Atlantis Alumni

Monday, April 28, 2008

Is Monogamy The Opposite Of Polygamy?

Here are two definitions to consider:

Monogamy: The practice or condition of having a single sexual partner during a period of time.

Polygamy: The condition or practice of having more than one spouse at one time, e.g. "plural marriage."

Isn't that strange? You would think that if polygamy is having more than one spouse at a time, then monogamy should mean having one spouse at a time, wouldn't you? However, for some reason, which I suspect has to do with certain social and cultural agendas, polygamy is defined with respect to the number of spouses one has, while monogamy refers to the number of different sexual contacts one has.

I'm confused. Why aren't these two related concepts defined in more similar terms? Do you know? Shouldn't monogamy really be defined as having one spouse at a time? After all, you can be either polygamous or monogamous and yet in addition, be promiscuous, i.e., have sexual contacts outside of your spouse or spouses. It seems to me that we need to clean up the definition of monogamy and de-politicize it. Monogamy should be defined as having one spouse at a time, just as polygmy is defined as having more than one spouse at a time. The correct term for having multiple sexual partners is promiscuity (undiscriminating sexual behavior: behavior characterized by casual and indiscriminate sexual intercourse,) which really has noting to do with monogamy or polygamy.

PHOTO: The "Schuylkill Navy" refers to the rowing associations that maintain boathouses along the Schuylkill River In Philadelphia


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