What do you think of plural marriage?

Into statistics? Curious what everyone else thinks? Then start a poll here.

What is your opinion on same sex marriage and polygamy?

I accept both.
16
64%
I oppose same sex marriage but approve of polygamy.
0
No votes
I oppose polygamy but approve of same sex marriage.
4
16%
I oppose both.
5
20%
 
Total votes : 25

What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby gary_s » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:29 pm

Rian has asserted that there is a population of same sex marriage supporters out there who oppose polygamy and yet use the same arguments against polygamy that is used against same sex marriage. I don't know if this is true or not, but I'm curious to know the opinion of those on this forum. For this poll I am excluding any non-consensual form of plural marriage, including under-aged. Please explain your reasoning for opposing either type of marriage.
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby Loki » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:28 pm

I picked that I support both. I am incredibly torn on the subject of polygamy, but would probably vote for an initiative to legalize it were it to be put on the ballot.
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby gary_s » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:08 pm

Now you've got me curious. What makes the issue of polygamy difficult for you, Loki?

For the record, I would admit to a degree of hesitation as well, but only for personal reasons. I would not oppose it's legalization, but I doubt I would ever engage in it myself. While I am attracted to the idea of having multiple wives to have sex with, I quickly realize that I would also then have several wives to argue with as well. Hmmm, does sex outweigh argument? Not at the rate I'm having it. Not to mention that I would also be outnumbered. And I have a hard time winning arguments when it's one on one!
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:32 am

I won't vote because the wording is too vague. Does approve mean approve of it being legal or does it entail thinking it is morally a good thing. And what model of plural marriage are we discussing, polygamy, polyandry, group marriages? There are difficult legal questions about a binding contract for multiple partners and then there is the question of where children stand. It's one thing if mum and dad are both men or both women (so dad and dad and mum and mum or whatever) and another if you know that out of a group of say 3 men one is your father. Kids really do get bothered by this kind of thing and I'm not sure if that is cultural or organismic or both, at any rate there seems to be a kind of quest for identity thing that goes on with a lot of kids who are not sure who their father is or have never met him. And what happens if your birth mother decides to leave the group but you have bonded with one of the other women? What if one couple decide to split and have kids with other people in the group. As soon as you start to think about it I would have thought there were very good reasons to oppose it, legally, even if you did not oppose gay marriage.
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby gary_s » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:12 am

Moon, that sounds a lot like a vote of no support for plural marriages to me. (Support means you can accept it being legally recognized.)

And you are making my point nicely. :D
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:47 am

Well I think you can argue a case that it is quite tricky for a kid if mum was a lesbian friend of dad's who was artificially inseminated or dad was a gay, or for that matter straight, friend of mums. But then I think it would not be right to take a child away from its mother because mum had left dad and gone to live with a woman. But then what if that woman left and started dating men, got pregnant and left the father for another man. Kids have tricky lives. I don't want to be dogmatic and say gay people can't make good parents, and the woman I'm describing above I always thought of her as a good mum, but given that it is one factor, the sexuality of parents, it complicates things. I have a bisexual friend whose chosen to remain celibate while bringing up his son partly because he doesn't feel been scene would help the child.
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby gary_s » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:44 am

Well, you can say whatever you like, but controlled studies have shown no negative impact of children having homosexual parents, so that can't be used as a valid argument against same sex marriage. But your examples actually mix two parenting issues, sexuality and stability. Stability is certainly an influential factor in the lives of children. But instability is NOT a unique feature of homosexual families, so it's not relevant to this line of thinking. However, due to the nature of plural marriage, it could be a factor there. I'm not saying it definitely is; I'm just saying it's possible. I don't know enough about plural marriage arrangements to argue the point. One thing I do know is that if you consider history, there are many different cultures that have used communal arrangements for raising children quite successfully, so there is some precedent that this is a valid way to raise children.
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:39 pm

I'd question whether controlled studies do show what you claim but I'm ready to be persuaded. It's actually quite difficult to make any kind of comparison because kids in a gay relationship are likely to be there because of instability in an existing heterosexual relationship and also the kids may suffer as a result of the stigma attached to homosexuality rather than any inherent difficulty in the relationship. So such evidence as there is is ambivalent to say the least. Some studies certainly have found that children in gay relationships were disadvantaged in spite of bold claims to the contrary but there are many possible explanations of why that would be the case which are not to do with sexuality as such. On top of that almost everything that is easy to find on google is dissing the claim you make but written by people who may have an axe to grind.
Here's an example http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2157646/Children-sex-couples-higher-risk-depression-social-issues-adults--experts-say-new-study-flawed.html which is quite balanced for the newspaper in question. Claims that studies have shown no disadvantages would seem to be based more on wishful thinking that hard evidence but please do prove me wrong.
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby gary_s » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:31 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:I'd question whether controlled studies do show what you claim but I'm ready to be persuaded.


