcontinent.


Celtic traditions


Some pre-Christian Celtic pagans were known to practice polygamy, although the Celtic peoples wavered between it, monogamy and polyandry depending on the time period and area. In some areas this continued even after Christianization began, for instance the Brehon Laws of Gaelic Ireland explicitly allowed for polygamy, especially amongst the noble class. Some modern Celtic pagan religions accept the practice of polygamy to varying degrees, though how widespread the practice is within these religions is unknown.


Judaism


The Torah contains a few specific regulations that apply to polygamy, such as Exodus 21:10: "If he take another wife for himself; her food, her clothing, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish". Deut 21:15–17, states that a man must award the inheritance due to a first-born son to the son who was actually born first, even if he hates that son's mother and likes another wife more; and Deut 17:17 states that the king shall not have too many wives.


The Torah may distinguish concubines and "sub-standard" wives with the prefix "to" (e.g., lit. "took to wives"). Despite these nuances to the biblical perspective on polygamy, many important figures had more than one wife, such as in the instances of Esau (Gen 26:34; 28:6-9), Jacob (Gen 29:15-28), Elkanah (1 Samuel 1:1-8), David (1 Samuel 25:39-44; 2 Samuel 3:2-5; 5:13-16), and Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3).


Multiple marriage was considered a realistic alternative in the case of famine, widowhood, or female infertility like in the practice of levirate marriage, wherein a man was required to marry and support his deceased brother's widow, as mandated by Deuteronomy 25:5–10. Despite its prevalence in the Hebrew Bible, scholars do not believe that polygyny was commonly practiced in the biblical era because it required a significant amount of wealth. Michael Coogan, in contrast, states that "Polygyny continued to be practiced well into the biblical period, and it is attested among Jews as late as the second century CE".


The monogamy of the Roman Empire was the cause of two explanatory notes in the writings of Josephus describing how the polygamous marriages of Herod the Great were permitted under Jewish custom.


The Rabbinical era that began with the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE saw a continuation of some degree of legal acceptance for polygamy. In the Babylonian Talmud (BT), Kiddushin 7a, its states, "Raba said: [If a man declares,] 'Be thou betrothed to half of me,' she is betrothed: 'half of thee be betrothed to me,' she is not betrothed." The BT during a discussion of Levirate marriage in Yevamot 65a appears to repeat the precedent found in Exodus 21:10: "Raba said: a man may marry wives in addition to the first wife; provided only that he possesses the means to maintain them". The Jewish Codices began a process of restricting polygamy in Judaism.


Maimonides, in his Mishneh Torah maintained that polygamous unions were permissible from a legal point of view, which was contrary to his personal opinion. The Mishneh Torah, while maintaining the right to multiple spouses, and the requirement to provide fully for each as indicated in previously cited sources, went further: "He may not, however, compel his wives to live in the same courtyard. Instead, each one is entitled to her own household".


The only case of a polygamous rabbi recorded in the Talmud provides an excellent illustration: Rabbi Tarfon married 300 women. Why? Because there was a famine in the land. But Rabbi Tarfon had plenty of food, since he was a kohen and received the priestly tithes. The wife of a kohen is also permitted to eat those tithes. Those 300 women were very happy that the Torah permitted polygamy.


The Shulchan Aruch, builds on all of the previous works by adding further nuances: "...but in any event, our sages have advised well not to marry more than four wives, in order that he can meet their conjugal needs at least once a month. And in a place where it is customary to marry only one wife, he is not permitted to take another wife on top of his present wife." As can be seen, while the tradition of the Rabbinic period began with providing legal definition for the practice of polygamy (although this does not indicate the frequency with which polygamy in fact occurred) that corresponded to precedents in the tanakh, by the time of the Codices the Rabbis had greatly reduced or eliminated sanction of the practice.


Most notable in the Rabbinic period on the issue of polygamy, though more specifically for Ashkenazi Jews, was the synod of Rabbeinu Gershom. About 1000 CE he called a synod which decided the following particulars: (1) prohibition of polygamy; (2) necessity of obtaining the consent of both parties to a divorce; (3) modification of the rules concerning those who became apostates under compulsion; (4) prohibition against opening correspondence addressed to another.


In the modern day, polygamy is almost nonexistent in Rabbinic Judaism. Ashkenazi Jews have continued to follow Rabbenu Gershom's ban since the 11th century. Some Mizrahi Jewish communities (particularly Yemenite Jews and Persian Jews) discontinued polygyny more recently, after they immigrated to countries where it was forbidden or illegal. Israel prohibits polygamy by law. In practice, however, the law is loosely enforced, primarily to avoid interference with Bedouin culture, where polygyny is practiced. Pre-existing polygynous unions among Jews from Arab countries (or other countries where the practice was not prohibited by their tradition and was not illegal) are not subject to this Israeli law. But Mizrahi Jews are not permitted to enter into new polygamous marriages in Israel. However polygamy may still occur in non-European Jewish communities that exist in countries where it is not forbidden, such as Jewish communities in Yemen and the Arab world.


Among Karaite Jews, who do not adhere to Rabbinic interpretations of the Torah, polygamy is almost non-existent today. Like other Jews, Karaites interpret Leviticus 18:18 to mean that a man can only take a second wife if his first wife gives her consent (Keter Torah on Leviticus, pp. 96–97) and Karaites interpret Exodus 21:10 to mean that a man can only take a second wife if he is capable of maintaining the same level of marital duties due to his first wife; the marital duties are 1) food, 2) clothing, and 3) sexual gratification. Because of these two biblical limitations and because most countries outlaw it, polygamy is considered highly impractical, and there are only a few known cases of it among Karaite Jews today.


