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Research Suggests Polygamous Men Live Longer 483

Posted by timothy
from the depends-which-part-of-utah dept.
Calopteryx writes "Want to live a little longer? Get a second wife. A study reported in New Scientist suggests that men from polygamous cultures outlive those from monogamous ones. After accounting for socioeconomic differences, men aged over 60 from 140 countries that practice polygamy to varying degrees lived on average 12% longer than men from 49 mostly monogamous nations."
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Research Suggests Polygamous Men Live Longer

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  • by loftwyr (36717) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:26PM (#24678177)

    I would have thought having multiple sets of in-laws would shorten your life expectancy through frustration alone...

    • Nah (Score:5, Insightful)

      by XanC (644172) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:29PM (#24678263)

      Men who are comfortable having multiple wives have no problems telling the in-laws to stuff it.

      • Re:Nah (Score:5, Funny)

        by A nonymous Coward (7548) * on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @05:01PM (#24681175)

        Who says you have to have multiple sets of in-laws? Just marry sisters and/or brothers, or heck, marry the in-laws too!

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by orasio (188021)

          Well, if you are feeling disgusting enough, you could marry your own sister, and end up with no in-laws at all, for extra points.
          (And yes, I _can_ think of more disgusting alternatives)

    • by jgarra23 (1109651) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:30PM (#24678277)

      Not only that, how does going from ONE nagging wife to TWO nagging wives make for longevity??

      • They nag each other instead of nagging you?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by midnitewolf (673923)

          Chop, Chop, Dig, Dig, Chop, Chop, Dig, Dig...

          I hear digging, but I don't hear chopping!

      • by Rival (14861) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:39PM (#24678457) Homepage Journal

        Not only that, how does going from ONE nagging wife to TWO nagging wives make for longevity??

        Maybe it just *seems* like his life is longer?

        "Sit on a hot stove for a minute and it feels like an hour; sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it feels like a minute. Live with two wives and it makes sitting on a hot stove look pretty good." (with apologies to Albert Einstein)

        • Consider the following: every culture that practices polygamy (actually polygyny, multiple wives, as opposed to polyandry, which would be multiple husbands) has to do something about the extra males. Each and every society like this, without exception, has been AMAZINGLY misogynistic - and that's continued today in the modern Muslim and Fundamentalist LDS "polygamist" cultures.

          When you have a surplus of males, your option is pretty much either (a) kick them out into the world (what the FLDS do) or (b) get t

          • by Estanislao Martínez (203477) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @04:24PM (#24680409) Homepage

            Read the summary of the study's conclusion again. What the study claims to demonstrate isn't that polygamists live longer than other men in their own society; what it demonstrates is that in societies where a minority of the men have multiple wives, the mean longevity of all men is longer.

            Note the following two things that follow from this:

            1. It hasn't been demonstrated that the extra mean longevity in the population as a whole is due to the extra longevity of the polygamists. Nobody's gonna be surprised if more research shows that is the case, but let's not get ahead of ourselves
            2. Far more importantly, if it is indeed the case that the small number of polygamists truly does push up the average life expectancy of the whole community, this means that the men who don't have multiple wives aren't pulling it down.

            The second point I just made is at odds with what you're telling us here:

            On the flipside, look at the polygamist societies - in Middle Eastern/African muslim societies, those who aren't going to reach 60 (read: the poor) usually kill themselves off FAR faster in various tribal conflicts and wars.

            For this to be consistent with the results of the study, the negative effect of such early deaths on average longevity must be smaller than the positive effect that the polygamists have on the same statistic. Which suggests you're totally overblowing this by reasoning on the basis of stereotypes.

            • by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @05:04PM (#24681221)

              For this to be consistent with the results of the study, the negative effect of such early deaths on average longevity must be smaller than the positive effect that the polygamists have on the same statistic.

              Quite the reverse: they "controlled" the study by only studying men who had exceeded 60 years of age.