Well that's real nice. I assume you've reviewed them all, then.

It's actually quite difficult to make any kind of comparison because kids in a gay relationship are likely to be there because of instability in an existing heterosexual relationship


You should know that controls can be devised for such things, Moon. And anyway, I don't see where you are coming from. Are you saying that homosexual parents are mostly coming from broken heterosexual relationships? I'm sure there's some of that, but certainly not all of them. Certainly no more than heterosexual parents coming from broken heterosexual relationships. And let me try this again...parenting stability is NOT the same issue as parent sexual orientation. Would you compare a divorced heterosexual couple's parenting against a stable homosexual couple?

...and also the kids may suffer as a result of the stigma attached to homosexuality rather than any inherent difficulty in the relationship.


But this is NOT related to the parenting ability. Kids get bullied for a whole host of reasons. Bullies don't need homosexual parents for an excuse; they use anything at all. By this reasoning, every child should be exactly the same and have exactly the same parents, and even then bullies would find some reason to torment them. You are searching, Moon.

So such evidence as there is is ambivalent to say the least. Some studies certainly have found that children in gay relationships were disadvantaged in spite of bold claims to the contrary but there are many possible explanations of why that would be the case which are not to do with sexuality as such. On top of that almost everything that is easy to find on google is dissing the claim you make but written by people who may have an axe to grind.
Here's an example http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2157646/Children-sex-couples-higher-risk-depression-social-issues-adults--experts-say-new-study-flawed.html which is quite balanced for the newspaper in question. Claims that studies have shown no disadvantages would seem to be based more on wishful thinking that hard evidence but please do prove me wrong.


It doesn't appear that's possible, Moon. Looks like you've made up your mind already. The consensus for years now has been that homosexual parents causes no issue for the children, so I don't know what you've Googled, except that I am pretty confident that anything you find on the Daily Mail is pretty much crap. That's the equivalent of the "Inquirer" here in the states, which often reports on alien abductions. But of course there will always be minority reports. If there weren't I'd be suspicious. As I said, the consensus is what is relevant.

At any rate, this is not what I'm interesting on this thread anyway. I'm not interested in convincing you that gay couples make good parents. I'm interested in knowing how many members here support either gay marriage or plural marriage or both.
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby mitchellmckain » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:34 am

I see no reason to make any distinction between same sex and plural marriage. Both change the meaning of the word "marriage". I would support legislation for a civil union, that is free from such restrictions in the traditional definition of marriage, and which gives all the same rights to such partnerships including adoption. I believe that this will inevitably result in a change in the meaning of the word marriage to include such unions. I simply oppose legislating this change and thus cramming it down peoples throats, and I am opposed to the shifts of power inevitably involved in enforcing such legislation.


The study which Moonwood links is seriously flawed. See the comments by sergio on the article.
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:56 am

gary_s wrote:
Moonwood the Hare wrote:I'd question whether controlled studies do show what you claim but I'm ready to be persuaded.


Well that's real nice. I assume you've reviewed them all, then.

Of course not, but if you say research demonstrates then I'm hoping you can direct me to the research.

It's actually quite difficult to make any kind of comparison because kids in a gay relationship are likely to be there because of instability in an existing heterosexual relationship


You should know that controls can be devised for such things, Moon. And anyway, I don't see where you are coming from. Are you saying that homosexual parents are mostly coming from broken heterosexual relationships? I'm sure there's some of that, but certainly not all of them. Certainly no more than heterosexual parents coming from broken heterosexual relationships. And let me try this again...parenting stability is NOT the same issue as parent sexual orientation. Would you compare a divorced heterosexual couple's parenting against a stable homosexual couple?

