The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
14 Points

This house would legalise polygamy.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/12/2014 Category: People
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,661 times Debate No: 58871
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)




First round is to accept. Second round is for opening statements. Third round is for rebuttal. Fourth round is for closing statements.

Best of luck to Con.


I accept the challenge and will be arguing that polygamy should NOT be legalized. PRO shall make his case.

(picture not part of debate)

Looking forward to a nice stimulating debate. :)
Debate Round No. 1


I thank Sashil (Con) in accepting the debate. I will structure my opening statement by putting across a number of points supporting the legalisation of Polygamy.

Polygamy makes having a family less of a strain.

More providers can make contributions to the home a lot more easy. It makes the family unit more efficient and coherent, as more people can pursue careers and bring in money, but due to economies of scale, less additional money will be needed for each additional partner. For example, it is cheaper to cook in large quantities than if each person were cooking individually. Similarly, additional people in the house won"t need another kitchen or necessarily another bathroom, so therefore it"s cheaper to live in groups " particularly groups with multiple incomes. In addition, there is more likely to be a person staying at home, which saves on childcare. While it will not always be the case there are many ways in which living in groups can be more economical and enjoyable due a instilled sense of community.

Creating stable, long-lasting relationships.

Polygamy reduces the strains on family life and lowers the likelihood of breakdown and divorce. Polygamy reduces the desire for adultery by providing alternatives for sexual exploration within the family. People look for a lot of qualities in a wife, and that it is unlikely that any one person can possess them all, which is why there is so much adultery in monogamous relationships. Polygamy can alleviate this.

People should have freedom of choice.

The law should recognise freedom of choice. If somebody wants to marry more than one person, and all parties involved agree, then the state should not get involved. We have a right to privacy, and a right to non-interference in our family life. These are not absolute rights, but they are important: breach of them needs to be contemplated with extreme care and is not merited here. This is particularly important because some religious sects promote polygamy, so banning it also impinges on freedom of religion.


Thank you pro for your interesting opening statements.

So cutting to the chase, in this round I limit my arguments to three major assertions, as my hands have been shackled by PRO's imposed word limit.

=Discord in family life=

Emotionally, it is possible to have feelings for more than one person at
a time. Pragmatically though, loving more than one person is unmanageable and
difficult to do.Ergo, marriage assures emotional and sexual exclusivity
between two partners.

Polygamy involves having multiple relationships.Love is not a rational
feeling, it is an emotional drive and is usually enhanced by certain
stimulating circumstances and incidents that occur between individuals.
It is more than obvious that in the long run, polygamy will cause a
person to have more attachments emotionally to one person, than the
others involved in the whole polygamic relationship.Thus, the person in
question would end up weighing one(or more) relationship(s) higher in
valuableness than the others.This promotes ego, and creates negative
feelings like jealousy and hatred towards the said relationship(s), in
the hearts of other parties involved. A succesful marriage is one that
lasts till the end.Polygamy has a greater likelihood of sparking
emotional disharmony and discord in the relationships for the said
reasons and can conclude in divorces or in extreme cases heinous acts
like cheating and murder.

=Creates a pool of Unmarried Low-Status men=

It is natural that if polygamy is legalized, a rise in the number of un-married men would be seen.But what would be the magnitude of such a rise?

Dr. Henrich explains the cold mathematics of polygyny:

[1]This illustration reveals the underlying arithmetic that can result from polygamy. Imagine a society of 40 adults, 20 males and 20 females. Suppose those 20 males vary from the unemployed high-school drop outs to CEOs, or billionaires.Let's assume that the twelve men with the highest status marry 12 of the 20 women in monogamous marriages. Then, the top five men (25% of the population) all take a second wife, and the top two (10%) take a third wife. Finally, the top guy takes a fourth wife. This means that of all marriages, 58% are monogamous. Only men in the to 10% of status or wealth married more than two women. The most wives anyone has is four.