              That biases your study sample. Kill the poor off young, and you won't see many poor men living only to 62-63 years.

          • Another possible confounding factor: Polygamy is often associated with religions (Mormon offshoots, Islam, ...) whose practitioners also have less exposure to a number of biochemical health risks due to religious prohibitions or discouragements: Alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, other psychotropic drugs, pork-borne diseases, ...

            Other aspects of their cultural or religious practices (such as their legal system, requirements to self-suppor and, support the family rather than depending on government charity, indiv

          • by Chicken_Kickers (1062164) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @06:04PM (#24682213)
            WTF dude? Your sweeping statements of Middle Eastern MOOSLIMS smacks of something Colbert would say. Really, do you think places that practice polygamy are Mad Maxesque Thunderdome x10 where all young Muslim males go in and only one comes out at 60? I never understood the "Western" world's view on polygamy. You're okay with teenagers sleeping around, you're okay with married people sleeping around (as glamorised by your insipid soap operas) but apparently not polygamy? In Islamic countries, polygamy is allowed but usually on several conditions and is highly regulated.
            1. You must have enough money (courts usually demand proof). In some countries, applications can be denied because of lack of money.
            2. You must be as fair as humanly possible to the wives, even so far as the amount of time spent with them (the wives can complain to the courts)
            3. In some countries, you have to get the first wive's consent
            4. Legally, all of the wives have equal rights to your money and assets. If you buy a car for one, you have to buy a car for all of them.
            5. All of the children sired are the husband's responsibility. You are required by law to protect, feed, house, educate them until they are adults. There are no difference in status of children from different wives

            It is for these reasons, especially for reason number 2, which 'fundementalist' Muslims believe is the quickest route to hell should you screw up that polygamy is actually not that widely practised in proportion to just having one spouse. Now, compare this to the de facto polygamy that is practised in the Western world and see who is mysogynistic.

      • by eln (21727)

        It's not that they live so much longer, it's that the time passes so much slower for them.

      • by jriding (1076733) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:53PM (#24678647)

        knowing that if she naggs to much or decides to cut off the sex, you will walk down the hall to the other wife tends, to make this a non issue.
        Women compete naturally against each other.. here is an example.

        She is being such a b*tch today.. you should come stay with me, I would never be like that. Flip sides repeat.

        Hell look at Hugh Hefner.

      • by bihoy (100694) * on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @03:01PM (#24678831)

        I suspect that people who are happy with their lives in general will live longer.

        There are studies that show that married people live longer than those who are not.

        There are studies that claim that happily married people live longer than those who are not happy in their marriage.

        What makes men happy?

        Being a guy I know I am happier when I get more opportunity for some "good" lovin' from my woman.

        Do you see where I'm going with this? It's all about what makes you happy (imho).

        Now then, the next question is: What makes women happy?

        Figure that out and your onto something.

        • by blueZ3 (744446) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @03:32PM (#24679405) Homepage

          Now then, the next question is: What makes women happy?

          Figure that out and your onto something.

          More like "figure that out, and she'll change her mind"

          Just kidding, honey! Honest.

        • Well,I actually watched a show on a family from the Mormon sect that still practices multiple wives,and the women were even happier about it than the men. You see it was like this,the wife that didn't want to be tied to the housework was able to get an education and become a paralegal,while the other three who were quite happy to be stay at home moms raised the young ones and took care of the house. All four said it was so wonderful how if one of them was sick,or just feeling wore down and needed a break,the others would give her a weekend "mini-vacation" and would take up the slack.

          They did everything from breast feeding to carpooling together and by dividing the workload they were able to raise their 6 kids with nobody getting over stressed. They even had a "loving schedule" which allowed them to swap days between each other depending on who was feeling amorous or not in the mood. They were quite the model of efficiency,but of course with 4 wives and soon to be 7 kids you'd pretty much have to be. So despite the idea that it is a "mans paradise" women can be quite happy with the arrangement if they all get along.