Israel has made polygamy illegal. Provisions were instituted to allow for existing polygamous families immigrating from countries where the practice was legal. Furthermore, former chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef has come out in favor of legalizing polygamy and the practice of pilegesh (concubine) by the Israeli government.


Tzvi Zohar, a professor from the Bar-Ilan University, recently suggested that based on the opinions of leading halachic authorities, the concept of concubines may serve as a practical Halachic justification for premarital or non-marital cohabitation.


Christianity


Polygamy is not forbidden in the Old Testament. Although the New Testament is largely silent on polygamy, some point to Jesus's repetition of the earlier scriptures, noting that a man and a wife "shall become one flesh". However, some look to Paul's writings to the Corinthians: "Do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, 'The two will become one flesh.'" Supporters of polygamy claim this indicates that the term refers to a physical, rather than spiritual, union.


Some Christian theologians argue that in Matthew 19:3-9 and referring to Genesis 2:24 Jesus explicitly states a man should have only one wife:


Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?


The Bible states in the New Testament that polygamy should not be practiced by certain church leaders. 1 Timothy states that certain Church leaders should have but one wife: "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach" (chapter 3, verse 2; see also verse 12 regarding deacons having only one wife). Similar counsel is repeated in the first chapter of the Epistle to Titus.


Periodically, Christian reform movements that have aimed at rebuilding Christian doctrine based on the Bible alone (sola scriptura) have at least temporarily accepted polygyny as a Biblical practice. For example, during the Protestant Reformation, in a document referred to simply as "Der Beichtrat" (or "The Confessional Advice" ), Martin Luther granted the Landgrave Philip of Hesse, who, for many years, had been living "constantly in a state of adultery and fornication", a dispensation to take a second wife. The double marriage was to be done in secret, however, to avoid public scandal. Some fifteen years earlier, in a letter to the Saxon Chancellor Gregor Brück, Luther stated that he could not "forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict Scripture." ("Ego sane fateor, me non posse prohibere, si quis plures velit uxores ducere, nec repugnat sacris literis.")


In Sub-Saharan Africa, there has often been a tension between the Christian insistence on monogamy and traditional polygamy. For instance, Mswati III, the Christian king of Swaziland, has 15 wives. In some instances in recent times there have been moves for accommodation; in other instances, churches have resisted such moves strongly. African Independent Churches have sometimes referred to those parts of the Old Testament that describe polygamy in defending the practice.


Roman Catholic Church


The Roman Catholic Church condemns polygamy; the Catechism of the Catholic Church lists it in paragraph 2387 under the head "Other offenses against the dignity of marriage" and states that it "is not in accord with the moral law." Also in paragraph 1645 under the head "The Goods and Requirements of Conjugal Love" states "The unity of marriage, distinctly recognized by our Lord, is made clear in the equal personal dignity which must be accorded to husband and wife in mutual and unreserved affection. Polygamy is contrary to conjugal love which is undivided and exclusive."


Saint Augustine saw a conflict with Old Testament polygamy. He refrained from judging the patriarchs, but did not deduce from their practice the ongoing acceptability of polygyny. On the contrary, he argued that the polygamy of the Fathers, which was tolerated by the Creator because of fertility, was a diversion from His original plan for human marriage. Augustine wrote: "That the good purpose of marriage, however, is better promoted by one husband with one wife, than by a husband with several wives, is shown plainly enough by the very first union of a married pair, which was made by the Divine Being Himself."


Augustine taught that the reason patriarchs had many wives was not because of fornication, but because they wanted more children. He supported his premise by showing that their marriages, in which husband was the head, were arranged according to the rules of good management: those who are in command (quae principantur) in their society were always singular, while subordinates (subiecta) were multiple. He gave two examples of such relationships: dominus-servus - master-servant (in older translation: slave) and God-soul. The Bible often equates worshiping multiple gods, i.e. idolatry to fornication. Augustine relates to that: "On this account there is no True God of souls, save One: but one soul by means of many false gods may commit fornication, but not be made fruitful."


As tribal populations grew, fertility was no longer a valid justification of polygamy: it "was lawful among the ancient fathers: whether it be lawful now also, I would not hastily pronounce (utrum et nunc fas sit, non temere dixerim). For there is not now necessity of begetting children, as there then was, when, even when wives bear children, it was allowed, in order to a more numerous posterity, to marry other wives in addition, which now is certainly not lawful."


Augustine saw marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman, which may not be broken. It was the Creator who established monogamy: "Therefore, the first natural bond of human society is man and wife." Such marriage was confirmed by the Saviour in the Gospel of Matthew (Mat 19:9) and by His presence at the wedding in Cana (John 2:2). In the Church—the City of God—marriage is a sacrament and may not and cannot be dissolved as long as the spouses live: "But a marriage once for all entered upon in the City of our God, where, even from the first union of the two, the man and the woman, marriage bears a certain sacramental character, can in no way be dissolved but by the death of one of them." In chapter 7, Augustine pointed out that the Roman Empire forbad polygamy, even if the reason of fertility would support it: "For it is in a man's power to put away a wife that is barren, and marry one of whom to have children. And yet it is not allowed; and now indeed in our times, and after the usage of Rome (nostris quidem iam temporibus ac more Romano), neither to marry in addition, so as to have more than one wife living." Further on he notices that the Church's attitude goes much further than the secular law regarding monogamy: It forbids remarrying, considering such to be a form of fornication: "And yet, save in the City of our God, in His Holy Mount, the case is not such with the wife. But, that the laws of the Gentiles are otherwise, who is there that knows not."


