Information icon.svg Nominations and Campaigning for the 2022 RationalWiki Moderator Election are now closed.

The election booth is now open!

Forum:Questions about polygyny

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This discussion was moved here from Talk:Polygamy. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:00, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Does polygyny cause or help prevent abusive relationships?[edit]

Feminists seem to usually oppose polygyny because they think the man will become dominant. Why would this be so? The only reason I can think of why it would be the case, is that the husband has multiple sources of love, companionship, and sex while the wives have only one. Therefore, they're in the position of competitors while he's a monopsonist. What about the possibility, though, that the wives could form a labor union and go on strike together, in cases where they feel the husband is being unfair to one of them? (The union could be unofficial, and the strike could be subtle; e.g. it could just be a tampo-like withdrawal of cheerfulness that lets the guy know his life won't be as pleasant until he changes his behavior.)

Consider too the incentive structure in monogyny vs. polygyny. In a monogynous scenario, women can choose to marry either (1) a guy who has never been married, or (2) a guy who has had a failed marriage. The guy who has never been married is an unknown quantity; he has no track record of being either a good or shitty relationship partner. The guy who has had a failed marriage has a history of either making poor choices in partners or mistreating his partners.

In a polygynous scenario, a woman can also choose (3) a guy who is currently married. This guy may have a track record of being in a successful, committed relationship for several years, and therefore there is reason to believe that he will be a good husband. Under monogyny, he would've been unavailable to a second prospective wife.

Women who are willing to take a risk can sign up to be the first wife of an unproven guy; those who want to play it safe can opt to be a second or subsequent wife of a guy who is already in a good marriage.

There may be some truth to the feminist idea that under polygyny, the husband tends to be dominant, but it might not be so much because of competition among the wives. It could be because women tend to prefer dominant men (aka alphas), but there is a limited pool of alphas available. Therefore, under monogyny, most relationships will be between a wife and a less dominant man (aka a beta) simply because most men are betas. Under polygyny, most relationships could be between an alpha and members of his harem, as large numbers of women choose that option and leave betas wifeless. Men's Rights EXTREMIST (talk) 15:49, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Choo Choo[edit]

It's the clue train; last stop, you! If polygyny is widespread, it'll make it even harder for you to find a girlfriend. And besides, as for testing the waters, that's what the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing is. StickySock (talk) 16:11, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

The boyfriend/girlfriend thing also has the disadvantage that they can leave the relationship just as easily as you can, so you have to delay making major commitments like having kids or buying a home together until the evaluation period is over. Because you can leave whenever you want, they have more of a reason to focus on other stuff/other people (rather than devoting a lot of attention to the relationship), since if you do leave, they lose their investment in the relationship. They have less of a reason to treat as well as they could, because they have less to lose if the relationship goes south, given that they can always dump you.
The boyfriend/girlfriend situation has its own set of risks. In the business world, when people think that their property might be nationalized at any time, they're more reluctant to make major investments. A boyfriend/girlfriend situation is the same way; how much are they going to invest in the relationship if they're unsure you're going to stick around? Men's Rights EXTREMIST (talk) 16:29, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

How big of a problem is it that polygyny leaves a lot of men without wives?[edit]

The "problem" of large numbers of men being left wifeless, as a small number of men have large harems, is commonly cited as one of the most persuasive arguments against polygyny. Is it that big a deal?

Already, under monogyny, there are tons of young heterosexual men out there who don't have a girlfriend or wife. Most of them are probably less happy than they would be if they had a woman in their lives, but they typically still hold jobs, because they have to eat. Many of them probably hold out hope of finding love in the future, and this keeps them going. A monogynistic system doesn't guarantee they'll ever find love, though.

I wonder: are there are a lot of women out there who stay single because they can't find a guy who meets their standards? If that's the case, then polygyny wouldn't make much difference for the guys who currently are being rejected by those women. All that would change is that some of those women would get with a guy who already has a wife, rather than remaining single. A chronically jobless or extremely shy guy, for example, will typically be single under both monogyny and polygyny.

Young men who view themselves as permanently sexually disenfranchised may give up on life, but on the other side of the coin, there are guys who already have a successful relationship with a woman, who have no reason to want to pursue further self-improvement. Under polygyny, they could get additional wives by pursuing further success. Maybe the extra ambition this would create among the already-successful would offset the lack of ambition among unsuccessful men who see little prospect of improving their situation enough to be able to attract a wife.