The degree of polygynous marriage is not extreme in cross-cultural perspective but it creates a pool of unmarried men equal to 40% of the male population who are incentivized to take substantial risks so they can eventually participate in the mating and marriage market. This pattern is consistent with what we would expect from an evolutionary approach to humans, and with what is known empirically about male strategies. [1]

So we get a society were 40% of the total male population are left un-married and desperate for a relationship(remember that they didn't 'choose' to be un-married).Thus, with the high neccessary demand for females, occurences of infidelity will steeply increase, destroying the peacefulness and harmony, that would have been seen, in a 'normal' marital relationship.

Also it has been scientifically proven that marriage civilizes men.

[1]Research shows marriage makes men much less likely to commit crimes such as murder, robbery and rape. One such study showed that marriage reduced the likelihood of committing a crime by 35%. This study was particularly compelling as it did not simply compare the criminality of married and unmarried men, but used longitudinal data to track boys from a reform school from age 17 to 70. In this study, crime rates not only decreased when those men were married, but increased when they divorced or were widowed. Other studies are consistent in showing the association between monogamous marriage and decreased male criminality.[1]

Ergo, we have excellent reasons to conclude that polygamy will ensue an increase in crime rates and violence in the society.

=Poor Parenthood=

Multiple relationships imply multiple families.A marital relationship is sophisticated and requires great care and attention for it to be succesful.The group that would feel the greatest burden from a polygamic marriage would be, the children born from such a relationship.Since there are several families to take care of, it is obvious that there would be a steep decrease in parental investment.

[2] The underlying theory is that since married men would remain perennially in the marriage market, high-status men could choose to invest their resources in acquiring more wives rather than investing in their children. Similarly, the pool of unmarried men would be forced to invest their resources in attempting to improve their status so as to improve their chances of finding a bride.[2]

Even though the above may seem less intuitive it is basically, the truth. I will be backing this asserstion in R3 if PRO may contest it, but beacause of the word limit, I'm incapable of doing so now .

Over to you,PRO.



Debate Round No. 2


Thank you Con for your swift reply!

Con asserts that loving more than one person is unmanageable and that it's difficult to do so. It cannot be implicitly stated that this is unfeasible as emotional restraint will alleviate the issues you present. Polygamy is a legally binding contract (like marriage) and so there is no reason for this to be an issue.

Why is it pragmatically difficult to manage loving more than one person at a time?

Main reasons:

1> Societal constraints on how many people can be in a relationship- seeing more than one person makes you heartless and insensitive. Surely polygamy nullifies this, if you are ALLOWED to be with more than one person at once, then being with more than one person will be seen as OK.

2> Indecisiveness- Ties in to previous point. If you are unable to decide, for example, between two people that you love, it can pose a problem- but if you weren't forced to pick, and both of the people that you were interested in loved you enough not to mind being with the other person as well, then that eliminates the "indecisiveness" issue as well.

IF MARRIAGE CIVILIZES MEN, then surely having more members in the family will mean that the man will be even more aware of the fact that he should not commit crimes and act civil, since the consequences of not doing so will become harsher the more wives he has..



"Polygamy makes having a family less of a strain."

PRO's whole arguments behind this assertion have been build based on assumptions that are far from pragmatic.It is highly unlikely that the multiple families that would result from a polygamic marriage would want to live together.
This can be shown with a simple demostration.

Let's assume 'X' is a male and 'Y1','Y2' two females.Quite evidently the love and concern these two females will have for the male would,presuming normal conditions, surpass similar feelings ,if any, between them.Consequently, in the long run this would ensue in competetion between these two females to establish themselves as the most dearest to the male emotionally and physically.Thus, these two females would be fueled with envy and covetousness against each other. This will only sequent in a situation quite contrary to what PRO has claimed.

"Creating stable, long-lasting relationships."

I request PRO to substantiate this claim as it seems extremely counter-intuitive.Polygamy leads to prioritizing relationships. One may find a partner more appealing than the other over time and this will lead to, less time and resource investments made to the 'other' relationships thus, evidently fueling hatred and rivalry.

