Log in

No account? Create an account
nanowrimo 2010


Diary of a Blind Madman

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Not for it, mind you, but what's the real story?
nanowrimo 2010
Two gold wedding bands

         Some friends and I began a chat on the subject of marriage, which rapidly devolved into gay marriage and forms of polygamy (polygyny — a man with multiple wives; polyandry — a woman with multiple husbands; polyamory — an indeterminate mix of husbands and wives; and even line marriage — a form of group marriage in which the family unit continues to add new spouses of both sexes over time so that the marriage does not end). Someone posed the question, "How much of the world practices polygamy?" The answer surprised me, as it may you.

         A worldwide ethnographic survey of 849 human societies show 708 whose customs are polygynous (more than 1 wife), 4 polyandrous (more than 1 husband) and 137 monogamous. I am utterly unable to come up with a reference for this ethnographic survey and cannot vouch in any way for its accuracy. Hell, I can't prove it even took place. (708/849)*100 yields 83.39% polygamous societies. (4/849)*100 gives us 0.47% polyandrous, and (137/849)*100 leaves 16.13% monogamous.

         Perhaps more reliable is the wikipedia entry on Polygamy citing the Ethnographic Atlas Codebook. Of 1231 societies noted, 186 (14.78%) were monogamous. 453 (36.79%) had occasional polygyny, 588 (48.76%) had more frequent polygyny, and 4 (0.32%) had polyandry.

         The numbers are fairly close. It makes you wonder why the USA is so dead-set against a system that works throughout the world? But then…we're like that. 85% of the Nato military forces permit GLBT soldiers, we're part of the 15% that doesn't. I wonder what the stats are worldwide if you include Africa, Asia, and South America?

Polyamory logo: a Red heart overlaid with a black infinity symbol

         There is an awful lot of talk about the sanctity of marriage.

MONOGAMY AND THE MODERN WORLD "Should-be" monogamy never gained worldwide attention until the last few centuries. The should-be monogamy idea was not popular in previous generations, not until its strong uprising in the last 150 years or so. In fact, polygamy was still openly practiced in the last generation in non-western countries, and is today still practiced in modern societies, even though not so openly because of the outcry of the Western Feminism movement. How quickly the should-be monogamy concept has taken over, such that it makes polygamy appear sinful and wrong ever since the beginning.

         Now here's an article you may find interesting. I'm not precisely on all fours with it, but there's a good of information to be gleaned.

A cityscape afire Ruins at dawn

         I have at least one friend (that I know of) in a polyamorous relationship. I know more than one gay couple who would like to be married. I knew of (but have lost track of) two couples who bought a house together out in the country and who admitted to me that they were a "plural" marriage, whatever that is. I rather like the idea of line marriage...conserves capital, never ends, and makes it nearly impossible for children to be orphaned or without parents to raise them. Isn't that what families are for?

         I've often heard how if you allow gay marriage, you have to allow any marriage. I suppose that is the reductio ad absurdum. But just how is gay marriage going to destroy the fabric of society? I know the religious arguments about it being wrong, but what are the societal arguments? What will happen if we open the floodgates and admit other forms of marriage?

  • 1
For once, I will quote Glenn Beck on his dialog with O'Reilly:


Beck quoted Thomas Jefferson: "If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?"

There *are* no substancial valid secular arguments when it comes down to issues pertaining to relationships between two people. If there were, you would think that they would have been made during the Prop 8 debacle.

Now, there can be taxation implications to all of this. Singles cannot take advantage of filing jointly (singles pay some of the highest taxes). Group marriages would have even more legal complexity in taxation. Regarding insurance, I would think that insurance companies would actually lose a bit of money, because family plans cost less than plans for singles, but overall, the medical industry would have fewer uninsured people, no matter how small of a number.

The other subset of the argument is children, and the concept of "fitness." However, how can an increase of responsibility (fiscal at the head of the line) for children be a worse condition?

In a secular manner, one must ask how marriage changes one's legal and fiscal status. Most of the changes appear to be positive, vastly simplifying contractual and fiscal complexity.

Every argument I hear against gay marriage is a theological/dogmatic one.

All the arguments I hear about any form of marriage vs the monogamous form tend to be focused around religion, not social implications.

The exception to this is a friend who asserts that if we permit gay marriage, the natural outcome of that is that we must permit *any* form of marriage. I don't know that that is actually true, but I wonder to myself "So what?" What are the real implications of a United States in which monogamy (or at least the pretense of it) are not the norm?

Damn it, stupid LJ ate my posts.


If you look at the two lists, there IS no cross over. None. There's no facts that back up the claim that same-sex marriage "leads to" the legalization of polygamous marriage.

Frankly, it would be *very* difficult socially for monogamy not to be the norm, simply because monogamy is hard enough to sustain, let alone polyamory. We're talking true committed polyamory, where any sex/gender is socially free to make their own decision of partner, and not arranged marriage based on person as property. Entertaining what I would consider (for the forseeable future) as highly improbable, I would still say "so what"? Disentangling multiple partners could be very legally problematic (I've seen this with triads who arrange co-ownerships and the like). Legal rights around children could be somewhat problematic, but DNA is always provable and is always primary in disputes already.

  • 1