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Polygamy is Outdated, but Sex outside Marriage is Not

Updated on December 25, 2017

Man's Second Nature

Throughout the history of man, there are millions of cases of men having more than one wife. By inference man also shares his emotion of love with more than one woman. Man’s history also records that women in most cases accept their fate and continue loving the man though he may shower his affection on another woman. In contrast, there are very few recorded cases of women loving and marrying more than one man.

The Solitary example

In history, the solitary example is the Princess Draupadi in the Mahabharata who married the 5 Pandava brothers name Yudhistra, Arjuna, Bhima, Nakula, and Shehdeva. These 5 had one father but 2 mothers with the first 3 Yudhistra, Arjuna and Bhima being from one queen and the other 2 from the younger queen. This marriage to the 5 brothers was also not the norm, but a requirement of the mother of the Pandva's who had asked her sons to promise they would share everything together. Probably when the Queen Kunte made her sons promise this she did not visualize marriage, but the sons interpreted this as applicable to marriage as well and when Arjuna won Draupadi in a swayamwara (marriage contest) as per their oath to the mother Arjuna informed Draupadi that he could not marry her alone as they had promised their mother that she would have to marry all of them. The Mahabharata does not record what Draupadi felt, but she did conceive from each of the 5 brothers. This is an exception and not the norm.

The society at large has accepted this facet of a man desiring more than one woman. Islam has codified this in the marriage laws which permit 4 wives and any number of temporary wives or Mutta marriages. It has also simplified divorce, but only for the man so that he can take another woman as wife to remain in the ambit of 4 wives. Women have no say in this matter.

In Hinduism, there is no mention of monogamy. The Laws of Manu are a complex set of rules but they permit a Hindu man to take a second wife. It was only in 1955 when the Hindu Marriage Act was passed by the Indian parliament under the aegis of Jawaharlal Nehru that marriage was restricted to one wife. This act also gave some rights to women and they could also file for divorce.

Christian View

The Christian religion, in particular, the Catholic faith is the most rigid in this aspect. Divorce is not allowed and the norm of one man and one wife is accepted for many centuries. But this is the ecclesial position as in practice divorce in the west is much easier than in the east and correspondingly men can take other wives. Even in Catholic dominated countries, the incidence of infidelity is very high, much more than in the east and it is not uncommon to love another woman though she may not be your wife.

These are the facts, but there is a physiological aspect to this. Man is a male and an advanced mammal with a highly functional brain. He also does not age and can continue loving a woman till well past his prime. Hence the adage that “Horses and men don’t age” holds true biologically as well. A man by his mental makeup can never be satisfied with one woman all his life. There are cases of lifelong monogamy, but then many hide their true feelings and live alive of ‘morality’. Somehow the deep impact of religion has looked upon sex as something aberrant and correspondingly man is conditioned by this. It was only the Hindu religion that recognized the power of sex and incorporated the Tantra sex which is claimed as a path to salvation.

Everyday Life

In everyday life, man has diverse interests, much more than a woman and as such it is in his mental makeup to love women. Most men are capable of loving more than 2 women and also emotionally bonding with them. This is a mental makeup of the women and by nature, as social scientists have noted man is polygamous. Women, on the other hand, are mentally attuned to one man and some can feel g hurt at the intrusion of another woman in their life. However, thousands accept this, as it is a part of their psyche. Man all over the world is the same and it will not be an understatement to state that this is God's way of regulating life and should not be treated as an aberration.


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    • MG Singh profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks Regina for reading and commenting

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Heck of a job there, it abuslotely helps me out.

    • MG Singh profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you Au Fait for commenting. I appreciate your opinion

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      Man and male are the same thing in English. Afraid I must be honest and say that I find this article extremely sexist and incorrect.

      All women are not the same, but there are some women who like variety also and who also become bored with just one man for a lifetime.

      To suggest that men are in any way intellectually superior to women is beyond ludicrous. To suggest that the inability to be faithful is somehow a sign of superiority is even more ridiculous. Men are inferior to women if anything. Being incapable of fidelity is a negative, and I guarantee not a single man would ever make it through labor and childbirth.

      If you think men are intellectually superior, or in any other way superior, look around at the screwed up mess this world is that men have been running from the beginning of time, and then tell me how superior men are. After so many centuries you would think men could have gotten something right, but our world remains a mess everywhere you look.

      While you may have found only one historical incidence for polyandry, it is in fact legal in many countries and probably practiced more than you think. Just not mentioned on the front of the NY Times very often.

      Polyamory is unfortunately becoming more and more prevalent in the U.S. That is because neither men or women wish to be tied to anyone at all for a lifetime. In fact women decided more than men for the last few years, that they were tired of all the disadvantages of traditional marriage. Next men decided they would be honest at last and admit they were never going to be faithful anyway, so why get married?

      If you consider that polygamy and polyandry = polyamory, and that open marriage in the U.S. and some Western European countries is gaining popularity, your title is incorrect.

    • MG Singh profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you for your comment Gypsy Rose Lee

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and interesting. Fascinating hub it all sounds so complicated. Reminded me of the King and I. That king had a lot of children and wives too.

    • MG Singh profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you Elseductor

    • MG Singh profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Dear brother Sanghaji,

      Thank you for your comment. I have read the Mahabharata in detail and it is explicit that Draupadi had sons ( Sukasoma from Bhima) and ( Prativindya from Yudhistra) etc. Obviously you can't have children without cohabitation. She had 5 sons all of whom died during the course of the Mahabharata war.

    • RK Sangha profile image

      RK Sangha 

      5 years ago from USA

      We are homosapiens, and are differentiated from animals because of our capacity to reason. So we must strive to be reasonable. To be reasonable means exercising restraint and becoming responsible to others. Alas ! despite centuries of experience, both men and women commit gruesome mistakes responding to stimuli of senses. Thanks for this hub. I suggest you should change your comments on Draupadi. Did you read anywhere in Mahabharata which said that Draupadi did share herself with five ?

    • MG Singh profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you Ericderker. Nice of you to have voiced your opinion.

    • MG Singh profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks Maxoxam. I am glad to have generated an opinion from you.. The fact is this conversation took place among men and I put it to paper. Yes I agree the religious laws and all other laws are written by men for men.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Perhaps I was once a fully natural dog. Perhaps I was before an ape. But now I am an advanced human. If I go back to being a dog and an ape, that is very unnatural. If I act without morals and only on what it is that I want, am I not closer to the dog. I care about women and proceed to treat them with dignity --- yet you say I am aberrant? Singh check your clock and then your calender and then your sanity. This is 2013. I do not live in a jungle. I do not appreciate you treating my wife as you say you would.

    • maxoxam41 profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      Is it based upon facts or is it your experience. Which scientific evidence attests of the veracity of your words? Not a long ago I saw in a documentary a woman that was polygamous. I bet you whatever that she was not an exception. When a woman hesitates between her lover and her husband doesn't it mean that she loves them both? You also forgot to mention that religious laws were written by men therefore for men! If women accept their faith, maybe choice is not an option in their society.


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