"People should have freedom of choice"

This argument can be refuted using my argument on how polygamy would create un-married men.I reiterate, polygamy leaves 40% of total men population un-married.Thus, we are inevitably taking away the opportunity for these people to get married or have relationships by legalizing polygamy.

"The law should..freedom of choice."

If that is so then drug dealing should also be legalized since both the drug dealer and the consumer consent to the transaction.See the emphasis is not on consent but on consequences.There is an eminent possibility of people abusing drug use and hence cause problems in society to arise like increase in murders, rapes, accidents, overdoses etc.Likewise, polygamy has a plethora of problems which I've already mentioned about that can impact the society and the relationship itself in a negative way.Also marriage brings with it 1138 federal benefits[1].These can be exploited by parties involved in a polygamic marriage affecting others involved in the marriage or the society itself as a whole.

" some...freedom of religion."

Some religions also promote child marriage[2] and sathi(burning of widows)[3] so going by your argument they should be legalized too?. Religious practices and teachings are meant to elevate the quality of well-being of oneself and the society.As such, some of these practices or beliefs,as presented above, may not be appropriate for our current modern society. These should be identified and forestalled,not blindly be followed.

Counter rebuttals:

PRO has made an evasive case where he has taken convenient select scenerios to suit his purpose; this is clearly seen in his argument where he states

"but.."indecisiveness" issue as well."

In his attempt to manifest his claims on indecisiveness he has suitably assumed the following

a) Both the parties involved love you to such an extent that they are willing to ignore the fact of you sharing the same love with an other person,unlikely but not impossible I guess.

b) The love happens at the same time.

c) Only two lovers are involved.

Now I will try to rebut this by offering a counter-scenario and also negating PRO's said scenario.

Counter-Scenario: A man(let's say wealthy) falls in love with a woman and decides to marry her.After a decade of marriage, with all the initial intense, physical and emotional attraction he had for the woman lost, he falls in love with a second woman who he marries as well.Now this destroys any possibility of indecisiveness, blatantly the guy would prioritize the newly formed relationship over the old one.And also there is nothing stopping wealthy and powerful men from marrying more wives since, as PRO has established for me, there is no 'societal constraints'.

Now moving on to PRO's example let two people love you enough to not mind the problem of you loving them both at the same time.But this as I've already proved is momentaneous. A marriage is not something that is going to last a few weeks. In the long run, quite probably by some incidents or circumstances, either you will end up weighing one relationship over the other or either of them would start to believe that you do so.This will set the tune for the appearance of ego and hatred in the minds and hearts of people in the family which will eventually,as I've already stated, lead to disharmony and discord in the relationship.

"IF MARRIAGE CIVILIZES MEN...more wives he has"

The emphasis was on UN-married men that would consequent from polygamy.I request PRO to please read and understand the contention properly before rebutting it.

Over to you, PRO.





Debate Round No. 3


I shall now present my closing statement/argument.

Right now, all polygamous families, including the healthy, responsible ones, are driven into hiding . In the resulting isolation, crime and abuse can flourish unimpeded. Children in polygamous communities are taught to fear the police and are not likely to report an abusive neighbour if they suspect their own parents might be caught up in a subsequent criminal investigation. In a United States with legalized polygamy, responsible plural families could emerge from the shadows"making it easier for authorities to zero in on the criminals who remain there.

Many people argue that there is no such thing as a "healthy, responsible" polygamous family, particularly for the children born into one. "Children are harmed because they are often set in perennial rivalry with other children and mothers for the affection and attention of the family patriarch," argued John Witte Jr. in the Washington Post. "Men with lots of children and wives are spread too thin," agreed Libby Copeland in Slate. The earnestness of these arguments is touching but idealistic. Men in monogamous marriages can"t be spread too thin? Children in monogamous families don"t rival each other for the attentions of their parents? Two-parent families are not the reality for millions of American children. Divorce, remarriage, surrogate parents, extended relatives, and other diverse family arrangements mean families already come in all sizes"why not recognize that legally?

