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Is Polygamy Morally Wrong Essay

2636 words - 11 pages

Is Polygamy Morally Wrong
Although polygamy has been around for decades, it has just recently become a hot topic in the news and on the television. The topic blew up in 2008 when Texas Rangers raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch in 2008 and seized 400 children and arrested only three men suspected child abuse. Polygamy continues on as TLC kicks off another season of the reality television show called “Sister Wives” while HBO ends its five year series called “Big Love”. Both series tell the story of polygamous families in the United States. Does the popularity of these shows mean that polygamy is becoming morally acceptable, although illegal, in North America? Should the polygamy banns ...view middle of the document...

Most polygamists do not enter into plural marriages for purely personal reasons, but rather are guided by religious beliefs.

Clarify Concepts
According to the dictionary, there are four types of polygamy:
* Polygyny - is a marital practice in which a man has more than one wife simultaneously.
* Polyandry – a marital practice in which a woman has more than one husband simultaneously.
* Bigamy - a marital practice in which a person has more than one spouse simultaneously.
* Group Marriage – a practice in which more than one man and more than one woman form a family unit. In principle, all members of the marriage share parental responsibility for any children arising from the marriage.
Although all four practices have existed, polygyny is by far the most common (polygyny, n.d.). Below is a chart showing that status of polygamy in the world today (Legal Status…. 2011).

Identify Possible Solutions to the Problem
As with almost everything, there are opposing viewpoints about the morality of polygamy. Some would say that polygamy is not morally acceptable because it is against the law and outside of the social norm in North America. While others believe that polygamy is morally acceptable because the Bible condoned it at one point in time and other societies openly accept it and often encourage it.

Examine Assumptions and Points of View
Those against polygamy believe polygamy should continue to be illegal as the practice has complete disregard for women and children rights. Women and young girls usually pushed into polygamous relationships by the leaders of the religious groups. They have no control over their body and mind.  Their choices limited by the culture and religious groups that they live in. Not enforcing the bans on polygamy is endangering women and children. There is also concern about young men in polygamous households. Throughout their childhood, boys are more or less treated as laborers. They are told that if they work hard and do what they are told, they will get a wife. However, not every man gets a wife. These men are referred to as the “Lost Boys”. “Lost boys are the left-over, wifeless men who eventually leave their community but with a great mistrust of the world and few applicable life-skills” (Coo, 2010). In addition to the concerns for the woman, children, and young men of polygamous households there are also concerns that polygamy demoralizes the institution of marriage between one man and one woman, trivializing the union of two people.
On the other side, some people believe that if all parties involved are consenting adults and agree to the guidelines set by polygamous societies, why should the government be able to say that polygamy is wrong and criminalize them. Doing so is a complete violation of an individual’s constitutional rights and should be revoked. In many religions, the only way a man can pass onto heaven is to house at least three wives (Introduction…. 2009). For...

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