In modern times a minority of Roman Catholic theologians have argued that polygamy, though not ideal, can be a legitimate form of Christian marriage in certain regions, in particular Africa. The Roman Catholic Church teaches in its Catechism that


polygamy is not in accord with the moral law. [Conjugal] communion is radically contradicted by polygamy; this, in fact, directly negates the plan of God that was revealed from the beginning, because it is contrary to the equal personal dignity of men and women who in matrimony give themselves with a love that is total and therefore unique and exclusive.


The illegality of polygamy in certain areas creates, according to certain Bible passages, additional arguments against it. Paul the Apostle writes "submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience" (Romans 13:5), for "the authorities that exist have been established by God." (Romans 13:1) St Peter concurs when he says to "submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right." (1 Peter 2:13,14) Pro-polygamists argue that, as long as polygamists currently do not obtain legal marriage licenses nor seek "common law marriage status" for additional spouses, no enforced laws are being broken any more than when monogamous couples similarly co-habitate without a marriage license.


Latter Day Saint Movement


In accordance with a revelation to Joseph Smith, the practice of plural marriage—the marriage of one man to two or more women—was instituted among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early 1840s Despite Smith's revelation, the 1835 edition of the 101st Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, written after the doctrine of plural marriage began to be practiced, publicly condemned polygamy. This scripture was used by John Taylor in 1850 to quash Mormon polygamy rumors in Liverpool, England. Polygamy was made illegal in the state of Illinois during the 1839–44 Nauvoo era when several top Mormon leaders, including Smith, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball took multiple wives. Mormon elders who publicly taught that all men were commanded to enter plural marriage were subject to harsh discipline. On 7 June 1844 the Nauvoo Expositor criticized Smith for plural marriage.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church)


After Joseph Smith was killed by a mob on 27 June 1844, the main body of Latter Day Saints left Nauvoo and followed Brigham Young to Utah where the practice of plural marriage continued. In 1852, Brigham Young, the second president of the LDS Church, publicly acknowledged the practice of plural marriage through a sermon he gave. Additional sermons by top Mormon leaders on the virtues of polygamy followed. Controversy followed when polygamy became a social cause, writers began to publish works condemning polygamy. The key plank of the Republican Party's 1856 platform was "to prohibit in the territories those twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slavery". In 1862, Congress issued the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act which clarified that the practice of polygamy was illegal in all US territories. The LDS Church believed that their religiously based practice of plural marriage was protected by the United States Constitution, however, the unanimous 1878 Supreme Court decision Reynolds v. United States declared that polygamy was not protected by the Constitution, based on the longstanding legal principle that "laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices."


Increasingly harsh anti-polygamy legislation in the US led some Mormons to emigrate to Canada and Mexico. In 1890, LDS Church president Wilford Woodruff issued a public declaration (the Manifesto) announcing that the LDS Church had discontinued new plural marriages. Anti-Mormon sentiment waned, as did opposition to statehood for Utah. The Smoot Hearings in 1904, which documented that the LDS Church was still practicing polygamy spurred the LDS Church to issue a Second Manifesto again claiming that it had ceased performing new plural marriages. By 1910 the LDS Church excommunicated those who entered into, or performed, new plural marriages. Even so, many plural husbands and wives continued to cohabit until their deaths in the 1940s and 1950s.


Enforcement of the 1890 Manifesto caused various splinter groups to leave the LDS Church in order to continue the practice of plural marriage. Polygamy among these groups persists today in Utah and neighboring states as well as in the spin-off colonies. Polygamist churches of Mormon origin are often referred to as "Mormon fundamentalist" even though they are not a part of the LDS Church. Such fundamentalists often use a purported 1886 revelation to John Taylor as the basis for their authority to continue the practice of plural marriage. The Salt Lake Tribune stated in 2005 there were as many as 37,000 fundamentalists with less than half of them living in polygamous households.


On 13 December 2013, US Federal Judge Clark Waddoups ruled in Brown v. Buhman that the portions of Utah's anti-polygamy laws which prohibit multiple cohabitation were unconstitutional, but also allowed Utah to maintain its ban on multiple marriage licenses. Unlawful cohabitation, where prosecutors did not need to prove that a marriage ceremony had taken place (only that a couple had lived together), had been the primary tool used to prosecute polygamy in Utah since the 1882 Edmunds Act.


Mormon fundamentalism


The Council of Friends (also known as the Woolley Group and the Priesthood Council) was one of the original expressions of Mormon fundamentalism, having its origins in the teachings of Lorin C. Woolley, a dairy farmer excommunicated from the LDS Church in 1924. Several Mormon fundamentalist groups claim lineage through the Council of Friends, including but not limited to, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS Church), the Apostolic United Brethren, the Centennial Park group, the Latter Day Church of Christ, and the Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Community of Christ


The Community of Christ, known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church) prior to 2001, has never sanctioned polygamy since its foundation in 1860. Joseph Smith III, the first Prophet-President of the RLDS Church following the Reorganized of the church, was an ardent opponent of the practice of plural marriage throughout his life. For most of his career, Smith denied that his father had been involved in the practice and insisted that it had originated with Brigham Young. Smith served many missions to the western United States where he met with and interviewed associates and women claiming to be widows of his father, who attempted to present him with evidence to the contrary. Smith typically responded to such accusations by saying that he was "not positive nor sure that [his father] was innocent", and that if, indeed, the elder Smith had been involved, it was still a false practice. However, many members of the Community of Christ, and some of the groups that were formerly associated with it are not convinced that Joseph Smith practiced plural marriage, and feel that the evidence that he did is flawed.