It"s also hard to argue with the constitutional freedom of religious expression that legalized polygamy would preserve. Most polygamous families are motivated by religious faith, such as fundamentalist Mormonism or Islam, and as long as all parties involved are adults, legally able to sign marriage contracts, there is no constitutional reason why they shouldn"t be able to express that faith in their marriages. Legalized polygamous marriage would also be good for immigrant families, some of whom have legally polygamous marriages in their home countries that get ripped apart during the immigration process. (It"s impossible to estimate exactly how many polygamous families live here, since they live their religious and sexual identities in secret. Academics suggest there are 50,000 to 100,000 people engaged in Muslim polygamy in the U.S., and there are thousands of fundamentalist Mormon polygamist families as well.)

Finally, prohibiting polygamy on "feminist" grounds"that these marriages are inherently degrading to the women involved"is misguided. The case for polygamy is, in fact, a feminist one and shows women the respect we deserve. Here"s the thing: As a woman, you really can make your own choices. They just might choose things people don"t like. If a woman wants to marry a man, that"s great. If she wants to marry another woman, that"s great too. If she wants to marry a hipster, well"I suppose that"s the price of freedom.

And if she wants to marry a man with three other wives, that"s her damn choice.

We have a tendency to dismiss or marginalize people we don"t understand. We see women in polygamous marriages and assume they are victims. "They grew up in an unhealthy environment," we say. "They didn"t really choose polygamy; they were just born into it." Without question, that is sometimes true. But it"s also true of many (too many) monogamous marriages. Plenty of women, polygamous or otherwise, are born into unhealthy environments that they repeat later in life. There"s no difference. All marriages deserve access to the support and resources they need to build happy, healthy lives, regardless of how many partners are involved. Arguments about whether a woman"s consensual sexual and romantic choices are "healthy" should have no bearing on the legal process. And while polygamy remains illegal, women who choose this lifestyle don"t have access to the protections and benefits that legal marriage provides.

As a feminist, it"s easy and intuitive to support women who choose education, independence, and careers. It"s not as intuitive to support women who choose values and lifestyles that seem outdated or even sexist, but those women deserve our respect just as much as any others. It"s condescending, not supportive, to minimize them as mere "victims" without considering the possibility that some of them have simply made a different choice.

The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less "correct" than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults. Though polygamists are a minority"a tiny minority, in fact"freedom has no value unless it extends to even the smallest and most marginalized groups among us.

I'd like to thank CON for this thought provoking debate.


I will be using this round to tie up any loose ends and give my closing statements. 

Note: Since, this is the final round and PRO hasn't yet contested my argument about polygamy creating a large number of Low-status unmarried men, by default, it is to be taken that he has conceded to this argument.This implies that he accepts the fact of polygamy having negative effects on the society.


Now I'll cross-examine PRO's assertion and try to rebut them.

Children in polygamous communities are taught to fear the police and are not likely to report an abusive neighbour if they suspect their own parents might be caught up in a subsequent criminal investigation.

This does not give a proper logical reason to legalize polygamy. Children born to absconding criminals may also face the same problem so does that mean, by PRO's argument, that crime should be legalized? The logic used here is ludicrous.

Men in monogamous marriages can"t be spread too thin? Children in monogamous families don"t rival each other for the attentions of their parents?

If a monogamous marriage can end up bad, a polygamous one would turn out to be disastrous.Right of the bat a polygamous marriage would require the family patriarch to spend his time with each and every family in the marriage.Best scenerio is he spending equal time and resources with all the families but still this is much less than what would be the case in a monogamous marriage. For example lets say a person has five families so now he has to split his time and resources to all five families and can even result to prioratizing and the person, lets say a man who is the center of the monogamous marriage, investing more or less time/resources to a particular family. A monogamous marriage doesn't have this dilemna and has a relatively better chance of being stable and long-lasting.

