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Polygamy: Do children in polygamous families benefit or lose?

  • Children of Polygamist Households

    I support polygamy, the household has more adults to participate with the kids, to work and to share responsibilities with. Instead of everything being heaped upon the shoulders of one person or both parents trying to support one house while the children are deprived of parental time, the effort is shared. The stress is reduced, the children are in a more stable environment and the household overall benefits.

  • Yes if Legal

    Children would benefit if it wasn't illegal, and allowed to be in the open. The family would have a higher income level and they would also be able to get more support. If something were to happen to one or two of the parents, the others would be there to help them through it and they would have to deal with being uprooted, moved, and possibly in a foster situation at the same time as dealing with the loss of their parents. A polygamist family may also be more stable. With divorce rates approaching or exceeding 50% in some cases, a polygamist family would offer the spouses more opportunity to have their needs met without going outside the family and cheating. (for example, Andrew and Betty may go dancing one night, Charles and Debbie go a musical the next, and Charles and Betty go to a ball game a different day). The different interests each have could be met by one of the spouses without having to find someone else to meet those needs and interests. And while this is happening, some of the parents would be able to stay home with the children, giving them more support and supervision without having to rely on a babysitter. With the additional income of multiple spouses, it is also more likely that one parent would be able to stay home at all times and the children could grow up in a family, rather then in daycare.

  • Yes i think

    It is smart cause the child will have more attention and will benefit from the skills of each parent. It will also have more love and different relationships inside the family. And the child can talk to many adults as needed when needed. It will become a successful child. Egg

  • The issue is religious fundamentalism not polygamy

    Let's say you had a polygamist family but they do not prescribe rigid gender roles, they do not encourage marriage at a young age, do not promote arranged marriage, and they do not hold puritanical religious beliefs. Then the children could benefit. Extra income and extra supervision.

    Polygamy gets a bad rap because of where it has incidentally become popular, among fundamentalist Mormon groups. But let's not forget that back then monogamous families treated women the same way and expected arranged marriages at younger ages. The polygamy itself is not the problem. It's the other crap the fundamentalist Mormons practice. The only reason this gets associated with polygamy is an accident of history. Since lawmakers went after polygamy (they were afraid of Utah gaining political clout from a high population) groups that wanted to keep practicing it became socially isolated and so kept to the same values they had at the time.

    There is nothing inherent about polygamy that causes the bad things we see in fundamentalist Mormon families. The cause was the social isolation calcifying the now-outdated beliefs and values that most people had towards women at the time the social isolation started.

  • The only harm is the issue of legality.

    The fact that modern (non-cult) polygamists in Western Civilization have to hide who they are 1: makes it "weird" and unknown 2: makes it possible for abuse to go hidden because family members are afraid to reach out to authorities if there is abuse. If an abuse is reported they risk losing their families, the adults could be arrested, and everyone split up into foster care - all because they are breaking polygamy laws, not because of the abuse. This creates fear and therefore they become closed-off.
    Children in polygamous families (again, not cult polygamists) grow up knowing who their mother is and it is their mothers (and fathers) responsibility for primary discipline. It is ridiculous to assume the children look at all of the wives as their "mother". Sure, another wife can step in if necessary (i.E. Two children are fighting), but the child still has only one mother and one father, no different than any monogamous family.
    Children have increased opportunities in polygamy, typically more siblings to play and learn from, an adult in the home to monitor the daily activities of the children, other adults bringing in multiple incomes, etc. The love is shared throughout the family just like in monogamy, only more!
    The legalization of polygamy (bigamy) would bring polygamists out of hiding making it less of an opportunity for abusers, cult-polygamy would be nearly eradicated because people wouldn't feel they have to hide in these compounds, children wouldn't have to feel weird for being in a polygamous family (any more than they would for being in a gay family or single parent family, or deaf family, etc, etc, etc,).
    Every "Lose" comment I've read either comes from persons who have no experience or understanding of polygamy, or gained their experience through "cult" polygamy (which I abhor). Modern Western Civilization polygamists are very normal people, well educated, experience multiplied opportunities, and their children are normal, if not exceptional!

  • Just Playing Devil's Advocate Here!!

    IF the polygamist family were stable, which I believe would be the exception, I could see some potential benefits. For starters, you could have more income coming into the household. Second, there would be the possibility of more emotional and familial support for the child. However, there would be many hurdles for the children such as social stigma which might result in bullying and/or being out-casted. IN MY EXPERIENCE the children I have worked with from polygamist families tend to become sexually active at an earlier age and be more prone to developing personality problems such as borderline traits. I do admit that the field I am in makes my opinion on the topic biased. While I personally have not seen an open relationship work, I am aware of a polygamist family in the area that has been together for 20+yrs and seems to be doing well. A friend of the family has told me that the family requires constant communication, strict boundaries, and a lot of self control to survive. If all the conditions are met, I can see a polygamist family functioning well enough to raise healthy children. Let's face it, with a 60+% divorce rate in the USA, monogamy isn't working well either.

  • The Emotional and Psychologically Toil on The Child

    Consider discipline for example. No wife supersedes another so it is difficult to assign social roles to each wife. One wife may be the biological mother of a child, another wife in the family is also considered to be the child’s mother. If one of the wives disagrees with the disciplinary methods utilized for a child's behavior, there will be confusion and internal power struggles.

  • Lose. Polygamy is not a healthy upbringing for a child.

    No. Children lose when being brought up in a polygamous family. A lot of confusion regarding a proper family unit would ensue for someone being brought up by multiple mothers. People have the right to live the way would like to live, however they should leave children out of it until they have the ability to make their own decisions.

  • The children are the ones that suffer.

    There is no benefit to children being raised in polygamous families. They do not learn the role or feel the love of a committed family environment. These children are likely not to know the identity of their biological father. It is hard enough to feel love and accepted when you have two parents that love each other. If that is removed, the security is even more difficult for a child to feel. On top of all of that, these families are judged harshly by outsiders looking in. All children have difficulty with being accepted. These families make it even more difficult for the children involved.

  • I'm from a polygamous family

    My parents are married but in a relationship with another man. I really hate it and get very uncomfortable when he's around (he occasionally stays at our house for ~1 week). I've spoken to them about it but since I hate confrontation, I always let it go in the end. The fact that they never do anything about my complaints makes me feel like they don't care, so now I've developed an anorexia as a coping mechanism (it's a control thing). The worst part is, no one knows about my disorder and I refuse to talk with my friends about my parents (out of shame) so I feel very alone. People can do whatever they want on their own, but should listen to their children before it gets out of hand.

  • It's bad for children, and society.

    If polygamy was the norm then lets say on average one man had 5 wives. The birth rate is roughly 50/50 male and female. With these ratios that would mean every 1 out of 5 men would be able to get married. And those who don't get married, basically have nothing because wives would be worth more in social value. When they lack kids and wives they realize they are at the bottom of the social ladder and will try to climb up. This will most likley result in crime from the non married men. Daughters of these families will most likley be sold due to their value, and some may even be kidnapped. Not to mention kids who are raised in polygamy families tend to have more personality disorders and mental problems.

  • Im from a polygamous family

    Its the worst thing ever. My father is hardly around so my mother had to play the part of my father too. His other kids were sent to grammar schools whilst he said he couldn't afford for us to go to grammar school. He lived with his other family whilst we lived with our mum. He saw us one day a week whilst the other family saw them every day and night. I wish we weren't even born at times because we are seen as the "other" kids or a "secret". I'm totally against it and would never allow my future husband to marry another woman because its unfair and cruel to the children. End of.

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