Basically, monogyny is a socialistic system while polygyny is a capitalistic system. Socialism and monogyny are based on the watered-down version of communism's "to each according to his needs" doctrine. Instead of the state saying, "Here are the products we've chosen for you" or "Here is the wife we've chosen for you," the state says, "We've given you a fair shot at getting what you want by taking away some resources from those at the top, so that more opportunities will be available for you to rise to parity with them."

I.e., under monogyny, every single man is deemed entitled to have one woman allocated to him (regardless of whether any woman will actually end up choosing him over staying single) because he NEEDS a wife, not because he has EARNED being chosen for marriage by a woman, by being a better prospective husband than a guy who already has a wife. Capitalism and polygyny have a tendency to create great disparities of wealth, but this is okay if it the downsides of inequity are outweighed by the advantages of creating a better incentive structure and allocating resources to those who can make the best use of them for making others happy. Under capitalism, votes are cast for the best producers in the form of investors' and consumers' dollars; under polygyny (and to a lesser degree, under monogyny), votes are cast for the best prospective husbands in the form of women saying "yes" to marriage with them. Men's Rights EXTREMIST (talk) 16:16, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

You don't need a woman. You don't need sex. You just want both and wants are not necessities. Your biological urges can be simply satisfied with a fleshlight or a date with Rosie Palm and her Five Sisters. --Castaigne2 (talk) 16:23, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Yeah but fleshlights can't have your kids, cook you a meal, or clean the house. Men's Rights EXTREMIST (talk) 16:33, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
As much as I despise MRE and hopes for the sake of humanity he never breeds, sex is a psychological need. There's a reason that in Maslow's pyramid it's at the bottom. But if you truly are desperate, any port in a storm; if you aren't willing to fuck an obese toothless one legged geriatric, sorry, too bad. Helga has needs too. You can always scrape the bottom of the barrel with your dick. StickySock (talk) 16:39, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Again, you can satisfy your biological sex urges with masturbation. If you need a psychological illusion, watch some porn. --Castaigne2 (talk) 17:20, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Hire a maid and/or cook and qualify for adoption, if you want servants. --Castaigne2 (talk) 17:20, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Just learn to cook and clean, these are gender-neutral skills, y'know? With experience in both, they don't even take up a lot of your time of philosophizing about exploiting others. NameThatNobodyTakes (talk) 19:55, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Division of labor is more efficient, though. Men's Rights EXTREMIST (talk) 21:12, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
You mean like that one cooks, the other cleans and both tasks are rotated among both parties? Yes, that's good. But if you mean cooking and cleaning on one hand and contemplating and pseudo-rationalizing outmoded ideas on the other hand, then this is no division of labor because the latter takes no effort at all, as all of its talking points have been beaten to death for a few thousand years already and our society still has generally patriarchal tendencies to make these oppressive ideas still popular beyond a negligible niche, otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation. NameThatNobodyTakes (talk) 21:36, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
No, I mean she cooks and cleans and serves my sexual needs in whatever ways I like, and supports me in my career through encouragement and various forms of assistance (packing lunches, ironing work clothes, etc.), while I bring home the bacon on weekdays and relax on the weekends, and look for ways to improve society by either implementing new social experiments or reverting back to old practices that worked better than what we have now. Men's Rights EXTREMIST (talk) 22:26, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

If you look historically at most societies that have practised polygyny, it has been practised by a minority of wealthier men. Provided that minority is sufficiently small, the impact on the rest of population is limited. For example, in a number of Muslim countries today polygyny is legal, but even when legal it is rare enough I don't think its existence has a huge impact on the majority of the population who aren't involved in it. For many Muslim men, even when it is legally possible to take a second wife, it is often not acceptable in their family/subculture – in many Islamic majority cultures, members of the Westernised business/professional class who find it easiest to afford polygamy also face the strongest social pressures against practicing it. Or, in contemporary Western societies, where polyamory and (legally unrecognised) polygamy are legal, yet they are a rare enough lifestyle choice that there existence has little impact on the wider society. People often cite the problem of the expulsion of young males ("lost boys") in Mormon polygamist groups to rebalance the genders; but, my understanding is this is primarily an FLDS phenomena, and doesn't occur to anywhere near the same degree in the less extreme Mormon polygamists groups (which actually outnumber the FLDS overall, but get far less media attention, primarily because they are less abusive) (((Zack Martin))) 17:13, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

What is the effect of polygyny on kids?[edit]

I'm thinking that the average kid will be more likely to have a more successful father, but he'll get less of his father's time, because his dad will have so many wives and kids taking up his attention. However, if the smaller amount of time he does get is more beneficial than spending a greater amount of time with a less successful dad, he could still gain overall. Basically, this is just the typical small family vs. big family tradeoff except with the twist that the more successful men will be able to have even bigger families than they currently can. The law of diminishing marginal utility would say that as fathers spend more time with any one kid, the added benefit from each additional unit of time spent with him decreases. So dividing up time among a whole bunch of kids could increase the overall benefit from how much time he spends with his kids.

