The ‘Polygamy vs Monogamy’ is not a modern debate but an ancient one that has been raging owing to cultural and religious diversities.
Cultures that adhere to monogamy view polygamy as akin to being blasphemous. A single sentence quote that so eloquently sums up everything that we feel about polygamy in this modern age.
Polygamy: An Endeavour to get more out of life than there is in it.Elbert Hubbard
- A Healthy Open minded debate on Polygamy v/s Monogamy
- An in-depth understanding of why people choose Polygamy
- Co-existing in a world of Polygamists and Monogamists
Right off the bat, let’s make sure to clear one very common misconception regarding polygamy — it is different from polyamory, something which is often mistaken for polygamy.
Polygamy means multiple marriages; polyamory is having multiple emotionally meaningful relationships and has much less of a religious tone.
Watch: A modern debate on Polygamy
The legality of Polygamy in different countries?
Did you know that polygamy is legal in 58 sovereign states out of the 200 or so in the world? Interestingly, it is religious beliefs and cultural notions that forms that basis of this legality, and not focus on rationality or open-mindedness.
FYI, these countries mostly allow polygamy for men, i.e, a man can marry more than one wife at a time and not the other way round. This is also known as polyandry. Another proof of how we still live in a patriarchal society, but that’s a discussion for another day.
The eternal fight of right and wrong?
The problem, as far as this topic is concerned, lies in our inherent notion of right and wrong, which is deep-seated in our cultural and religious views. These views are biased in their opinion of polygamy vs monogamy.
Monogamy is often associated with a loving, true, and faithful relationship. Marriage is specially defined as a partnership containing ‘only’ two people and forsaking all other forms of union.
Once we move outside the purview of cultural and religious prejudice and discuss this topic based purely on rationality, only then can we attempt to come to a conclusion.
Watch: Perfect polygamous realtionship
What does science say?
Talking about unnatural practices, though science is yet to pronounce a definitive verdict on whether humans are monogamous or polygamous, the balance of evidence so far indicates that we are biologically inclined towards monogamy while retaining an urge to “sleep around”.
Today, people are able to more openly disregard, or at least question, those cultural notions. Some of the common evidence in support of polygamy are can be found in the high divorce rates, reports of infidelity, and sexual boredom. For them, polygamy is a healthy and more effective alternative to monogamous relationships.
Abundance in Polygamy
More companionship, sexual variety, and higher amounts of income are valid reasons to move towards polygamy. They find monogamy as unnatural, outdated, and restrictive.
Those who equate polygamy to being unfaithful and accuse individuals with ‘loose morals’ of being attracted to this lifestyle, need to realise that being faithful forms an integral part of a polygamous marriage, just like in a monogamous marriage.
A polygamous relationship has all the challenges of a monogamous one and, in most cases, actually has a way more complicated dynamic.
In my personal opinion, keeping myself faithful to the ethos of the modern society and its progressive thinking, the entire debate over polygamy v/s monogamy, in today’s world, boils down to the concept of free will amongst consenting adults.
If a group of individuals are happy being in a polygamous relationship, who are we to question their life choices?
By polygamy we mean both polygyny and polyandry — otherwise, it will just make us a bunch of hypocrites, right? The important takeaway here is that we don’t need to embrace polygamy ourselves, but simply need to be open to the idea of others being in polygamous relationships.
You can be polygamous or monogamous for all we care — as long as you don’t attempt to enforce your ideas on others. Living in harmony shouldn’t be such a tough ask, at least on paper.
Live, and let live?
On a parting note, the world would be a much happier and simpler place if we all got along with people who made life choices different from ours, right? What side of the debate are you on? Why? Let us know in the comments box below!