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Dr. Helen

How would Polygamy Affect the Legal Rights of Men?

December 21st, 2013 - 6:41 am

A reader emails me and poses some interesting concerns about polygamy and the effects it would have on the legal rights of men:
Dr. Helen:

An interesting article

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/12/polygamy-its-coming.php

the short form of it is, as the link says, Polygamy is coming.

Taking that as a given for argument…I have to wonder,
what would men be facing in such a structure?
As you have researched, in a one-to one relationship structure, when a marriage goes bad the male is usually totally out of luck. child support, alimony etc. All known about.

The male usually finds out about it in an ambush of some sort (she sets it up, slowly siphons resources and one day he is presented with papers)…with 2 women and a man, how hard would it be for one of the women to cut the male out and STILL have your “family”
Talk about having your cake and eating it too! And as a bonus, you both would get alimony etc….
While it is a (relatively) common male fantasy…from a legal/social standpoint….wouldn’t that just be a steeper form of trouble for men?
Granted there is no body of law to support polygamous divorce, but is it that hard to see how the law would “evolve” based on current form?

One wife is hard enough in the legal arena, what happens when there are two or more?

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (21)
All Comments   (21)
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I think polygamy is stone-age, and wiser civilizations figured that out, and moved away from it. I've stopped a couple of leftists by arguing that polygamy is abusive to women. If they disagree, I suggest they ask a Muslim woman, if they can get to her through the wall of men.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Men have rights? When did that happen?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
It didn't.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is the most stupid idea I've ever heard of.

When I was studying for my first degree, BS Biology, I took several courses on ethology, the science of animal behavior. It is a fascinating field of study. I was going to write a post about it, but it would have been too long because most people know absolutely nothing about the subject and to even touch the surface would require far more words than this space allows. Plus, I didn't want to hog the blog.

Particularly, I was going to discuss mating strategies and reproductive behavior. It is absolutely amazing the elaborate displays and rituals that males must display in order to attract the approval of a female in nature. Seriously, you wouldn't believe what these guys go through just to get laid once in their lives.

Most animals are seasonally monogamous. Which is to say, they only mate when the female is in season or fertile. The males perform their rituals, the female chooses a mate, they have intercourse, she raises the offspring, and the next season chooses a new mate.

Some species are polygamous, one male, several females. A few species are polyandrous, one female, several males. It's a reproductive strategy that is totally based solely on the species and the environment in which it inhabits.

Only a handful of species are truly monogamous. That is, they mate for life. A female selects a male, and they only mate with each other. If one dies, the other never mates again. Examples include swans, parrots and killer whales, interestingly enough. But this reproductive behavior is extremely rare in the animal kingdom.

If one wants to understand human reproductive behavior, one need look no further than our closest biological relatives, the chimpanzees.

Chimpanzees live in what is called fluid societies. Basically, it's a core group of alpha males that establish and defend a territory. These are the largest and strongest males, usually 3 to 5. Around them are the beta males, normally 5 to 10. They all cooperate together in protecting the territory, but the alphas get first pick in food and resting space, and the betas defer to them. Then there are the gammas, who live on the outskirts and pick up the scraps.

It's called a fluid society because chimpanzees, especially gammas and sometimes betas, often move from one group to another. The alphas remain, but the society around them is in constant flux.

Female chimpanzees will move from group to group, until they find one they really like and then they'll settle down. The males provide food and protection, and the females provide sex. A female chimpanzee will have sex with every male in the group, but when she is fertile she will only have sex with an alpha male. It's a strategy. Because she has sex will all the males, all of them participate in providing for and protecting her offspring. By only having sex with an alpha male when she is fertile, she insures herself of having the best genetic stock for her offspring. (Remind you of any girls you know, boys?)

The point being that almost everything that most people think they know or believe about animal and human behavior is simply made up nonsense. They have no concept of reality.

The idea that it is a common male fantasy to have more than one wife is a ludicrous proposition. It reflects a complete misunderstanding of human behavior. And it is more an indication of an agenda that seeks to destroy monogamous relationships and undermine the family unit than anything else.

The author says there is no body of law for polygamous divorce. Yeah, well, there is no body of law for polygamous marriage either. So everything he says is moot.

Marriage itself is completely unacceptable today. In this culture, which constantly denigrates men, with these laws and this contract, which are exploitative of men, and under this legal system, which is discriminatory against men, only a complete fool would get married.

To think then that any man would fantasize about marrying multiple wives is an indication of a total lack of mental acuity.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
If there's a "working" wife and a "momma" wife, and the momma wife leaves, does the working wife who remains with the husband owe the momma wife alimony and child support?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're taking the wrong approach.

The correct approach under family law practice is to assign responsibility and payments to the man, and then to figure out why that should be so if an opinion is written. You wrongly started with one of the women - women are not responsible for anything.

Here is a better analysis: The momma wife left, because of the verbally and emotionally abusive conduct of the man. The man therefore owes alimony to the momma wife and has to pay for a nanny.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The correct approach under family law practice is to assign responsibility and payments to the man, and then to figure out why that should be so if an opinion is written."

Pretty sad, but in a world where adolescent boys are ordered to pay child support to adult women it's hard to see this any other way.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The question in the headline makes the implicit assumption that men have legal rights when it comes to marriage. In the USA in 2013, men have none.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not to mention the mothers-in-law problem!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
And then there would be polygyny, where one woman has multiple husbands. Such a legal can of worms they're opening!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Two or more women lying about you in court? No thanks. The only way I'd consider it is if the kids and the resources defaulted back to me, instead of the bearer of the golden uterus.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
There have been studies in this area, mostly from Mormon polygamy in Utah from about 1850 to 1890. Certainly attitudes and legal issues of marriage are significantly different now so it's not an exact comparison. Here are some samples for the curious:

http://content.lib.utah.edu/utils/getfile/collection/USHSArchPub/id/7248/filename/7283.pdf

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=imwjournal
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The dude has to set it up to be oppressive and to keep the upper hand at all times. As soon as he slips and the 'relationship' falls apart, he's facing three or five sets of alimony and child support payments.

Have you ever heard the term "honor killing"? I suspect that if the polygamy thing picks up steam you will hear it more often.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, but it will be about killing men to protect the honor of the women.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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