          What stuck the show in my mind was that the 3 wives were the ones who actually brought in the fourth. The husband wasn't actually keen on the idea at first. Two of them had a high school girlfriend who lost her husband(cancer I believe) and they invited her to stay with them and helped her to grieve. After awhile the 3 got together and said basically "Why don't we keep her?" and hooked her up with their husband. At the time of the show she was 7 months pregnant with their seventh child,which was her first. Seemed like a nice way to live to me. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

          • by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @04:13PM (#24680177)

            This is what we would call either a "major exception" or one hell of a deception.

            FLDS polygamy is "iron-fist male" rule, by every honest account that's come out of it. Even the idea of a woman in such a society becoming a paralegal is ridiculous.

            Of course, I can 100% believe the brainwashed women "brought in" the 4th - because in the FLDS, it's that fourth wife gets the family into heaven. Only men with 4 or more wives get into heaven, and wives can only get in if their husband brings them along. I can also certainly believe the husband wasn't so keen on bringing in a widow - after all, if he'd waited a couple more years, he'd probably have been assigned a nice cute 14-year-old by the "church elders."

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by jedidiah (1196)

              No, this is just bigotry trying to discount any evidence
              that contradicts the bigotry.

              The idea that women would defend any social order is not
              particularly strange. How do you think these systems stay
              in place to begin with? Whether or not you would personally
              like it is another matter.

              There are plenty of femi-nazis that will gladly demonize the
              choices of mundane monogomist housewives. Why should a house-
              hold with multiple housewives be any different?

              The US tried to give women in Utah sufferage in the hope that

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Angus McNitt (542101)
              FLDS != All Mormom Sects

              Their are many different Mormon sects that all practice their own brand of Mormon-ism. FLDS is just the one currently in the news. Using one particular group as a stereotype for anything is just wrong.

              Sorry, just tired of hearing people using FLDS and LDS interchangeably.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by jabithew (1340853)

              [Co-wife] is a terrible word-my pen almost halts in writing it-woman's mortal enemy...How many hearts has it broken, how many minds has it confused and homes destroyed, how much evil brought and innocents sacrificed...a terrible word laden with savagery and selfishness...Bear in mind that as you amuse yourself with your new bride you cause another's despair to flow in tears...

              Malak Hifni Nassef, as quoted in A Very Short Introduction to Islam [amazon.co.uk], in the chapter on women, pp96.

              This is by way of agreement, I thought it was one of the most harrowing descriptions of polygamy I've read, though I haven't read many.

          • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @04:15PM (#24680217)

            The problem with polygomy isn't really a problem with women. If you are raised in that society there is nothing about a polygomous relationship that is inherently negative or abusive. The real problem is the men.

            Imagine if every family held to about the same ratio of 1 husband to 4 wives. You now have 3 men who will never be able to find a wife, never be able to start a family. Beleive it or not, evolution had kind of made men extremely averse to this situation. Men get desperate, they do stupid things, and not just hooking up with ugly women. They take inordinate risks to gain prestige, they debase themselve to gain acceptence of people higher on the social ladder, they gamble their life and their money in the hopes of 'earning' a wife.

            There's even been talk of this being the cause of many suicide bombings. People to low in the heirarchy know they will never have children and life looses some of it's meaning; to the point where the promise of wives in the afterlife is strong enough that it drives you to kill yourself.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by DarkOx (621550)

              "men do stupid things" in your context they seem stupid in their context with the exception of suicide bomber its rational behavior. Killing yourself makes no sense but if the competition for females is great then as a male you have to be a great competitor even if the situation is dangerous, or carries other negative consequences. He may not get another opportunity. Now in our relatively equal parts male female society the competition is not as great. So the rational action is to wait for another oppo

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by rrohbeck (944847)

              Agree.
              Rape has been shown to be a viable evolutionary strategy in other primates - after all the only chance a beta male gets to mate is to kill the alpha male or to sneak behind his back and I guess in that situation it's secondary if the female agrees or not. It is thought that women's "hidden estrus" evolved as a defense against rape.
              So, bottom line, if you have many desperate males around in a society it will have consequences. Everybody knows they do stupid things when they're full of testosterone.