PRO has plagiarized the remainder of his arguments from this website ( ), I will not be responding to them but, considering the fact that he is relatively a new member here, I leave it to the judges to decide on whether he should be penalized for this or not.




This seemed like a promising debate at the start but am really disturbed and grieved that it has now succumbed to end like this but, anyhow, I will be proceed to give my conclusion and close the case.


A polygamous marriage, as I have established, comes with its drawbacks that can turn out to be quite harmful for the family itself and the society as a whole. Though a polygamous marriage does come with its advantages, I have shown that the disadvantages heavily outweighs the advantages.Thus I have neccasarily negated the resolution and have succesfully upheld my case.

I advocate a CON ballot!
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Ajab 3 years ago
Sashil I am not allowed to comment on your profile.
Posted by dynamicduodebaters 3 years ago
WHERE DID u go khronik?????????
Posted by Sashil 3 years ago
As it has turned out, due to some technical problem, PRO's statements which I had 'bolded' to differentiate them from mine have somehow turned out in an 'un-bolded' normal font. Though the ultimate decision is up to the judges I request them to exercise discretion and excuse this mishap as it was not foreseen.
Posted by khronik 3 years ago
My argument holds true for both Polygyny and Polyandry although admittedly my closing statements were more Polygamy oriented, but given the much greater prevalence of Polygamy over Polygyny, it's only fair.
Posted by Sashil 3 years ago
"Case 1:"
Theoretically true, but it is an unarguable fact that polygyny is much more dominent than polyandry in actuality. In places where polygamy freely takes place, it was calculated and found that for every 500 cases of polygyny only 4 cases of polyandry were seen.[1]
So my argument about unwed men still stands.

"b. dissatisfaction in the long run may cause a fight between two women fighting over one man."

This can be shown to be true vice-versa too. I need only interchange man and women.

Hope that clarified everything.

Posted by Azyex 3 years ago
Unfortunate that none of the parties managed to fully utilize the scenarios which entail in a polygamous relationship.

Case 1:
CON banks on a scenario that only views polygamy as a polygynous affair. the argument on using the algorithm of Dr.Heinrich does not take into account that in a polygamy both man and woman may marry more than once. This completely debunks both arguments regarding

a. More unwed men
b. dissatisfaction in the long run may cause a fight between two women fighting over one man.

Case 2:
Failure of PRO to define Polygamy as both Polyandry AND Polygyny has started this problem, arguments from PRO implies that he wishes to define or focus soley on Polygyny.

Posted by dynamicduodebaters 3 years ago
this shall be interesting
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Jay-D 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Everything except S&G goes to Con. Conduct because Pro plagiarized, sources because Pro didn't provide any. I award arguments to Con, as Pro failed to counter some of Con's central arguments, whereas Con effectively rebutted most, if not all, of Pro's statements. 6-0 to Con.
Vote Placed by Daltonian 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Whilst I have always supported the right of Polygamists to have a civil-union type arrangement, this argument was about the effects polygamy would have on society and whether it is actually beneficial in itself. In that regard, Con has seemingly proven victorious, as Pro really failed to properly rebut the core of Con's argument, instead engaging in random acts of plagiarism. Conduct to con for the plagiarism.
Vote Placed by TruthHurts 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: What this debate turns on is the fact that Pro plagiarized almost his entire last section, which was, by far, his most compelling speech. This means that I am giving the conduct point to Con, and discounting the arguments presented from the section. While I think Pro has a strong argument to make, he never actually connects the dots behind why certain things should or should not be legal. Meanwhile, Con makes a convincing case that a large underclass of unmarried men would be created, which is never countered by Pro. I don't necessarily buy Con's other arguments, but this one alone is strong enough to win the debate, in absence of a counter and/or other mitigating Pro arguments. Happy to clarify, if anyone would like further analysis.