Polygamy Polygamy is the practice of a man taking more than one wife at the same time. Polyandry is when a woman takes more that one husband at the same time. Polyandry is rare compared to polygamy, because it is only known to be inexistence in two parts of the world. One is among the Nair people who are inhabitants of Indias Malabar Coast. The other is in Tibet, where a woman can take her husbands brothers as her mates.
This paper will be focused strictly on the debate over polygamy. It does more harm than good and should be banned and enforced strongly within the United States borders. Being married to more than one person at the same time has been illegal in the U.S. since 1862, but has not been enforced strictly. The Mormon Church is well known for practicing polygamy, but the church banned it in 1980.
Over a period of forty years, the church endured serious federal efforts to crack down on the practice of polygamy. Dr. Irwin Altman, a professor of psychology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City say, Today there are some twenty thousand to forty thousand people who are practicing polygamy in the state of Utah. He also states, Some forty years ago, the numbers were within the hundreds or low thousands. It has also been estimated that there is an equal amount scattered around the rest of the United States.
This number is said to be as large as a hundred thousand people, just in America alone. Most of these people reside in the western states of the United States. The patriarch figure in these unions usually does one of two things when it comes to additional wives. He either marries his first wife legally and then is sealed to the other wives, in a religious ceremony or he divorces one wife (but stays with her) before he marries another wife and repeats this process. So these men seek a civil marriage license only once and the brides to follow are taken in private religious ceremonies.
In other words, since they do not have legal marriage licenses, they have no right under the government to have these marriages. Also the husband has two choices when it comes to the living arrangements as well. He can keep the entire family in a single home, whereas other polygamy husbands may have each of his wives living under different roofs. When it comes to spending time with each of his wives and his children, there is a schedule that everyone follows, but it is flexible and can be moved around to fit almost everyones needs. Carmen Thompson, a former wife of a Mormon polygamist says, Depending on the number of wives a man has he usually spends one night out of the week with each wife and her children by him. When special events come up everyone does their best to make accommodations.
It is extremely hard for birthdays and anniversaries to fit into the schedule and so they are pretty much nonexistent. Carmen Thompson said that on her honeymoon one of the other wives came to visit. This other wife wanted to have another child, and her ideal breeding time just happened to fall right in the middle of the honeymoon. So the new wife had to watch the children while the other wife spent the night with the husband, in the bedroom. How many women would want this to happen to them on their honeymoon? Many polygamous groups believe that a woman should have a baby every year.
The idea is that there are spirits in heaven waiting to get a body to come to earth in, and if they are not born into a Mormon family, they will be born into a bad family, one that is not Mormon. The fathers usually force their teenage daughters to marry once they have started their menstrual cycle. On an average these younger girls are about fourteen years old. The number has, however gone as low as the age of nine, when a girl is married off. Keep in mind that most of these girls have never known things to be any different.
Most of them feel that this is the way the world is, and that everybody leaves like this, or at least, this is the will of God. If someone ever objects to these polygamous standards then they are harshly punished for disobeying Gods wishes. Earlier Mormon scripture states that God came to Joseph Smith in a vision and told him that in order for anyone to get into the Celestial City, Heaven, they would have to be married to a polygamist husband. Joseph Smith later became the founder of the Mormon Church and religion. Carmen Thompsons husband told her that God gave him the revelation that if any of his wives think that they can leave and make it in the outside world; Hes going to take them off this planet. This meaning that the husband would kill anyone of his wives that decided to leave him.
If they did want to get out of the relationship, then they were also told that they were just acting irrational. Or they were told that they were just jealous of the other wives. If a wife had these feelings she was told that she was disobeying God. To rebel against polygamy was to rebel against God and there was not anything worse then rebelling against God. Most Mormon doctrines dictate that a woman must be totally submissive to her husband. So many wives feel that they have no choice but to do whatever their husband wants. Plus if one wife would not do what the husband wanted, then he could always ask one of the other wives to do it instead.
Some say polygamy is a victimless crime, but that is not true. If a man believes that he is God in his house, pretty soon he is going to end up treating his wives like children who have to, according to him, be disciplined. Statistics show that polygamous wives reported that their husbands started becoming abusive towards them and/or …