Islam

Polygyny in Islam


In Islamic marital jurisprudence, under reasonable and warranted conditions, a Muslim man may have more than one wife at the same time, up to a total of four. Muslim women are not permitted to have more than one husband at the same time under any circumstances.


Based on verse 30:21 of Quran the ideal relationship is the comfort that a couple find in each other's embrace:


And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.


— Qur'an, Sura 30 (Ar-Rum), Ayah 21

The polygyny that is allowed in the Koran is for special situations. There are strict requirements to marrying more than one woman, as the man must treat them equally financially and in terms of support given to each wife, according to Islamic law. However, Islam advises monogamy for a man if he fears he can't deal justly with his wives. This is based on verse 4:3 of Quran which says:


If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or one that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.


— Qur'an, Sura 4 (An-Nisa), Ayah 3

Muslim women are not allowed to marry more than one husband at once. However, in the case of a divorce or their husbands' death they can remarry after the completion of Iddah, as divorce is legal in Islamic law. A non-Muslim woman who flees from her non-Muslim husband and accepts Islam has the option to remarry without divorce from her previous husband, as her marriage with non-Muslim husband is Islamically dissolved on her fleeing. A non-Muslim woman captured during war by Muslims, can also remarry, as her marriage with her non-Muslim husband is Islamically dissolved at capture by Muslim soldiers. This permission is given to such women in verse 4:24 of Quran. The verse also emphasizes on transparency, mutual agreement and financial compensation as prerequisites for matrimonial relationship as opposed to prostitution; it says:


Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath Allah ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property,- desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.


— Qur'an, Sura 4 (An-Nisa), Ayah 24

Muhammad was monogamously married to Khadija, his first wife, for 25 years, until she died. After her death, he married multiple women, mostly widows, for social and political reasons. He had a total of nine wives, but not all at the same time, depending on the sources in his lifetime. The Qur'an does not give preference in marrying more than one wife. One reason cited for polygyny is that it allows a man to give financial protection to multiple women, who might otherwise not have any support (e.g. widows). However, the wife can set a condition, in then marriage contract, that the husband cannot marry another woman during their marriage. In such a case, the husband cannot marry another woman as long as he is married to his wife. According to traditional Islamic law, each of those wives keeps their property and assets separate; and are paid mahar and maintenance separately by their husband. Usually the wives have little to no contact with each other and lead separate, individual lives in their own houses, and sometimes in different cities, though they all share the same husband.


In most Muslim-majority countries, polygyny is legal with Kuwait being the only one where no restrictions are imposed on it. The practice is illegal in Muslim-majority Turkey, Tunisia, Albania, Kosovo and Central Asian countries.


Countries that allow polygyny typically also require a man to obtain permission from his previous wives before marrying another, and require the man to prove that he can financially support multiple wives. In Malaysia and Morocco, a man must justify taking an additional wife at a court hearing before he is allowed to do so. In Sudan, the government encouraged polygyny in 2001 to increase the population.


Legalization


International law


In 2000, the United Nations Human Rights Committee reported that polygamy violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), citing concerns that the lack of "equality of treatment with regard to the right to marry" meant that polygamy, restricted to polygyny in practice, violates the dignity of women and should be outlawed. Specifically, the reports to UN Committees have noted violations of the ICCPR due to these inequalities and reports to the General Assembly of the UN have recommended it be outlawed. Many Muslim states are not signatories of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Malaysia, Brunei, Oman, and South Sudan; therefore the UN treaty doesn't apply to these countries.


United Kingdom


Bigamy is illegal in the United Kingdom. De facto polygamy (having multiple partners at the same time) is not a criminal offence, provided the person does not register more than one marriage at the same time. In the UK, adultery is not a criminal offense (it is only a ground for divorce). In a written answer to the House of Commons, "In Great Britain, polygamy is only recognized as valid in law in circumstances where the marriage ceremony has been performed in a country whose laws permit polygamy and the parties to the marriage were domiciled there at the time. In addition, immigration rules have generally prevented the formation of polygamous households in this country since 1988."


The 2010 Government in the UK decided that Universal Credit (UC), which replaces means-tested benefits and tax credits for working-age people and will not be completely introduced until 2021, will not recognize polygamous marriages. A House of Commons Briefing Paper states "Treating second and subsequent partners in polygamous relationships as separate claimants could in some situations mean that polygamous households receive more under Universal Credit than they do under the current rules for means-tested benefits and tax credits. This is because, as explained above, the amounts which may be paid in respect of additional spouses are lower than those which generally apply to single claimants." There is currently no official statistics data on cohabiting polygamous couples who have arranged marriage in religious ceremonies.


In October 2017 there was media attention in the UK concerning website over a dating website offering Muslim men an opportunity to seek second or third wives.The website had 100 000 users of which 25 000 were in the UK. Website founder Azad Chaiwala created the website when he was seeking a second wife for himself.


