If Polygamy benefits men and harms women, as is commonly assumed, why do predominantly male legislatures prohibit it? (this is a blog article….see link below)
Many people believe that consenting adults should be free to do as they please, provided they do not cause unacceptable harm to others. The difficult question, of course, is what constitutes unacceptable harm.The traditional argument against plural marriage is that it harms women, particularly young girls who may be coerced into such marriages. It is easy to see how some of these women may be harmed. In a monogamous world, for example, Barb’s first choice might have been to marry Bill, who would also have chosen to marry her.But with plural marriage permissible, Bill might prefer to marry not just Barb but also Nicki and Margene. Barb would then have to choose between two lesser outcomes: a continued search for a monogamous partner or a plural marriage not to her liking. The mere fact that allowing plural marriage may eliminate attractive options for some women does not imply that it imposes unacceptable harm on women generally. Suppose, for example, that if polygamy were legal, 10 percent of adult men would take an average of three wives apiece and all remaining marriages would be monogamous. Among aspiring monogamists, there would then be nine men for every seven women. With an excess of men in the informal market for monogamous partners, the terms of exchange would shift in favor of women. Wives would change fewer diapers, and their parents might even escape paying for weddings. In short, the logic of supply and demand turns the conventional wisdom about plural marriage on its head. If the arrangement harms anyone, the more likely victims are men, not women.
This conclusion is reinforced if we take account of the costly, and mutually offsetting, jockeying for position associated with men’s attempts to win the attention of scarce women.With women in chronically short supply, men would face even more intense…
Keywords: [tag]women[/tag], [tag]men[/tag], [tag]harms[/tag], [tag]plural[/tag]
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