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On the acceptance of polygamy in the West: Same sex marriage

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In light of the acceptance of same sex marriage

This paper should involve not just Sociology but some Religion and Law as well and should follow my following format:


1) Introduction

Exploring the question on legalising Polygamy in the West and why it is a good question to ask after Western Liberal values allowed same sex marriage in some Western Nations such as U.S and U.K

2) What is polygamy?

Define Polygamy, it’s different types, that which is practiced my Mormons and Muslims (Polygyny) and others such as forms of Plural marriage such as Polyandry etc

3) What is the West?

Define the ‘West’. The Western world geographically, culturally, include ‘Westernised’ nations such as the former British colonies (who are still connected to once colonial masters), Ethnic Western Diaspora such as Australia, South African and Americas, and the old world of ‘Christendom’

4) What is accepting?

Discuss ‘accepting’ polygamy ‘legally’, socially (avoid stigma)

5) Who wants its acceptance in the West?

Mormons, Muslims, Liberals etc

6) How can Polygamy be accepted in the West?

Through the Law, either through decriminalising it where it is such as recent case with Mormons in U.S (2016) and/or by legally recognising it.

7) What is the need for Polygamy’s acceptance in the West?

Need is in line with Western Liberal values and to protect those practising polygamy (from underground abuse, to give inheritance rights etc.)

8) Parallels with focus on same sex marriage

Discuss how Same sex marriage was perceived in the same negative manner as Polygamy in the West. Map out the path it took to being accepted (being decriminalised, being allowed in media such as television shows, receiving public acceptance and eventually being legalised etc) and see how Polygamy has taken a similar path, differences and if it can succeed in the same way.

9) Presence of polygamy in the West- historical and present day

Brief discussion on Polygamy being present in the past and present. Include discussions of mistress culture, de facto polygamy by allowing men to have multiples girlfriends legally etc. Discuss immigration by Africans and Muslims migrating (and Westerners converting to Islam) to the West and practicing Polygamy the till modern times. Also mention the indigenous Western movements such as Mormons and other minority Christian groups and polyamorous movements in Scandinavia for example.

10) What opposes the acceptance of Polygamy in the West

Polygamy opposed by Western history culture and history, Western Christianity and prejudice as polygamy seen as foreign and many misconceptions about it such as claims of abuse and it being immoral etc.

More recently Islamophobia has grown to be against many things practised by Muslims. Human Rights argument, racism of foreign cultures.

11) Consequences of legalising polygamy

Discuss good consequences such as legal protections of individuals involved in Polygamous marriages. Also discuss negatives such as causing conflict between different communities and if the ‘slippery slope’ argument could mean after ‘same sex’ marriage comes polygamy and then calls for legalisation of incest or other illegal relationships in the West.

12) Conclusion

Review above and discuss weaknesses of pros and cons including Human Rights argument, false perceptions (e.g most abuse cases or harms found in polygamous marriages are also found in monogamous ones) etc

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