United States


Polygamy is illegal in the United States. Federal legislation to outlaw the practice was endorsed as constitutional in 1878, despite the religious objections of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), by the Supreme Court, in Reynolds v. United States.


On 13 December 2013, a federal judge, spurred by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups, struck down the parts of Utah's bigamy law that criminalized cohabitation, while also acknowledging that the state may still enforce bans on having multiple marriage licenses.


Individualist feminism and advocates such as Wendy McElroy and journalist Jillian Keenan[who?] support the freedom for adults to voluntarily enter polygamous marriages.


Authors such as Alyssa Rower and Samantha Slark argue that there is a case for legalizing polygamy on the basis of regulation and monitoring of the practice, legally protecting the polygamous partners and allowing them to join mainstream society instead of forcing them to hide from it when any public situation arises.


In an October 2004 op-ed for USA Today, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley argued that, as a simple matter of equal treatment under law, polygamy ought to be legal. Acknowledging that underage girls are sometimes coerced into polygamous marriages, Turley replied that "banning polygamy is no more a solution to child abuse than banning marriage would be a solution to spousal abuse".


Stanley Kurtz, a Conservative fellow at the Hudson Institute, rejects the decriminalization and legalization of polygamy. He stated:


Marriage, as its ultramodern critics would like to say, is indeed about choosing one's partner, and about freedom in a society that values freedom. But that's not the only thing it is about. As the Supreme Court justices who unanimously decided Reynolds in 1878 understood, marriage is also about sustaining the conditions in which freedom can thrive. Polygamy in all its forms is a recipe for social structures that inhibit and ultimately undermine social freedom and democracy. A hard-won lesson of Western history is that genuine democratic self-rule begins at the hearth of the monogamous family.


In January 2015, Pastor Neil Patrick Carrick of Detroit, Michigan, brought a case (Carrick v. Snyder) against the State of Michigan that the state's ban of polygamy violates the Free Exercise and Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.


Canada


Canada has taken a strong stand against polygamy, and the Department of Justice of Canada has argued that polygyny is a violation of International Human Rights Law, as a form of gender discrimination. In Canada, the federal Criminal Code applies throughout the country. It extends the definition of polygamy to having any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time. Also anyone who assists, celebrates, or is a part to a rite, ceremony, or contract that sanctions a polygamist relationship is guilty of polygamy. Polygamy is an offence punishable by up to five years in prison. In 2017, two Canadian religious leaders have been found guilty of practising polygamy by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Both of them are former bishops of the Mormon denomination of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS).


SOURCE: en.wikipedia.org

What is Polyandry?

This article is about polyandrous marriage practices.


Polyandry (/ˈpɒliˌændri, ˌpɒliˈæn-/; from Greek: πολυ- poly-, "many" and ἀνήρ anēr, "man") is a form of polygamy in which a woman takes two or more husbands at the same time. Polyandry is contrasted with polygyny, involving one male and two or more females. If a marriage involves a plural number of "husbands and wives" participants of each gender, then it can be called polyamory, group or conjoint marriage. In its broadest use, polyandry refers to sexual relations with multiple males within or without marriage.


Of the 1,231 societies listed in the 1980 Ethnographic Atlas, 186 were found to be monogamous; 453 had occasional polygyny; 588 had more frequent polygyny; and 4 had polyandry. Polyandry is less rare than this figure suggests, as it considered only those examples found in the Himalayan mountains (28 societies). More recent studies have found more than 50 other societies practicing polyandry.


Fraternal polyandry is practiced among Tibetans in Nepal, parts of China and part of northern India, in which two or more brothers are married to the same wife, with the wife having equal "sexual access" to them. It is associated with partible paternity, the cultural belief that a child can have more than one father.


Polyandry is believed to be more likely in societies with scarce environmental resources. It is believed to limit human population growth and enhance child survival. It is a rare form of marriage that exists not only among peasant families but also among the elite families. For example, polyandry in the Himalayan mountains is related to the scarcity of land. The marriage of all brothers in a family to the same wife allows family land to remain intact and undivided. If every brother married separately and had children, family land would be split into unsustainable small plots. In contrast, very poor persons not owning land were less likely to practice polyandry in Buddhist Ladakh and Zanskar. In Europe, the splitting up of land was prevented through the social practice of impartible inheritance. With most siblings disinherited, many of them became celibate monks and priests.


Polyandrous mating systems are also a common phenomenon in the animal kingdom.


Types

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Polygynandry


In the Indian Himalayas, polyandry may be combined with polygyny to produce a system termed "polygynandry". The system results in less land fragmentation, a diversification of domestic economic activities, and lower population growth.


Fraternal polyandry


Fraternal polyandry (from the Latin frater—brother), also called adelphic polyandry, is a form of polyandry in which a woman is married to two or more men who are brothers. Fraternal polyandry was (and sometimes still is) found in certain areas of Tibet, Nepal, and Northern India, where polyandry was accepted as a social practice. The Toda people of southern India practice fraternal polyandry, but monogamy has become prevalent recently.In contemporary Hindu society, polyandrous marriages in agrarian societies in the Malwa region of Punjab seem to occur to avoid division of farming land.