              OTOH

          • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @04:16PM (#24680233) Journal

            It could be a nice way to live, or it could be really awful. It entirely depends on the circumstances.
            In fact, it's very much like prostitution (not very surprisingly.)
            If a woman *wants* to be in a polygamous relationship, well, why should we stop her? The government has no business legislating morality.
            If a woman doesn't want to, well, she shouldn't have to, and nobody's making her get married (we presume, maybe optimistically.) So that's fine, too.
            But here's the problem: what do you, as The State, do, when a group of people are raising their children and educating them that the way they live is the Right Way -- when that Right Way may seem harmful to people who aren't in that culture?
            Hence the arguments over deaf people who don't want their children who can hear, to learn speech, because it would cut them off from the deaf sign language community (I've heard people argue this.) Or cultures or groups who cut off womens' genitals, or The Family, who encouraged their (often very young) female members to go sleep with wealthy men to get them to join the church.

            There's a line to be drawn. Obviously, we all draw a line at voluntary vs. coercive behavior. But the much trickier problem is where we draw the line when it comes to educating children so they'll grow up making choices that seem, to them, to be voluntary, but seem to outsiders to be coerced.

            I think a main reason homeschooling is so attractive to many people is because this gives them the ability to do exactly this: raise their kids with a restricted information set so the kids will be much less likely to make choices the parents don't like. I also think that's precisely why the FLDS got raided: because The State decided they were raising their children in an environment designed to make the children accept what The State viewed as systematic abuse.

            • by Panaflex (13191) <convivialdingo AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @05:25PM (#24681671)

              I think a main reason homeschooling is so attractive to many people is because this gives them the ability to do exactly this: raise their kids with a restricted information set so the kids will be much less likely to make choices the parents don't like.

              Aren't ALL children raised this way? I mean - I haven't seen many books called "Johnny goes to Dahlmer's for dinner."

              The fact is that many - if not most parents try to put off exposure to violence, sexualization, and dirty language as long as possible. With the sludge-pool of modern communication (internet, TV, radio, press) and the spineless education system we have built - I have a great admiration for those who choose homeschooling.

              I worry about homeschoolers that never introduce these things to their kids, though. It's one thing to decide when and where to expose them to the world - it's an entirely different (and wrong) approach to hide them from the world. At some point they need to be able to deal with these issues - they're part of human nature and have been for millennia.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by hairyfeet (841228)

                Um,we're raising my nephews with home schooling because the public school here is run by bigots. Sure,we could have probably sued and got some cash but my sis just isn't the suing type and would rather raise her kids not to be bigots. And I'm sure some of you are saying "What kind of simple BS is he calling bigotry? Surely he is just too sensitive". Nope,afraid not. My oldest is Catholic and the youngest is gay,and a teacher called them a "heathen and a sodomite" in front of the entire class and when we wen

          • Remember, you're going to have four women who are all menstruating at the same time - I think that would have some negative effect ;-)

            McClintock effect [wikipedia.org]

            The McClintock effect, also known as menstrual synchrony or the dormitory effect, is a theory that proposes that the menstrual cycles of women who live together (such as in prisons, convents, bordellos, or dormitories) tend to become synchronized over time.

            It is thought to be analogous to the Whitten effect, which is the synchronization of the estrou
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by HangingChad (677530)

        how does going from ONE nagging wife to TWO nagging wives make for longevity??

        What I can't figure. Some of the ancient kings who had a hundred, two hundred wives all living in the same palace. With the dorm effect, could you imagine that? No wonder they fought so many wars back then. 200 wives all on the rag at the same time, I'd be ready to go to war. Who's with me?

      • by DrCode (95839)

        You don't really live longer. It just seems longer.

