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Vancouver Your Views On Polygamy (Need Help With A School Project)

Discussion in 'Canada Discussion Boards' started by Azeria_Jade, May 14, 2003.

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  1. Azeria_Jade

    Azeria_Jade Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2001
    We're doing projects on unorthadox views in society, my subject is polygamy, which is when a man (or woman) has more then one partner.

    1) What is your view?

    2) Do you think this is a beneficial addition to society? Why or why not?

    I need at least three people to respond.
     
  2. jeigh

    jeigh Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 21, 2002
    1) What is your view?: If all parties involved are fully aware and accepting of the situation, then I don't see what it matters. They're not hurting anyone. If that's what you want, I say go for it, but leave me out. I'm kind of a jealous person. I don't think I could handle that.

    2) Do you think this is a beneficial addition to society? Why or why not? Well... if two people are fighting over one person it certainly is an easy solution, isn't it?
     
  3. _Derisa_Ollamhin_

    _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Whoa! Interesting choice of issue, Azeria! :)

    1) What is your view?

    The odds are that a married person will have an affair. We are discovering it may even be programmed into the human species, as certain human sexual characteristics and traits come under more study. (I can give academic and scientific citations if necessary for further research).

    Polygamy is an arrangement not entirely alien to human societies, as examples have been found in many different cultures the world over. Indeed, in some places and times, it was/is a biological and genetic necessity for the health of the gene pool.

    My views are of course tinted with my cultural upbringing and personal experiences, but on the whole, I believe that a polygamous or polyandrous relationship can work, given complete committment by all parties involved, committment not just to the success of the relationship, but also to each individual within the relationship. It's the Heinleinian heroine in me, quite frankly. :)

    The truth of it is that most modern individuals (of first world extraction) are culturally conditioned to see that sort of relationship as aberrant, especially as it infers bisexuality in one or more of the partners. There is an essential unwillingness to see these relationships as they stand, instead the need is felt to label the participants within them, instead of making some attempt at understanding.

    Furthermore, there is a cultural prohibition against speaking honestly about the power shifts within any relationship, much less one as complex and intricate in structure as a polygamous relationship. This inhibits frank and clear discussion of the set-up of such unusual arrangements, impacting those inside the relationship as well as those who observe it from without.

    2) Do you think this is a beneficial addition to society? Why or why not?

    Current Western society is very heavily based upon the old power structure of white, Anglo-Saxon Protestantism. This is the "patriarchy" cited in far too many feminsit texts, and upon which the blame for all of our society's ills is often laid. In that old system, which the reality of the Information Age has made obsolete, polygamy had no place. The old way followed the model of the nuclear family, breadwinner father, homemaker mother and the obligatory 2.4 kids. There was no second husband, or harem in the spare bedroom, and such things would have branded the participants as abberant or deviant.

    Modern society is less structured, more free-flow. A more open and informed society is more accepting of differences between cultures, which allows for a polygamous option for relationships, as well as providing faster and more private ways to find like-minded individuals with whom to associate, without the burden of judgement from outside. The building of this sort of micro-community is a key factor in the growing public awareness of polygamy and polyandry.

    Quite frankly, I feel very strongly that what happens within the bedroom is the purview of those it affects: ie. the participants. Consensual adults should be able to trust in the privacy of their sex lives, regardless of the number or gender of people sharing the bed. The defense of the protected "freedoms" and "rights" laid out in such documents as the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights is left up to individual jurisdiction, which can be radically different from county to county, or state to state, much less across international borders. What may be perfectly acceptable in one part of that society may be an unacceptable deviation from the norm in another.

    There have been numerous experiments with polygamy and polyandry throughout history, even modern history. For some, it is a backlash against a society they feel is too constraining. For others it is the only way they have found to be happy and secure in a world that feels increasingly dangerous and uncertain. For many years people have particpated in threesomes, open marriages, or other non-monogamous behaviours within their relationships. In other words, po
     
  4. MASTER_OBI-DAN

    MASTER_OBI-DAN Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2002
    Oh wow, Rachel! [face_shocked] This is a great conversational topic that has drawn some excellent responses from jeigh and Derisa so far. ;)

    ?1) What is your view??