Fraternal polyandry achieves a similar goal to that of primogeniture in 19th-century England. Primogeniture dictated that the eldest son inherited the family estate, while younger sons had to leave home and seek their own employment. Primogeniture maintained family estates intact over generations by permitting only one heir per generation. Fraternal polyandry also accomplishes this, but does so by keeping all the brothers together with just one wife so that there is only one set of heirs per generation. This strategy appears less successful the larger the fraternal sibling group is.


Some forms of polyandry appear to be associated with a perceived need to retain aristocratic titles or agricultural lands within kin groups, and/or because of the frequent absence, for long periods, of a man from the household. In Tibet the practice was particularly popular among the priestly Sakya class.


The female equivalent of fraternal polyandry is sororate marriage.


Partible paternity


Anthropologist Stephen Beckerman points out that at least 20 tribal societies accept that a child could, and ideally should, have more than one father, referring to it as "partible paternity". This often results in the shared nurture of a child by multiple fathers in a form of polyandric relation to the mother, although this is not always the case. One of the most well known examples is that of Trobriand "virgin birth". The matrilineal Trobriand Islanders recognize the importance of sex in reproduction but do not believe the male makes a contribution to the constitution of the child, who therefore remains attached to their mother's lineage alone. The mother's non-resident husbands are not recognized as fathers, although the mother's co-resident brothers are, since they are part of the mother's lineage.


Culture

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According to inscriptions describing the reforms of the Sumerian king Urukagina of Lagash (ca. 2300 BC), the earlier custom of polyandry in his country was abolished, on pain of the woman taking multiple husbands being stoned upon which her crime is written.[19]


An extreme gender imbalance has been suggested as a justification for polyandry. For example, the selective abortion of female fetuses in India has led to a significant margin in sex ratio and, it has been suggested, results in related men "sharing" a wife.


Known cases

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Polyandry in Tibet was a common practice and continues to a lesser extent today. A survey of 753 Tibetan families by Tibet University in 1988 found that 13% practiced polyandry. Polyandry in India still exists among minorities, and also in Bhutan, and the northern parts of Nepal. Polyandry has been practised in several parts of India, such as Rajasthan, Ladakh and Zanskar, in the Jaunsar-Bawar region in Uttarakhand, among the Toda of South India.


It also occurs or has occurred in Nigeria, the Nymba, and some pre-contact Polynesian societies, though probably only among higher caste women. It is also encountered in some regions of Yunnan and Sichuan regions of China, among the Mosuo people in China (who also practice polygyny as well), and in some sub-Saharan African such as the Maasai people in Kenya and northern Tanzania and American indigenous communities. The Guanches, the first known inhabitants of the Canary Islands, practiced polyandry until their disappearance. The Zo'e tribe in the state of Pará on the Cuminapanema River, Brazil, also practice polyandry.


Religious attitudes

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Hinduism


There is at least one reference to polyandry in the ancient Hindu epic Mahabharata. Draupadi married the five Pandava brothers, as this is what she chose in a previous life. This ancient text remains largely neutral to the concept of polyandry, accepting this as her way of life. However, in the same epic, when questioned by Kunti to give an example of polyandry, Yudhishthira cites Gautam-clan Jatila (married to seven Saptarishis) and Hiranyaksha's sister Pracheti (married to ten brothers), thereby implying a more open attitude toward polyandry in Vedic society.


Judaism


The Hebrew Bible contains no examples of women married to more than one man, but its description of adultery clearly implies that polyandry is unacceptable and the practice is unknown in Jewish tradition. In addition, the children from other than the first husband are considered illegitimate, unless he has already divorced her or died (i.e., a mamzer), being a product of an adulterous relationship.


Christianity


Most Christian denominations in the Western world strongly advocate monogamous marriage, and a passage from the Pauline epistles (1 Corinthians 7) can be interpreted as forbidding polyandry.


Latter-Day Saints


Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and other early Latter-day Saints, practiced polygynous marriages. The practice was officially ended with the 1890 Manifesto. Polyandrous marriages did exist, albeit in significantly less numbers, in early LDS history.


Islam


Although Islamic marital law allows men to have up to four wives, polyandry is prohibited in Islam.


Polyandrous marriages were practiced in pre-Islamic Arabian cultures, but were outlawed during the rise of Islam. Nikah Ijtimah was a pagan tradition of polyandry in older Arab regions which was condemned and abolished during the rise of Islam.


In biology

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Polyandrous behavior is quite widespread in the animal kingdom. It is prominent in many species of insects and fish (for example pipefish; see Polyandry in fish). It is also found in other animals such as birds (for example dunnocks), whales, and in some mammals such as the house mouse.


Among the whales, polyandrous behavior has been noted among the bowhead, harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), and humpback whales.


Among the relevant insect species are the honeybees, the red flour beetle, the species of spider Stegodyphus lineatus, the crickets Gryllus bimaculatus, and the fruit fly Drosophila pseudoobscura.


Polyandry also occurs in some primates such as marmosets, and in the marsupial genus' Antechinus.



SOURCE: en.wikipedia.org

What is Polygyny?


Polygyny (/pəˈlɪdʒɪniː/; from Neoclassical Greek πολυγυνία from πολύ- poly- "many", and γυνή gyne "woman" or "wife"[1]) is the most common and accepted form of polygamy, entailing the marriage of a man with several women. Most countries that permit polygamy are Muslim-majority countries in which polygyny is the only form permitted. (Polyandry is the practice of a woman having two or more husbands.)


In some countries where polygamy is illegal, and sometimes even when legal, at times it is known for men to have one or more mistresses, whom they do not marry. The status of a mistress is not that of a wife, and any children born of such relationships were and some still are considered illegitimate and subject to legal disadvantage.


