‘I now pronounce you man and wives’: Canada and polygamy

Mohamed Osman, 2010

A court in British Columbia is currently deciding whether Canada’s anti-polygamy laws are unconstitutional. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11776534) Those in favour of the legalisation of polygamy suggest that by not allowing it, Canada is failing in its duty to guarantee the freedom of religion for its citizens (there is a large Mormon community in Canada). If polygamy is legalised, then Canada will become the first developed country to allow it.

82% of Canadians oppose legalising polygamy, but this is not due to sheer disgust for alternative lifestyles. The opponents argue that polygamy harms women and that the men who are ‘leftover’ will be unable to secure a wife for themselves. Interestingly, the debate has not focussed on the more fundamental issue of how far the state should be able to intervene in determining how adults arrange their lives. Furthermore, the lawyers are Continue reading “‘I now pronounce you man and wives’: Canada and polygamy”

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Let’s Talk About…Monogamy?

Screenshot of Greta Garbo and John Barrymore from the trailer for the film Grand Hotel. MGM: 1932

In the spirit of St. Valentine’s Day, we turn to the subject of romance. But the outlook for monogamy seems to be bleak. In a study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University, soon to be published in the Journal of Sex Research, 40% of a sample of 434 young heterosexual couples, married and unmarried, gave conflicting answers when partners were asked individually whether they had agreed to be monogamous. Furthermore, of those who were in agreement about monogamy at least in principle, 30% reported that at least one partner had not kept to it. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About…Monogamy?”