    • IT IS the opposite (Score:3, Informative)

      by pejyel (1275304)
      On a short-term basis, it might be true, but on the evolutionary scale, polygamy seems to have the opposite effect. at least this article suggests so: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/10/17/scisex117.xml [telegraph.co.uk]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm polyamorous and have a long-term girlfriend in addition to a wife of over a decade. It's been my experience that in the short term, there's a huge amount of stress and a substantial load of emotional processing involved (as my gf is fond of saying to people, "imagine what happens when both women have PMS at the same time"). But in the long term I expect there's probably more benefits than costs, both because of the added emotional support, and because adapting to multiple people forces one to be subst

    • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) * on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @06:59PM (#24682869) Journal
      It is well known that women tend to outlive men.

      Why do women live longer than men?
      They refuse to die until they have the last word.

      Why do men die sooner than women?
      For the peace and quiet.

      (ducks for cover ... )
  • by base3 (539820) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:26PM (#24678179)
    Q. "Why do married men die before their wives?" A. "Because they want to"
  • by bob_herrick (784633) <bob,herrick&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:26PM (#24678185)
    I wonder if serial polyagmy has any of the same benefits? I am sure I would not have lived this long if still with the ex.
  • by makellan (550215)
    In seriousness, I'm not surprised. From living this way for a while, I see a lot less stress on all parties most of the time. When there is stress, it's easier to deal with as you have a stronger close-knit support structure.
    • by zappepcs (820751)

      Not sure how many people you'll find to agree with you, but I too found it easier, and less stressful in many ways. The article goes through some convolutions about children but I think it has much more to do with general contentment.

    • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:35PM (#24678365) Homepage Journal
      I was talking to some friends about this recently... there is an expectation (at least in the USoA culture) that when you love someone, you marry them and you stay married and live happily ever after. The problem is, most people don't actually want that. They think they do because they have been told that is how it is. Everyone wants the happily ever after, but when it comes to marriage/monogamy, it isn't everyones way to get there.
  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:27PM (#24678205) Homepage Journal

    ...and I'll even share! I'm all for watching girl-on-girl action!

    That being said, as much as my wife and I both love naked chicks, I can't imagine being married to more than one woman, let alone surviving longer from it. One woman is enough to kill me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hoi Polloi (522990)

      The catch here is that polygamy implies marriage. Now if they just changed it to "hot group action" or "friends with benefits" then I'd be demanding that this longevity effect be covered under health insurance.

  • by jfengel (409917) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:32PM (#24678307) Homepage Journal

    The most obvious explanation is that only the "fittest" men get to have multiple wives in the first place. They'll tend to be richer, and rich men live longer. They said they accounted for socioeconomic differences, but might it also be that physically fit men lived longer and attracted more wives?

    I'm sure they tried to control for that and a host of other factors, but I'd really need to see the original paper to understand their work.

  • This doesn't bode well for for monogomous relationships, where the male has surpassed his life expectancy.
  • Hugh Hefner (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:34PM (#24678351) Homepage Journal

    A quick check shows Hugh Hefner at 82, that's proof enough for me.

    Now if I could just convince my wife...

  • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:36PM (#24678397) Homepage Journal

    often practice warfare to an unusual degree. High numbers of young male deaths leads to a surplus of marriageable women -- including widows. Polygamy allows the fertility rate to compensate, among other things.

    It follows that while the cost of war is borne most by the dead, any potential benefits must be shared disproportionately more by the survivors.

    By a similar logic, I'd bet that the countries in question have a much higher mortality rate for young men from all causes, and that survivors into old age posses, disproportionately, social fitness. In other words the poor die young and the rich live longer. This may also be exacerbated when you look at certain small and exceptional countries, such as Brunei.

    In any case, there is only so far clever juxtaposition of gross numbers can get you. To really understand data, you have to disaggregate it, which is probably not possible in the datasets they have. Overall male life expectancy is a better measure of male health, not the survival rates of those who have already reached advanced age. That's practically asking to have your data confounded.

  • Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Aphoxema (1088507) * on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:37PM (#24678413) Homepage Journal

    Correlation is not causation. There may just be something in common with longer lifespans and polygamy, like hormones, lifestyle, attitude... hundreds of things.

    • Correlation is not causation. There may just be something in common with longer lifespans and polygamy, like hormones, lifestyle, attitude... hundreds of things.

      "After accounting for socioeconomic differences..."

      These studies always make me wonder what life would be like if I could publish such flimsy things in my field.

  • Irony... (Score:2, Funny)

    by R2.0 (532027)

    Another reply here had a link to a study about how humans almost died out 70k years ago. Boring, but linked to THAT was a theory that the reason men generally live *shorter* lives than women was polygamy. According to the theory, having multiple reproductive partners (a harem) tends to produce larger, stronger, but more short lived males: since it takes a lot of strength to fend off the other males from taking your harem, but it happens eventually anyway, so why live a long life?

    Combined with this study,

  • Wrong forum (Score:5, Funny)

    by Joe Snipe (224958) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:40PM (#24678467) Homepage Journal

    Since no one here has a even a girlfriend, I would say this is neither news for nerds or stuff that matters. :(

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eln (21727)

      I do too have a girlfriend, you insensitive clod!

      She lives in Canada. You wouldn't know her.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by gstoddart (321705)

        I do too have a girlfriend, you insensitive clod!

        She lives in Canada. You wouldn't know her.

        OK, on behalf of those of us who live in Canada and actually have girlfriends .... *phbtbtbbtbt*. :-P

        Cheers

  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:42PM (#24678513)
    I do a "science news of the day" at dinner with the wife and kids, picking out the best science news stories I read. Needless to say, this one just shot to the top of the list.

    "But honey, it's for my health!"
  • Question (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr2cents (323101) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:44PM (#24678535)

    I have only one question: what is the list of polygamous nations?

  • Maybe it just feels like much, much longer when you have more than one wife?

  • by Profane MuthaFucka (574406) <busheatskok@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:54PM (#24678693) Homepage Journal

    Confucius say "Man who hosts two women under one roof sleep in doghouse."

  • by wherrera (235520) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:56PM (#24678709) Journal

    The selection bias of polygamous men (mentioned already here) for richer and healthier persons over those who die younger likely explains the differences enough, but, in addition, it's long been known that widowers have a reduced lifespan. It's likely that the survival of the second wife protects against that reduction somewhat.

  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:56PM (#24678721) Homepage
    I live in Southern Utah. I see polyg's ("puh-lig") every week at Walmart.

    They live longer because they work hard, eat well, and don't watch much TV.

    TV is the source of gov't manipulation, and by extension, satan. And while polyg's don't mind defrauding the welfare system and getting money FROM the gov't, they distance themselves thoroughly from gov't control.

    They also have the most well-behaved kids you will EVER see in a Walmart. Make Hamish kids look like the Courtney Love.

  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @03:00PM (#24678807) Homepage Journal
    She guaranteed me that sleeping with other women would have the opposite effect on my longevity.
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @03:05PM (#24678905) Homepage

    It's the type of woman. These men aren't married to several typical American women. An American man with several wives would have a chorus of nagging behind his every move, and that's not counting the fun that happens when the wives decide to "gang divorce" him and go discover themselves.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rpbird (304450)

      I'd rather have an uppity American woman in my bed than some sexually repressed semi-slave from one of these psychotically misogynistic cultures. I want a companion, not a slave.

      "Girls with guns! Crucial realm!" --The Dirty Pair

  • by Lord Ender (156273) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @03:12PM (#24679043) Homepage

    Why was I not invited to participate in this study? No matter which test group you are assigned to, you end up getting tail. I happen to be a strong proponent of getting tail.