Incidence

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Today, polygyny is more widespread in Africa than in any other continent.[2] Some scholars see the slave trade's impact on the male-to-female sex ratio as a key factor in the emergence and fortification of polygynous practices in regions of Africa.[3] Generally in rural areas with growing populations, the higher the incidence of polygyny, the greater the delay of first marriage for young men.[citation needed] The higher the average polygyny rate, the greater the element of gerontocracy and social stratification.


Throughout the African polygyny belt stretching from Senegal in the west to Tanzania in the east, as many as a third to a half of married women are in polygynous unions, and polygyny is found especially in West Africa.[4] Historically, polygyny was partly accepted in ancient Hebrew society, in classical China, and in sporadic traditional Native American, African and Polynesian cultures. In India it was known to have been practiced during ancient times. It was accepted in ancient Greece, until the Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church.
In North America, polygyny is practiced by some Mormon sects, such as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church).


Cause and explanation

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Augmenting division of labor
Boserup (1970)[7] was the first to propose that the high incidence of polygyny in sub-Saharan Africa is rooted in the sexual division of labor in hoe-farming and the large economic contribution of women.


In some regions of shifting cultivation where polygyny is most frequently recorded, labor is often starkly divided between genders. In many of these cases, the task of felling trees in preparation of new plots, the fencing of fields against wild animals, and sometimes the initial planting of crops, is usually done by older boys and men (along with hunting, fishing and the raising of livestock). Wives on the other hand, are responsible for other aspects of cultivating, processing and providing food for the family; and for performing domestic duties for the husband.


An elderly cultivator, with several wives and likely several young male children, benefits from having a much larger workforce within his household. By the combined efforts of his young sons and young wives, he may gradually expand his cultivation and become more prosperous. A man with a single wife has less help in cultivation and is likely to have little or no help for felling trees. 


According to Boserup's historical data, women living in such a structure also welcome one or more co-wives to share with them the burden of daily labor. However, the second wife will usually do the most tiresome work, almost as if she were a servant to the first wife, and will be inferior to the first wife in status.[10][page needed] A 1930s study of the Mende in the west African state of Sierra Leone concluded that a plurality of wives is an agricultural asset, since a large number of women makes it unnecessary to employ wage laborers. Polygyny is considered an economic advantage in many rural areas. 


In some cases, the economic role of the additional wife enables the husband to enjoy more leisure.
Anthropologist Jack Goody's comparative study of marriage around the world, using the Ethnographic Atlas, demonstrated a historical correlation between the practice of extensive shifting horticulture and polygyny in the majority of Sub-Saharan African societies. Drawing on the work of Ester Boserup, Goody notes that in some of the sparsely populated regions where shifting cultivation takes place in Africa, much of the work is done by women. This favoured polygamous marriages in which men sought to monopolize the production of women "who are valued both as workers and as child bearers." Goody however, observes that the correlation is imperfect, and also describes more traditionally male dominated though relatively extensive farming systems such as those that exist in much of West Africa, particularly the savanna region, where polygamy is desired more for the production of male offspring whose labor in farming is valued.


Goody's observation regarding African male farming systems is discussed and supported by anthropologists Douglas R. White and Michael L. Burton in "Causes of Polygyny: Ecology, Economy, Kinship, and Warfare", where the authors note: "Goody (1973) argues against the female contributions hypothesis. He notes Dorjahn's (1959) comparison of East and West Africa, showing higher female agricultural contributions in East Africa and higher polygyny rates in West Africa, especially in the West African savanna, where one finds especially high male agricultural contributions. Goody says, "The reasons behind polygyny are sexual and reproductive rather than economic and productive" (1973:189), arguing that men marry polygynously to maximize their fertility and to obtain large households containing many young dependent males."


Desire for progeny


Most research into the determinants of polygyny has focused on macro-level factors. Widespread polygyny is linked to the kinship groups that share descent from a common ancestor. Polygyny also served as "a dynamic principle of family survival, growth, security, continuity, and prestige," especially as a socially approved mechanism that increases the number of adult workers immediately and the eventual workforce of resident children.
According to scientific studies, the human mating system is considered to be moderately polygynous, based both on surveys of world populations, and on characteristics of human reproductive physiology.


Economic burden


Scholars have argued that in farming systems where men do most of the agriculture work, a second wife can be an economic burden rather than an asset. In order to feed an additional wife, the husband must either work harder himself or he must hire laborers to do part of the work. In such regions, polygyny is either non-existent or is a luxury which only a small minority of rich farmers can indulge.


A report by the secretariat of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) quotes: "one of the strongest appeals of polygyny to men in Africa is precisely its economic aspect, for a man with several wives commands more land, can produce more food for his household and can achieve a high status due to the wealth which he can command.". According to Esther Boserup, over much of the continent of Africa, tribal rules of land tenure are still in force.[page needed] This implies that members of a tribe, which commands a certain territory, have a native right to take land under cultivation for food production and in many cases also for the cultivation of cash crops. Under this tenure system, an additional wife is an economic asset that helps the family to expand its production.


