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Polygamy harms society

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Reasons to agree

  1. Assumption: Polygamy harms women.
  2. Assumption: Polygamy harms children.
  3. Assumption: Polygamy harms families.
  4. Assumption: Polygamy harms men.
    1. Assumption: It is socially destabilizing when their are more men than women.
    2. Assumption: Polygamy, if legalized, would happen in numbers that would significantly increase the ratio of available men to women.
  5. Legalizing polygamy could spread the institution and its social harms
  6. Religious polygamists often see their religious laws as above state law (polygamy harms society by causing an increase in lawlessness.
  7. Polygamy undermines the traditional institution of marriage. This harmes society.
  8. Each society has the right to regulate activites that they see as harmful.
  9. Legalizing polygamy would open a slippery slope to legalizing other immoral lifestyles. If we legalize polygamy, why not legalize, say, beastiality (sex between men and animals). The problem faced here regards moral boundaries. Where do we draw the line, if we legalize polygamy?
  10. Few societies have population problems that can be solved with polygamy. Polygamy might be a demographic solution in countries with large female populations and small male ones, but such major demographic discrepancy are very, very rare. And, over time, it is clear that populations even out naturally and irrespective of government policies.
  11. If polygamy is legalized, would the state allow marriages with 100-wives? Opening the door to legal polygamy opens serious questions about instances in which a man marries 100 wives and has 1,000 children. Isn't this an abusive form of polygamy? And, if so, how does the state regulate polygamy? Does it put a cap on the number of wives and the number of children? Assuming that such caps would be arbitrary and indefensible, the state would have to criminalize all forms of polygamy, or allow for the 100-wives scenario. It is better to criminalize it.
  12. Polygamy is legal in failed societies and illegal in succesful ones. There is a common trend internationally surrounding polygamy. The only states in which polygamy is legal are underdeveloped or unsuccessful ones. No modern democratic state legally permits polygamy. This basic trend goes against polygamy, suggesting that polygamy is not an ingredient in the development of a modern state. There are good reasons for this that will be outlined below, such as the fact that polygamy is not sustainable in a society where there are equal numbers of men and women (it leaves many men without opportunities for marriage). All of this suggests to leaders and legislators in states that desire to modernize that they should not legalize polygamy.

Reasons to disagree

  1. Polygamy can help a society.
  2. Polygamy leaves some men with no women to marry; socially destabilizing. (Score: +6)

Interest, values, and assumptions of those who agree

Interest & Values of those who disagree

Movies That Agree

Parent debate


  • Reasons to agree: +4
  • Reasons to disagree: -0
  • Reasons to agree with reasons to agree: +0
  • Reasons to disagree with reason to agree: 0
  • Reasons to agree with reasons to disagree: -0
  • Reasons to disagree with reasons to disagree: 0
  • Total: +4

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