Thesis 9: Polygamy is a normal and beneficial way of life for men and women, given all parties involved have equal rights.
If I speak of “normal” I mean this in the sense that polygamy, or maybe i should say promiscuity, is a way of life that does not seem to need enforcement by rules and laws and punishments. This differentiates polygamy from monogamy. The reason monogamy needs laws and punishment might lie in the fact that it seems to have only been developed a few thousand years ago together with agriculture and a society based on property and inheritance. Although all these bans have little success, as is so clearly evidenced by the statistics on the number of divorces, according to which at least in my homecountry Germany sexual infidelity is by far the main reason for divorce.
If several scientific publications are right, the people in the “primitive hordes ” lived promiscuous, which can be considered as a precursor of polygamy. It seems to have been the way of life under these natural conditions. It seems as if people lived this way by following their natural instincts, while monogamy apparently only emerged with the beginning of agriculture. This is still hotly debated, and the most provocative and therefore controversial theses were brought forth by Chris Ryan and Cacilda Jethà in “Sex at Dawn“. See my article: Sex at Dawn – right on the mark or dead wrong.
In this sense, I mean it when I say that polygamy is a normal human form of life. This does not include a moral judgment. As I recall it was Bertrand Russsel who said wisely, to connect sexuality with morality was one of the biggest mistakes of intellectual history.
Beneficial I mean in a very practical sense that polygamy can resolve various problems that arise with monogamy in the first place, e.g. why cheat for reasons of sexual diversity when I’m in a marriage with multiple intimate partners. This would be even more true for open marriage. See also my article: Evidence-based policy whould mean to legalize polygamy.
About equality: I believe in the concept of human rights. Added to that there are scientific reports like the ones cited in “Sex at Dawn “, that among various peoples who still seem to be living quite close to the original ways of life of the “primitive hordes” men and women have equal rights. (To be sure: we can never know exactly how “primitive hordes” lived for lack of written records from prehistoric times.)
Problems arise with polygamy – as indeed with any kind of marriage – when one party has fewer rights than the other. In our time, we find this especially in polygynous – one man, several women – societies. But if you look closer, the problem is not caused by polygyny, but is rather rooted in a general unfavorable treatment of women in some societies where polygyny occurs as a possible form of marriage. An example of this problem and the true core of the problem is the situation in Kazakhstan where polygyny is rising supported by islamic clerics while a law proposed by women making it possible for women to also have several men was stalled in parliament Polygamy A Fact Of Life In Kazakhstan.
In societies with equality of the sexes, such problems should not occur, as I explain in thesis 6.
Notice: This article is translated from an original article