The economist Michèle Tertilt concludes that countries that practice polygyny are less economically stable than those that practice monogamy. Polygynous countries usually have a higher fertility rate, fewer savings reserves, and a lower GDP. Fertility would decrease by 40%, savings would increase by 70%, and GDP would increase by 170% if polygyny was banned. Monogamous societies present a surge in economic productivity because monogamous men are able to save and invest their resources due to having fewer children. Polygynous societies have a higher concentration of men investing into methods of mating with women, whereas monogamous men invest more into their families and other related institutions.


Despite the expenses of polygynous marriages, men benefit from marrying multiple wives through the economic and social insurance that kinship ties produce. With a large network of in-laws, these men have the ties they need to compensate for other economic shortages.


Libido


Some analysts have posited that a high libido may be a factor in polygyny, although others have downplayed its significance. The sex drive as a factor in some Asian cultures was sometimes associated with wealthy men and those that were adjunct to an aristocracy,[28] although such libidinal perceptions were at times discarded in favor of seeing polygyny as a factor of traditional life. Other explanations postulate that polygyny is a tool used to ward off inclinations towards infidelity.


Findings

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Some research that show that males living in polygynous marriages may live 12 percent longer. Polygyny may be practiced where there is a lower male:female ratio; this may result from male infants having increased mortality from infectious diseases.


Other research shows that wherever polygyny is widely practised societies become destabilized, bloodier, more likely to invade neighbours and more likely to fail. This has been attributed to the inequality factor of polygyny, where rich men can take extra wives, leaving more poor men single. A study has also shown that, after controlling for other factors, African children in polygynous families were more likely to die young, due to less attentive fathers.


Effects on women


Exposito, "in a study of the Ngwa Igbo Clan in Nigeria identified five principal reasons for men to maintain more than one wife: because having more than one wife allows the Ngwa husband to (1) have the many children that he desires; (2) heighten his prestige and boost his ego among his peers; (3) enhance his status within the community; (4) ensure a sufficient availability of labor to perform the necessary farm work and the processing of commercial oil-palm produce; and (5) satisfy his sexual urges.” Out of all of the reasons stated none are beneficial to the wives, but instead only beneficial to the husbands. In Egypt, feminists have fought for polygamy to be abolished, but it is viewed as a basic human right so the fight has been unsuccessful. In countries where polygyny is practiced less frequently, women have more equality in the marriage and are better able to communicate their opinions about family planning.


Women participating in polygynous marriages share common marital problems with women in a monogamous marriage; however, there are issues uniquely related to polygyny which affects their overall life satisfaction and have severe implications for women's health. Women practicing polygyny are susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases, infertility, and mental health complications. Among the Logoli of Kenya, the fear of AIDS or becoming infected with the HIV virus has informed women's decisions about entering polygynous marriages. Some view polygyny as a means to prevent men from taking random sexual partners and potentially introducing STDs into relationships. Interviews conducted with some of the Logoli tribe in Kenya suggested they feared polygynous marriages because of what they have witnessed in the lives of other women who are currently in such relationships. The observed experiences of some of the women in polygynous unions tend to be characterized by frequent jealousy, conflicts, competition, tensions, and psychological stresses. Some of the husbands fail to share love and other resources equally; and envy and hatred, and sometimes violent physical confrontations become the order of the day among co-wives and their children. This discourages women from entering a polygynous marriage. Research shows that competition and conflict can intensify to unbearable level for co- wives causing women to commit suicide due to psychological distress. Findings show that the wife order can affect life satisfaction. According to Bove and Valeggia, women who are senior wives often misuse their position to obtain healthcare benefits in countries one wife can become a recipient. The conflict between co-wives can attribute to the higher rates of mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and paranoia.


Various methods have been used to reduce the amount of jealousy and conflict among wives. These include sororal polygyny, in which the co-wives are sisters; and hut polygyny, in which each wife has her own residence and the husband visits them in rotation. A clear status hierarchy among wives is also sometimes used to avoid fighting by establishing unequivocally each wife's rights and obligations. Although there are several harmful aspects of this practice related to women, there are some reported personal and economic advantages for women such as sharing household and childrearing responsibilities. Also, wives share companionship and support with co-wives.


Criticism


Polygynous marriages play a huge role in maintaining the hold of gender roles across the continent of Africa. Even though African women make up more than half of the continent's population, women hold subordinate positions in comparison to African men. Polygyny helps uphold inequality between the two genders by creating a legal bond through marriage that binds women into a subordinate role. Women across the continent are responsible for a large portion of the production of farming (sustainable and cash crops) yet, men married to these women reap the benefits and are allowed to redistribute their gains throughout the family as they would like.


Premodern era

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In Africa, the Americas, and Southeast Asia in the Premodern Era, circa 600BCE – 1600 BCE; both monogamy and polygyny occurred. Polygyny occurred even in areas of where monogamy was prevalent. Wealth played a key role in the development of family life during these times. Wealth meant the more powerful men had a principal wife and several secondary wives, known as resource polygyny. Local rulers of villages usually had the most wives as a sign of power and status. Conquerors of villages would often marry the daughters of the former leaders as a symbol of conquest. The practice of resource polygyny continued with the spread and expansion of Islam in Africa and Southeast Asia. Children born into these households were considered free. Children born to free or slave concubines were free, but had lesser status than those born to wives. Living arrangements varied between areas. In Africa, each wife usually had their own house, as well as property and animals. The idea that all property was owned by the husband originated in Europe and was not recognized in Africa. In many other parts of the world, wives lived together in seclusion, under one household. A harem (also known as a forbidden area) was a special part of the house for the wives.


SOURCE: en.wikipedia.org

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