    In regards to myself, I have to be completely honest: I have an aversion towards the concept of polygamy. Being an Catholic, I imagine this position is not surprising; but even if I weren?t, I can?t see myself being more amenable to it. I just don?t think that I?d ever be secure enough with the thought of sharing a partner with other; that?s just a no-go for me. ;)

    ?2) Do you think this is a beneficial addition to society? Why or why not??

    Personally, I don?t think polygamy is beneficial to society. As I tend to be more of a teacher/nurturer (in terms of personality), I think many of the problems that grip the world today (E.g.: crime, etc.) are a direct result of parents not spending enough time with their children these days (because both parents are working, etc.). In many polygamous relationships, the familial unit is essentially a one-parent family, wherein the other parent divides their time amongst several partners (and their children); hence, such polygamous arrangements are just another cause of this growing problem, IMHO. :(

    Even though this really isn?t my field of expertise, I think Derisa makes a very strong (and quite academic) argument about the cultural notions that have often coloured/controlled our Western Civilization?s stance on polygamous relationships. However, I think one can make just as strong a case against this, as the instinctual imperative towards pair-bonding has been shown to be quite strong in mammals - and we are, as Desmond Morris would say, the ?human animal? - so I believe there definitely are biological precursors that naturally direct us towards monogamy as well. ;)

    Also, before I forget, I should mention that you may want to check out [link=http://boards.theforce.net/board.asp?brd=10320]The Senate Floor[/link], Rachel, as there may be a similar topic in there too. ;)
     
  5. _Derisa_Ollamhin_

    _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Good points, and I have to agree, this is a fascinating topic. :) I appreciate your candour, Dan, and I hope you don't mind, I felt the need to delve a bit into a couple of your points.

    Personally, I don?t think polygamy is beneficial to society. As I tend to be more of a teacher/nurturer (in terms of personality), I think many of the problems that grip the world today (E.g.: crime, etc.) are a direct result of parents not spending enough time
    with their children these days (because both parents are working, etc.).


    I think it is entirely possible that this is a *symptom* of what is going so horribly awry in our society, for certain. I don't believe it is the actual disease, however. It is the culture of consumption that pushes parents to working, to provide the necessities of life for their children. But more and more, for several decades now, it hasn't been the necessities, but the luxuries that are being bought. I am not convinced that small crime is as big a problem as it is made out to be, when corporations can deke on taxes dating back years, costing governments necessary revenue to provide basic services like hospitals and schools. That is a far greater crime, and has more far-reaching consequences, and it is all in the name of greed, so executives can afford a third or fourth car, a second or third home...

    Our children are being raised in this environment: they are absorbing these messages, commercial and cultural all around them all the time. They are less and less being taught respect for their elders, or reverence for the sacred, or even how to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Cultural indoctrination to make money and consume happens on the street, at home, on TV, in the movies, over the air, on the InterNet, and in the schools. Yes, children were not meant to be raised by strangers, however loving. Parents are usually the best caregivers for their own children, but no parent can earn a living staying home with their kids, and these days, the decision to let one parent stay at home to raise the family can doom that family to years of debt and privation, as living costs continue to rise out of proportion to living wages. The lack of parental care for our children is a contributor to the problems of our modern society, but too often it makes a convenient target, and that masks the real issues.

    Okay, sorry for the "consumer culture" rant: I'm back on topic now. :)

    In many polygamous relationships, the familial unit is essentially a one-parent family, wherein the other parent divides their time amongst several partners (and their children); hence, such polygamous arrangements are just another cause of this growing problem, IMHO.

    I am curious, Dan, about which models of polygamy you are drawing on for your conclusions. In my experience, many families make the conscious choice of polygamy specifically to provide *more* parents for the children: two (or more) breadwinners instead of one, or, if the breadwinner earns enough to provide for more than one homemaker, one partner cares for the children and another for the family's home, or even several breadwinners work shorter hours in order to give the children more time without denying them any convenience of our modern life. There are so many varieties of polyandrous relationship, that your example reads like an oversimplification, and yet I think it may be a fairly common misconception.

    Even though this really isn?t my field of expertise, I think Derisa makes a very strong (and quite academic) argument about the cultural notions that have often coloured/controlled our Western Civilization?s stance on polygamous relationships. However, I
    think one can make just as strong a case against this, as the instinctual imperative towards pair-bonding has been shown to be quite strong in mammals - and we are, as Desmond Morris would say, the ?human animal? - so I believe there definitely are
    biological precursors that naturally direct us towards monogamy as well.