In some ways, polygyny is actually an egalitarian system, in that if successful men are having a lot of kids, the wealth will tend to be rapidly distributed over a large dynasty in just one or two generations, rather than concentrated in the hands of comparatively small number of heirs. Men's Rights EXTREMIST (talk) 17:11, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

What's with your overt focus on how much "daddy time" the kids get? Do you think the wives aren't capable of properly raising kids without a male influence? (talk) 17:17, 15 February 42016 AQD (UTC)
I think it depends a lot on the number of children and the number of wives. Some of these Mormon polygamist leaders with 20 wives and 100 kids, I don't think that's good for the kids at all – could the father even remember the names of all his kids? How does he know them as individuals? But, compare two scenarios: (a) a husband and wife who have six kids between them (b) a man with two wives, and three kids with each wife. I don't think the kids in (b) are any worse off than the kids in (a), in fact in terms of parental time distribution (b) wins since the parent:child ratio works out better. (Of course, there could be other relevant factors; in (b), the wives might hate each other and that might harm the kids; then again, in (a) the husband and wife might grow to hate each other too, even divorce, whereas it's also possible in (b) that the two wives might get along very well.) Being of an Irish Catholic background myself, (a) describes the families my parents and grandparents grew up in, so I don't think polygamy is necessarily any worse off for the kids than the lifestyle of my monogamous ancestors was. (((Zack Martin))) 17:22, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Like in your example of the multiple wives banding together, all the kids can form an "union" and overthrow the tyranny of the father to take his place and create a truly egalitarian family, or worse when their minds have been corrupted by the fallen patriarch, the male kids may take his former wives as theirs, (of course the ones who are not the respective kid's mother). NameThatNobodyTakes (talk) 20:07, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

What effect would polygyny have on women's happiness with their sex lives?[edit]

There's often a relationship dynamic where a husband wants more sex than his wife does. In this type of situation, polygyny could provide some relief by enabling the husband to alternate between having sex with his various wives, so that none of them would carry the full burden of satisfying his sex drive. Of course, it would worsen a situation where a husband already wasn't giving his wife as much sex as she wanted. Men's Rights EXTREMIST (talk) 17:27, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Man, do you have to start a new section every five minutes? (((Zack Martin))) 17:28, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
What's wrong with starting a new section every five minutes? Doesn't it help people easily find the subtopics they're more interested in, rather than following one thread that goes in 10 different directions with a bunch of lengthy posts? Men's Rights EXTREMIST (talk) 17:32, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Why do people here don't think of egalitarian polygamy...[edit]

...Where all partners, no matter what plumbing they have, have equal rights. Don't forget, polygamy was not banned out of concern for women.--Kugelschreiber (talk) 17:35, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

My talk page thread wasn't about polygyny at all, why did you move it to a forum-thread about polygyny??--Kugelschreiber (talk) 18:04, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Your face is as a book, where men may read strange matters. Don't complain, racist sphincter twunt herder. --Castaigne2 (talk) 18:13, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
?--Kugelschreiber (talk) 18:15, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
I should be unsurprised the spunking knob jacker does not understand. --Castaigne2 (talk) 18:17, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
You really are the epitome of somebody who's only tough when several miles of ethernet seperates you from others.Keter (talk) 18:27, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
No, if it'd be ethernetWikipedia, he'd be afraid, that someone catches on to what he's doing and kick his ass in RL, but its the Internet where it is very, very easy to be a tough guy (see the articles on "Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory" and Internet tough guy).--Kugelschreiber (talk) 18:33, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Cock wielding llama sample, you are a dull and muddy-mettled rascal! --Castaigne2 (talk) 18:36, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Hey, I've been doxed. Show up! I invite you! Enter freely and of your own will! Or SWAT me! That would also be entertaining. --Castaigne2 (talk) 18:36, 15 February 2016 (UTC)