No I wouldn't but it's alledged that that is exactly the kind of thing some of the research has done. Prior to changing the adoption laws in the mid nineties that is pretty much the only context such relationships would have and this objection that has been made to the report by Regnerus. But if you want to ignore that kind of factor then the most comprehensive study we have demonstrates that kids in such relationships are disadvantaged.
Here's a comment from an email by Regnerus:
Regnerus wrote:By the way, one of the key methodological criticisms circulating is that–basically–in a population-based sample, I haven’t really evaluated how the adult children of stably-intact coupled self-identified lesbians have fared. Right? Right. And I’m telling you that it cannot be feasibly accomplished. It is a methodological (practical) impossibility at present, for reasons I describe: they really didn’t exist in numbers that could be amply obtained *randomly*. It may well be a flaw–limitation, I think–but it is unavoidable. We maxxed Knowledge Networks’ ability, and no firm is positioned to do better. It would have cost untold millions of dollars, and still may not generate the number of cases needed for statistical analyses.

So the sensible answer to the question 'What does research show about children raised by gay couples?' is really, nothing yet.
...and also the kids may suffer as a result of the stigma attached to homosexuality rather than any inherent difficulty in the relationship.

Here's a better link
http://www.utexas.edu/news/2012/06/11/children_same/

But this is NOT related to the parenting ability. Kids get bullied for a whole host of reasons. Bullies don't need homosexual parents for an excuse; they use anything at all. By this reasoning, every child should be exactly the same and have exactly the same parents, and even then bullies would find some reason to torment them. You are searching, Moon.

It's not related to parenting ability but parenting skills are not the only issue here. It's like you set up a test to find out if teaching in classes of 100 worked as well as smaller classes and when research found it didn't declared that this was not due to the lack of teaching skills. You have to look at the real world and not liberal ideals. Take the case of mixed race kids; they will get bullied and I hate that. A few years ago I had to see a white woman with a black child who I had been supporting have kids shouting 'You had a black man!' and throwing paint at her windows but that is the world and that is what happens and you need to be very careful experimenting on children in the basis of liberal idealism.
So such evidence as there is is ambivalent to say the least. Some studies certainly have found that children in gay relationships were disadvantaged in spite of bold claims to the contrary but there are many possible explanations of why that would be the case which are not to do with sexuality as such. On top of that almost everything that is easy to find on google is dissing the claim you make but written by people who may have an axe to grind.
Here's an example http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2157646/Children-sex-couples-higher-risk-depression-social-issues-adults--experts-say-new-study-flawed.html which is quite balanced for the newspaper in question. Claims that studies have shown no disadvantages would seem to be based more on wishful thinking that hard evidence but please do prove me wrong.


It doesn't appear that's possible, Moon. Looks like you've made up your mind already. The consensus for years now has been that homosexual parents causes no issue for the children, so I don't know what you've Googled, except that I am pretty confident that anything you find on the Daily Mail is pretty much crap. That's the equivalent of the "Inquirer" here in the states, which often reports on alien abductions. But of course there will always be minority reports. If there weren't I'd be suspicious. As I said, the consensus is what is relevant.

You've misunderstood the Daily Mail. It's not prone to reporting alien abductions (our version of the National Enquirer would be the Sport which also has the highest Nipple count of any UK paper) and it is the work of serious and often able journalists but it does have an agenda, and actually one I despise (I'm serious about this; when my family were discussing things they hated the Daily Male was top of the list for all of us), but in this istance it has headlined with the idea that the report is flawed. The flaw in question as far as I can see is that the research was based on findings which are now twenty years old which it would have to be if you waited until the children were grown up and the argument against it is that times have changed and if you started the research now you would get different results. So the best way to see if gay parenting works turns out to be to keep researching it until you get the positive result you were hoping for!!! But I can give you links to some other discussions of the research and meta-research and I cannot find any current research which has evidence to show that Gay parenting does not disadvantage children whereas I can find research demonstrating the opposite. Please prove me wrong!
At any rate, this is not what I'm interesting on this thread anyway. I'm not interested in convincing you that gay couples make good parents. I'm interested in knowing how many members here support either gay marriage or plural marriage or both.