    I love Desmond Morris! :)

    I concur: biologically, we l
     
  6. Darth_Haggis

    Darth_Haggis Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 21, 2002
    It's just plain wrong! It wasn't meant to be...
     
  7. jeigh

    jeigh Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 21, 2002
    And what exactly makes you think that monogamous relationships are?
     
  8. DAKAI_SERAKI

    DAKAI_SERAKI Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    May 7, 2002
    1) What is your view?

    I don't really think polygamy is very good thing. I certainly wouldn't want to have to "share" a partner, nor would I want more than one at a time.

    Despite my views, however, some people seem to be o.k. with it.

    2) Do you think this is a beneficial addition to society? Why or why not?

    Benificial to society? It differs which society it is. In some ares of the world, people want boys to inherit their belongings, but have no desire for a wife. Therefore women in those societies marry several men, remain momogomous to the oldest husband until a baby ius born, then become monogomous to the second oldest husband, seeing as none of the husband would be jealous of another. This benefits the men to have children so that they can pass something on, and the women, who do not need to be comitted to one relationship.

    In other areas of the world, it is a symbol of power to have more than one wife, and, thus making men marry many women. This benefits the reputation of powerful government officials who marry more than once at a time.

    In Weatern/north american society, however, it is considered odd/not normal, although there are a select few who marry several people. They do this by choice, also, and are benefitted by having love with more than one person
     
  9. MASTER_OBI-DAN

    MASTER_OBI-DAN Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2002
    Wow! [face_shocked] Derisa, your ?consumer rant? was incredibly beautiful, quite articulate and I agree with every word of it. ;)
    ?[i]I am curious, Dan, about which models of polygamy you are drawing on for your conclusions.[/i]?

    Good question. [face_happy] I was specifically thinking of the polygamous community of [b]Bountiful[/b] in the [b]BC Interior[/b] (a local example) where men with over 20 wives is not unheard of. [face_shocked] A few months ago, I watched a TV programme on it on the [b]CBC[/b] (I think). [face_wink]
    [hr]
    ?[i]I concur: biologically, we lean heavily towards the pair-bond as the desired small-family unit starting place. However, there are a number of sexual characteristics that allow for variety in that classic "nuclear family" perception of the pair-bond. I refer specifically to hunter-killer behaviours in specific types of spermatozoa, and the age-related changes in seminal fluid (from thin and watery in younger men, to a thicker, more gel-like consistency in older men, which then acts as a *barrier* to later lover's impreganation of the female partner). These traits could not have evolved without an environmental need: procreative competition in very close proximity.[/i]?

    Ah, you know your biology. [face_grin] There are a number of other things too. I myself tend to view such biological characteristics as evolutionary throw-backs to much more promiscuous time in our development. Don?t get me wrong, these characteristics are still employed and can be quite handy (promiscuity is still very much out there); but one has to be careful about how they interpret them relative to our current state of development. After all, doesn?t the female body essentially treat semen as a foreign body that must be eradicated; what kind of harsh/striking implications could one attach to that little tidbit? [face_wink]

    But anyways, we're kind of entering into uncharted territory now, and I?m starting to feel like an awkward sex-ed teacher amongst our [b]FanForcers[/b] ( [face_silly] ); hence, we'll continue this discussion next time I see you, my friend. [face_wink]
    >
     
  10. Azeria_Jade

    Azeria_Jade Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2001
    I got this topic because in Socials we're all doing projects on issues in our society. I was away the day everyone picked their topic, so I went around frantically looking for something to write about.

    As for how I came up with polygamy, I remember reading an article about a man marrying a couple woman and not telling the woman he was married to another. I thought that was kind of interesting and well... Here I am.

    P.S. Handing in my project on Tuesday
     
  11. Azeria_Jade

    Azeria_Jade Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2001
    My project is in the teacher's hands! *crosses fingers*
     
  12. _Derisa_Ollamhin_

    _Derisa_Ollamhin_ Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Way to go Azeria! Assignments in on time is a good thing! :) I hope we were of some assistance in the whole thing.

    Any chance I can persuade you to email me a copy of the final product? antirbard@shaw.ca

    I'd love to hear your teacher's comments, too. :)


    *Derisa*



     
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