Polygamy in theory and practice
I tend to err on the side of civil liberties, that is, the personal freedom to do as you wish, as long as you aren't hurting others. From this perspective, on the issue of polygamy, I would think, "hey, if everyone was happy, fine." That's theory. Let's look at it in practice.
There is a huge backstory to the recent AP article Woman Sues Fugitive Polygamist Leader that maybe not obvious from that headline. The Mormons, aka the Latter Day Saints famously disassociated themselves with the practice of polygamy about a hundred years ago. The fundamentalist sect, however, practices polygamy like so:
- make sure the women aren't educated.
- "marry" them off when they are young. Make sure they have lots of kids.
- prevent them from talking to non-Mormons and use other methods of mind control.
- preach hate about the government (part of mind control again, "you can only trust us") while these child brides are put on welfare as single mothers.
- since you only have a small pool to draw from, sons are competition for brides, so kill sons or drive them off.
- make sure the local government is corrupt.
These points are quickly summarized from my memory of Jon Krakauer's excellent book Under the Banner of Heaven.