I know. I began by pointing out that I could immediately think of several arguments against plural marriage that would not apply to gay marriage but to a lesser degree I think some of them do. When I looked into this I actually thought I would find a lot of sound research showing that gay parenting did not disadvantage children and I was surprised to find the opposite. I think we have to remember that we live in a real world at a particular time and not drift too far into a liberal cloud cuckoo land. Michael Novak once said that people comparing Capitalism and Socialism tend to compare the ideals off Socialism with the actualities of Capitalism and thus find the former wanting. I think liberals may be doing the same here.
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby Keep The Reason » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:30 am

It's a no-brainer. Like most of these types of things, if the "norm" of society is one model, kids grow up thinking that is normal and there's no negative impact. I say "these types of things" because there will be some here who will take my argument and apply it to all sorts of irreevant abusive models, like, "Oh yeah, we'll what if MURDER was "the norm" then, hunh? HUNH. ha! That'll show you!"

But different types of child rearing and adult relationships that are consenting and do not inherently inflict abuse are fine. Some cultures have children raised by "it takes a village" and everyone is fine.

About the only reason that men don't like polygamy is because one guy gets too many women, and that leaves less for the rest of the guys. Like, even today Hugh Hefner gets sexually desirable women even though he's eighty something. Deep down we hate that guy. We wish we were him, but we hate him nonetheless, lol.
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:24 am

Keep The Reason wrote:It's a no-brainer. Like most of these types of things, if the "norm" of society is one model, kids grow up thinking that is normal and there's no negative impact. I say "these types of things" because there will be some here who will take my argument and apply it to all sorts of irreevant abusive models, like, "Oh yeah, we'll what if MURDER was "the norm" then, hunh? HUNH. ha! That'll show you!"

But different types of child rearing and adult relationships that are consenting and do not inherently inflict abuse are fine. Some cultures have children raised by "it takes a village" and everyone is fine.

About the only reason that men don't like polygamy is because one guy gets too many women, and that leaves less for the rest of the guys. Like, even today Hugh Hefner gets sexually desirable women even though he's eighty something. Deep down we hate that guy. We wish we were him, but we hate him nonetheless, lol.

The difficulty with this is that it starts from an egalitarian ideology and fits everything else in around it. We don't know if things are fine before we try them. The norms of a society have to fit in with what human beings are basically like, that leaves a lot of scope but the potential for diversity is not infinite. Group sex is an interesting one. Apparently more men have this as a fantasy than women but faced with the reality more women adapt to it than men - for the obvious reasons. An extended family has been the norm for most of history and our culture is odd in that respect but even where you have a village I think you will find, as Bowlby pointed out long ago, that children bond first with one significant other so any model which undercuts this will have problems. Some forms of plural marriage would do this others would not. That's why I could not give a straight yes or no given the vague wording.
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby Keep The Reason » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:50 am

children bond first with one significant other so any model which undercuts this will have problems. Some forms of plural marriage would do this others would not.


Nothing in plural marriages stops this in any event. And nothing insists it must be the biological mother or father. Children born to mothers and fathers who die still bond with those who raise them.

Again, there will be no valid reasons to discriminate based on this, other than traditional thinking, and entrenched views of morality-- both for the most part finding their deepest held roots in religious ideology. But in reality, child rearing is as workable in any of these directions. What matters is love, commitment, nurturing, and hard work. As long as those are in place, children will flourish.
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Re: What do you think of plural marriage?

Postby Loki » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:31 pm

gary_s wrote:Now you've got me curious. What makes the issue of polygamy difficult for you, Loki?


I have absolutely no problem with the legalization of a modern polyamorous group marriage. My problem lies in the manifestation of a more traditional polygamous marriage - one man with many wives.

This type of marriage - to me - is detrimental to the empowerment of women in a society. I think it's inherently sexist and I have trouble seeing how it's not. While I have no problem with consenting adults marrying whoever they want, in this sort of situation there is hardly ever a level of 'consent' that I find to be sufficient.

There are cultures - I'm thinking strict Mormon areas - that do/will raise their female children to think that their ultimate goal in life is to be a great wife to a polygamous man. These women are indoctrinated with these ideals from birth, and by the time they are old enough to make their own decisions their minds are already made up. They then enter into a relationship that I feel is not healthy or sexually progressive. I liken this strongly to the Islamic tradition of forcing their girls to wear burkas - something else I see as having no positive impact on society.

Obviously indoctrination is not a problem specific to polygamy, but I am still conflicted in my support when I expect legalization will manifest into sexist institutions.
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