Polygamy: Right or Wrong?

What is Polygamy?

The practice of having more than one husband or wife at the same time.

  • Polygny: When a man is married to more than one woman at a time
  • Polyandry: When a woman is married to more than one man at a time.
  • Polyamory: An interconnected marriage consisting of multiple husbands and wives (also known as a group or plural marriage)

What is the controversy over Polygamy?

Polygamy is considered immoral because it is the linking of more than two individuals together in a single marriage. It harms relationships, and places a negative effect on society. The practice of plural marriage is outside mainstream American culture, thus being banned. Overall, because polygamy is "outside the norm" it is considered taboo.

The History?

The History of Polygamy in the United States and Canada began in 1831 when Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church  claimed he received a revelation from God which told him to take virgins and “multiply and replenish the Earth so they may bear the souls of men.” This is how Mormonism began, but in other parts of the world, polygamy began in different ways.

In Africa, polygamy is also an essential part of religion and culture. In fact, Africa is the continent with the most polygamous population and this is because in earlier ages, children were seen as a form of wealth and families with more children was considered superior and more powerful. Polygamy in Africa is very common, and is found mainly in West Africa.

Polygamy is found in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

My Opinion on Polygamy and Group Marriages

In my personal opinion, I believe polygamy is wrong for numerous reasons. For one, it degrades women. I believe that women are strong and independent, and no male should have control over them because they are capable so much. The bottom is that young girls are being forced into marriage with men old enough to be their grandfathers, they are treated poorly, and surely deserve a better quality of life. This is one among the many reasons why I believe polygamy should remain illegal. Other arguments include:

  • It creates numerous negative social and political effects
  • It harms monogamous marriages
  • It harms children's development
  • Promotes abuse
  • Promotes infidelity (cheating)
  • Promotes prostitution, and spreads sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS and HIV.
Women are being oppressed

The Arguments Used to Defend Polygamy

The main argument that is used to defend this practice is religion. In the Bible, polygamy is never specifically condemned, in fact, it is actually promoted in several verses (like in Genesis 4:19, "“Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah.”) Because polygamous marriage is found in the Bible, this gives individuals a reason to classify polygamy as moral and just. Other arguments include:

  • The United States has freedom of religion, therefore Polygamy should be legal
  • It honors cultural traditions
  • It can be an alternative lifestyle

How the Legalization of Polygamy Would Impact the Future

The way we handle the issue on polygamy can affect our society immensely. Marriage will no longer be the way it has been for centuries, the human race will not be valued as they should be, and above all, it will create an even bigger issue between opposing sides of this issue. Although it is up to an individual to decide whether they would like to live a polygamous life or not, it would be best to not legalize polygamy. Failure in doing so, would permanently alter many aspects of daily life. Polygamy is not a hundred percent honest and is often secretive, and frankly, nobody really knows the horrors of it. Even though this practice is banned in the U.S., Women are still being exploited and abused, families are being torn apart, children are being harmed, marriages are being ruined, society is being altered, and humanity worsening, all on a daily basis. It is in our best interest to fully outlaw polygamy to avoid these consequences at all costs.

Children are being harmed

Stop Polygamy.

Works Cited


Jazmin I. Paz

May 1st, 2015

6th Period.