Modern Polygamy

Source: David Friedman’s Substack
by David Friedman

“The most common human mating pattern is monogamy, the next most common polygyny (one husband, two or more wives), then polyandry (one wife, two or more husbands). Tibet had both polyandry and polygyny. I know of no society where group marriages (two or more of each) were common but examples have existed, such as the Oneida commune in 19th century New York and smaller groups in the 1960’s and thereafter. Under current U.S. law monogamy is the only form of marriage legally recognized but there are no longer legal bars to de facto polygamy; all three forms, although uncommon, exist. It is interesting to speculate on what forms polygamy might take in the future in modern developed societies and why.” (05/15/24)