September 01, 2002
Practical polygamy

Here's a story about a man who lives in Waller (a mostly rural county to the west of Houston) with his two wives and seven kids. Interestingly, their status is well-known and fairly well tolerated by neighbors, not necessarily what I'd have expected in a conservative area like that.

What makes it work for them is twofold: First, all the adults have jobs. Most high-profile polygamy trials seem to involve welfare fraud, not an issue here. Second, the "practical" part of the polygamy is in the fact that there's only one legal marriage involved here. The second wife is such in name only.

The Houston Press did a longer and more in-depth article on polyamory awhile back which didn't involve the family featured in the Chron story. I'm always intrigued by stories like these because no matter what I read about the people in them, I can't quite wrap my mind around it. I don't really have a problem with it, and if some day a polyamorists' rights movement rises up I'll support it, but I just have no idea how they make it work. Perhaps I'm blindered by my lifetime of being in traditional family settings. When you've only ever lived one way, it's hard not to see that way as being "normal", and it's a short step from "normal" to "correct".

I'd love to see some long-term studies of kids from families like these to get a better handle on how they turn out. I suspect they do no worse than kids from traditional families, but that's just a guess on my part. Anyone know of any data that already exists?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 01, 2002 to Society and cultcha

im doing research on polygamy, colorado city, and its culture. I'm doing a film project on kid that ran away at the age of 15. Do you know of anyother articles I could look up that involoves sex abuse, metal abuse, emotional abuse, welfare fraud,taboos within the culture etc...???


Posted by: kori on February 27, 2006 3:41 PM