  • All I can say is... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mistshadow2k4 (748958) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @03:14PM (#24679069) Journal
    ....that if my husband tries to have another wife he most certainly will not live longer. He might very well not live to see another sunrise. Now, when is the study starting to see how long women with multiple male partners live?
  • by VoidCrow (836595) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @03:19PM (#24679143)
    Getting a decent shag out of a man is hard enough without having to share him with other women.
  • Wives need wives (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theCat (36907) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @04:13PM (#24680165) Journal

    Any reliable wife will tell you that what she needs most on any given day is a wife. We compensate for monogamy by hiring wives for our wives; house cleaners, babysitters, daycare, diaper service, food delivery. Also, by living (well in the US) in a throw-away technical society we have striped away the need to make or repair clothes (sewing), prepare complex meals (eating out), corresponding (email, phone) and many other things that women "had" to do or felt needed to be done in a proper society.

    My wife and I, married almost 14 years and with two kids, have discussed "getting" (not sure how to put it) a second wife. She's not opposed to it, understands it completely, but we haven't had a chance to try it yet. Since we live sustainably and don't take advantage of the many means to rent a wife, we don't really have much choice except to look for help. If you are going to use a woman that way, then you should support her, I feel. Renting is just a way to use something and throw it away, in the end. And paying for services that a woman could do herself is expensive the realm of the rich.

    I don't know how having two wives would make me live longer as such, never gave it any thought, but it would reduce how much I worry about our family economy if I had two wives working as sisters to hold everything together, get back to simpler ways of doing things by hand and without technology. Homeschooling, food preparation and gardening are suddenly easier. My wife works so hard... she needs a wife.

    [PS: Some will chorus "then help her do her work you smuck!" To which I reply "Ah, but I'm the one building the house." You see, when you really adopt the idea of do-it-yerself you bite off this enormous load of work that nobody even thinks about any more.]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bretski (312912)

      I really believe this type of arrangement will become more common in the future. I've probabaly missed the boat, as I'm already in my mid 30s. But I'll bet by the time my kids (now 2) and their friends are of dating age, polyamorous relationships of varying degrees will be quite common.

      Every generation has found new ways to push the limits of sex and relationships - the 60/70s had "free love", swinger parties etc. The 80/90s were somewhat of a slow period (maybe AIDS had something to do with it). And now it

  • is any analysis of whether the more long-lived men in a polygamous society are those with multiple wives, or those with no wives.
  • by TomRC (231027) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @08:50PM (#24683913)

    The lives of men with many wives only SEEM longer...

  • bad 'monogamy scale' (Score:3, Interesting)

    by disputationist (1324927) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @09:29PM (#24684221)
    IMHO everyone seems to have missed the most glaring flaw in the study. 140 countries that 'practice polygamy'? Really? I strongly doubt that there are 140 countries where the number of polygamists is statistically significant and is large enough to cause a measurable effect on a property of the average male. And only 49 'mostly monogamous' countries? Rubbish.

    The problem seems to be the 'monogamy scale' mentioned in the article. Perhaps they considered every country where polygamy in some form is legal as ones that 'practice polygamy'. For example in India, polygamy is legal (only) for Muslims, but there are so few Muslims that practice it that it cannot possibly have any effect on the average male. So this correlation observed among countries that 'practice polygamy' (which in reality just have a tiny causally insignificant number of polygamists) is probably just noise.
  • by guidryp (702488) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @08:15AM (#24687761)

    This seems extremely flawed. If you are comparing longevity among those who already reached 60, the first question I would ask is what are the numbers for everyone? I am betting they are reversed when you include all those who didn't make it to 60.

    First many of these countries identified are probably harsher environments, then you create additional pressures by having polygamy, which means much higher mate competition pressures. If one guy has 4 wives, 3 guys get no wives.

    So you have a survival of the fittest regime, that is likely killing off a lot of the weaker samples early. Then you compare the 60+ year old survivors to average 60 year olds in non polygamous societies (likely the west) where most of those weaker individuals make it to 60.

    Can we have a: "Well Duh!"

    Someone got paid for this?

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