Saturday, June 11, 2011

Polygamy today

What distinguishes Islam from other major religions is that it tolerates polygamy.

By allowing some men to monopolize all women and altogether excluding many men from reproductive opportunities, polygamy creates shortages of available women.

If 50 percent of men have two wives each, then the other 50 percent don't get any wives at all.

So polygamy increases competitive pressure on men

Especially young men of low status.

It therefore increases the likelihood that young men resort to violent means to gain access to mates.

By doing so, they have little to lose and much to gain compared with men who already have wives.

Across all societies, polygamy makes men violent

Increasing crimes such as murder and rape

Even after controlling for such obvious factors as economic development

Economic inequality

Population density

The level of democracy, and political factors in the region...

The other key ingredient is the promise of 72 virgins waiting in heaven for any martyr in Islam.

The prospect of exclusive access to virgins may not be so appealing to anyone who has even one mate on earth

Which strict monogamy virtually guarantees.

However, the prospect is quite appealing to anyone who faces the bleak reality on earth of being a complete reproductive loser

C. Eisenstein.

Islam is not often looked at through this perspective, however when you talk with young men in
Morocco, Algeria and other Arab countries the lack of work is a terrible thing for them
Without work you have no dowry
Without this no family will give you their daughter in marriage
Just another hidden pressure on young men in these countries
And when that society is ruled by a despot and you have few options you can see the tragic lengths young men will go to in order to get out and try to find work, any work, anywhere.
In countries with young populations such as many of those in the Middle East today this is one of the major contributory causes of social unrest and upheaval
Totally but totally understandable
Ruler and despot greed lit the fuse
Hiding behind Islam as their excuse for polygamy and other excesses  
Now let's see what unfolds


richardegamezjr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
richardegamezjr said...

It is amazing how easily people point out the supposedly negative outcome of polygamy, men having to compete for women while completely oblivious to the exact same plight of women everyday, through forced strict monogamy. Today, as has been common throughout the ages, women are forced to compete for ever shrinking group of eligible, family oriented men. The question that really needs to be asked is what kind of society do we create when men don't have to compete at all for women? When more and more men choose to remain single and enjoy the resulting surplus of women? Compounding the issue of strict monogamy, (an unfair limit only on poly - marriage, not poly sex outside of marriage) is the moral choices that favor men, increasing short or failed relationships, producing dead beat fathers and single moms. Add to that the natural discrepancies in birth/death rates, between males and females, higher criminal behavior/incarcerations and you end up with a surplus of women, again favoring men and forcing women to compete on men's terms. Polygamy gives women more choices and options and rightly so, turns the table forcing men to compete.

I must also clarify that I do not equate marriage, either to one wife or more, with subjugation of women. In fact, coming from a Western Christian upbringing (non Morman or sect) I believe Marriage is primarily for the benefit of women and family, not for the beckon call of a man's sexual appetite. I simply believe polygamy, rightly applied, gives women more options. Rather then waiting endlessly for Mr Right, often for Mr Right to get divorced, in the "revolving door of marriage", remain single, compromise their moral values over and over again in the club scene, remain a perpetual "girl friend" or they can choose to be a wife of a proven and available man, among CONSENTING AND UNCOERCED ADULTS.