1. GrandJury
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    GrandJury Member

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    Polygamy in the future, possible?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by GrandJury, Mar 20, 2016.

    Hello, I wanted to know if you think polygamy will be legal in the future. By legal I mean given marriage rights and such. I have considered adding this into my story's future society, but I am not sure.

    And do you believe that other forms of marriage/relationships/sexuality will be allowed in the future, and if so, which ones?

    Thanks for any responses,
    Grandjury
     
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  2. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It's possible. 'The future' is potentially such a long period that all sorts of different cultures, rules and values will occur over its course.

    There's cultures even in present day where men have multiple wives. - though I'm not sure that those wives are also allowed multiple husbands.

    If there's not a commitment by either partner, then the question is-- what does marriage actually mean? Just something to consider.

    Often when world building in science fiction, an author will chose a thing that could potentially happen in the future. There's no right or wrong answers at this point.

    Then they'll think what other conditions would need to have been in place for that thing to have happened. Then they'll think what effects that thing could cause. It's often about building a cohesive picture, rather than trying to make an accurate forecast about what will actually happen in the future.
     
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  3. AdDIct
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    AdDIct Active Member

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    First off: YES it's perfectly acceptable to have your story allow polygamy. It's the future AND fiction any rules you come up with as long as they don't contradict the logic in your world is perfectly fine.

    2) As for it being legal, does it matter? Lol. I mean people can be polygamous and not have a slip of paper saying they're all three+ together. To be honest I've debated with a polygamous relationship in my current WIP. We'll just see how it goes.
     
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  4. Guttersnipe
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    Guttersnipe Member

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    Of course, it depends on what form of polygamy you are talking about. If you mean polygyny or polyandry, then you have some specific major societal effects. For polygyny, for example, you'd either need a high female/male ratio (and how do you get that?) or you'd need a stratified society where a small number of men have multiple wives, and most have none. (And how does the society deal with that?). Same for polyandry, of course. Very likely the society would be heavily matriarchal or patriarchal to justify the asymmetric status.

    If you're talking about group marriages, things are a little more flexible. And, in fact, our current society could support group marriages, with some adjustments in economics (pension laws, life insurance, etc). It would even provide improved stability for individuals, since you'd have more of a safety net. One person loses their job in an eight-person household, it's not as devastating. Of course, you have to deal with parasitical behavior, too.

    And for conflict, just picture the religious right having a total cow.

    This sounds like a great writing prompt for a soft-SF story.
     
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  5. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    Not only possible, but inevitable, I think, in a utopia. But probably not the patriarchal form that it's had in the past. Instead, it will embrace polyandry as well as polygyny, it will be gender neutral, and will be only one of a number of polyamorous relationship statuses. It will be a contract between consenting adults, and can be modified or suspended just like any other legal contract. I'm basing all this on an extrapolation of the evolution of the concept of marriage over the last couple of centuries.
    But if it's a dystopia you're writing, who knows?
     
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  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Just chiming in with the fact that polygamy, most especially of the group marriage variety, is a staple dynamic of the Science Fiction realm. It's a common feature in many stories. Group marriage over either polygyny or polyandry probably because it simply circumvents all the demographic issues that would then have to be dealt with, as already mentioned by @Guttersnipe. It's easier to write, and feels less prone to skirting issues of exploitation.
     
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  7. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Probably stick it in a hole in the soil, and probably be grateful for the experience, thinking some dystopia, really.
     
  8. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    So wait, in this "utopia" can you still do monogamy? 'Cause I'm kind of fond of the idea of just having one guy I love and committing to him, rather than bringing in others like I need someone else. And I worry about jealousy in polygamous relationships, romantic feelings are very powerful and often unpredictable.I don't want to fuck with them.
     
  9. AdDIct
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    AdDIct Active Member

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    Eh, I think it depends on the type of person you are. Ie, I'm Aro, soooo like the thought of the person I'm commited to looking for another relationship or being in one where they can get the more romantic side that they may want doesn't particularly bother me if it's something we've talked about. I understand there might be issues for other people but to me it isn't. So yeah. I just think it depends on the person.
     
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  10. GrandJury
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    GrandJury Member

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    Thanks for all the thoughts guys (btw this is part of the whole android story)

    Also do you guys think that any other forms of marriage will be allowed? Outside of heterosexual, homosexual and group marriages?
     
  11. AdDIct
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    AdDIct Active Member

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    If you're talking like Android/Human. i don't see why not. But that of course depends wholly on the society you create. The skies the limit. Aka the only thing holding you back is your imagination
     
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  12. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    Sure! Why not? The OP asked if polygamy would be possible, not compulsory.
     
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  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Certainly possible. And seems to be a thing in society in The Expanse, which is a relatively recent SF series that is now also a TV show.
     
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  14. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yep, the MC, James Holden, is the child of a group marriage wherein all the parents are gene donors to the resultant child (can't think of a better way to put that....)
     
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  15. jannert
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    A lot will depend on children How they are conceived (via sex, test tubes, cloning or genetic design.)

    If children aren't conceived by conventional 'couples' any more, I imagine marriage will become more flexible and more political/social rather than biologically-oriented. If children are biologically engineered or cloned, have no specific parents, and are raised by the state, it won't matter what the balance of genders is because it can always be altered.

    Any time you have a major imbalance of genders when children are conceived naturally, you've got problems. If children's genders come at the rate of 50/50—as they more or less do if left to the biological imperative—then if each man takes 7 wives, there will be a lot of men out there with no wives at all—unless, of course, men die at an abnormal rate (such as a warrior society.)

    I can't think of any society in the past where women routinely had multiple husbands, but there may have been. However, while a man can get many women pregnant in the same period of time, a woman can only get pregnant once every year or so ...so a society where women have several husbands would create a very odd dynamic.

    I think you definitely need to consider how to handle the issue of children before you decide how to create marriage situations in your brave new world.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
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  16. matwoolf
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    Thankfully some of us have special sperm - for the special occasions. A man thing, from the sub-conscious, you would never understand, and is inexplicable.

    Ideally, in the future I would 'own' several wives. This was my ambition truly when I began this lifestyle project of mine, probably '84 my first rumble - today referred to as a CFNM scenario, and I have researched extensively [on-line].

    I believe in my twilight zone, decades hence, the possibility of teddy bears, fluffy monkeys micro-chipped for intimate friendship applications are all possibilities. For now we can only dream of a healthy sexual non-human interaction, hoover kind of thing potentially.
     
  17. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    "Polygamy" is a really big idea as there are so many varieties that would need to be thought of a bit more.

    Who are a kid's parents? Are they the biological parents? Are they anybody in a polygamous relationship with the mother? Who is expected to pay financially for the child? Is a person legally obligated to identify all of their spouses whenever they add a new spouse? What happens when a mother insists on having a child with the genes of a particular husband? What happens in the case of inheritance of property? Who is "my brother," "my sister," "my cousin"? How do you schedule holidays (is this the year you visit your mom? your dad? you father-in-law? your mother-in-law?)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2016
  18. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    I think it will be very possible in the future. Once people learn about it more, they'll accept it. I think it's a great trope to have in your story. Very realistic and very possible.
     

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