Polyamory etymologically speaking is supposed to refer to romantically loving ("amore") multiple people. It is similar to polygamy but that refers to marriage (from Late Greek gamos, "marriage"), in particular to one-to-many marriages (one man marrying multiple women or one woman being married to multiple men), whereas polyamory may even refer to many-to-many relationships.
Polyamory has incorrectly been used to refer to sexual relationships with more than one person. That would more correctly be termed polycubory as "cubo" is the Latin term for "sleeping with" and is from which terms like "concubine" are descended.
Subsets of polyamory and polygamy regarding gender/sex include:
It is possible to fall under neither of these labels yet still be polyamorous, e.g. if a bisexual had one male partner and one female partner.
Non-Monogamy, a means of alleviating inceldom?[edit | edit source]
Many people propose that polyamory and ethical non-monogamy will alleviate inceldom instead of exacerbate the problem. Most notably by psychologists like Christopher Ryan, Goeffrey Miller and his wife Dianna Fischer. One of the purported claims of the benefits of non-monogamy is that it allows women, who used to be constrained to a monogamous relationship, to now attend to the needs of men who are unable to enter relationships. Diana Fischer claims that she dates men with Aspies in order to train/groom them to become more datable for other women. This in effect, she and her husband claim, allows socially inept men, who would otherwise be unable to learn the social skills necessary for courtship and the maintaining of a relationship. Whilst good on her for doing so, it is particularly unlikely that this is going to be true for the majority non-monogamous women as many women tend to be hypergamous; secondly, there doesn't seem to be any an evolutionary benefit to helping men with Asperger's syndrome (or any low status male) to find a mate; behaviors that don't contribute to reproductive success one the individual level or on the group level are unlikely to become long term trends and believing that women will voluntarily have sex with low status men when non-monogamy allows a woman a surplus of Chads is wishful thinking for the most part.
Most forms of non-monogamy won't alleviate inceldom for two reasons, the hypergamous instinct in women and the much greater sexual drive in men (as proven by homosexual men). In the ultimately flawed view present by Christopher Ryan in his book, Sex at Dawn, he contends that non-monogamy is what humans have adapted to and that non-monogamy will be beneficial to us as a society because of this. Thus, because we're non-monogamous and human females are Chimp-like in their behavior (sluts as opposed to whores to put it in Ryan's own words) and that everyone, including low-status men as they will now have sex with women they otherwise wouldn't be able, will benefit from widespread non-monogamy. To prove the sluttish nature of women, Ryan (and many other proponents of non-monogamy) invoke the concept of "sperm competition". Ryan contends that women do not select for men at the precopulatory level (based on looks, wealth and status) which would, in his own words, imply that "your mother is a whore" and that instead females select for men at the postcopulatory level via sperm competition and female cryptic choice making women sluts as they just want to have sex with as much men as possible to ensure that only the very best sperm get chosen. Thus, it is claimed, women are adapted to have sex with as many men as possible around ovulation (including the old and unnatractive) to ensure that she can procure the best sperm genes possible via sperm competition making her a 'slut' instead of a 'whore' who's picky about who she sleeps with. However, there is substantial evidence against the sperm competition theory as summarized in the penis article
Women don't select for men at the post copulatory level and are not sexual communists (like chimpanzees somewhat are). They are very picky about whom they mate with and will, if they are able, exclusively mate with high status men as she don't benefit much from having sex with low status men. Notably, chimpanzee females only have sex with low status men to avoid infanticide. Secondly, men have a greater sex drive than women which effectively means is that a high status woman will be sexually satisfied by having sex with a select few high status men and doesn't need to have sex with low status men to fulfill her sexual wants. High status men will have sex with a multitude of high status women but will still have more than enough sexual drive to have sex with lower status women (because of Bateman's principle). The lower status women will be content with having sex with just the high status men and will prefer to ignore low status men. We can see that this is, somewhat, true of contemporary tribes that practice a kind of 'non-monogamy' whereby high status men get all the sex and father more children through partible paternity belief. Partible paternity is the belief in some societies that a child can have more than one actual father; in many of the tribes that hold this belief, sexual infidelity or wife sharing (were women voluntarily have sex with men outside their marriages) is common and this effectively allows high status men to cuckold low status men without the consequences (as these men are still partly the 'fathers' of the children). So these societies effectively practice non-monogamy through this partible paternity belief. So partible paternity, which mean by extension non-monogamy, does not alleviate inceldom and in fact worsens it. With the top third of men have double the amount of sexual partners than the less attractive men. Though these men in partible paternity societies have it bad, contemporary men will have it worse.
Low status women only have sex with low status men for two reasons, firstly because they require resources for their children and secondly like in chimpanzees this is to prevent infanticide from low status men. Neither of these conditions are applicable to modern women. The wellfare state ensures that a woman's children won't die which in turn means that low status are effectively uneccesary and women only have sex with them if they want more resources as a bonus rather than a necessity. Attempts at infanticide can be reliably be defended against via the government and police and paternity confusion no longer works because of DNA testing (although this may not be true in France where paternity testing has been criminilized). So, in effect, there's no reason for women to have sex with these men and she can continue to have sex with high status men without any consequence. This is effectively (for the purposes of its effect on the inceldom) identical to how polygyny has been traditionally practiced; the only difference is that the wives of the high status men with large harems can now have sex with other high status men with large harems. Hence, polygyny 2.0 gender equality boogaloo is a more fitting description of what is being proposed as opposed to a communist sexual free for all.
We can see this happen in how one man attempted swinging, but was instead brutally cuckolded on a reality TV show (see SwingS01E05). A couple, Darrel & Vikki, have a go at the non-monogamous lifestyle by agreeing to swing with a high status couple (they themselves are on the lower half of the decile scale). Eventually, the episode gets to the point where all of the couples gather in a room to have group sex. Vikki begins to have sex with the high status man of the couple they'd wanted to swing with, however, immediately after that one of the women in the room asks "Where's the sybian?" and everyone leaves to 'go and find the sybian'; not a single woman remains to have sex with Darrel, not a single one. Darrel hasn't had sex with anyone else yet and can only watch whilst his wife gets pounded by the high status man (who's black, which makes it somewhat funny, tragic, but funny). Now, not all swingers are this mean, but the story is archetypically true of what happens in non-monogamy on a societal scale. The low status men do not get any sex. The low status women prefer sex with the high status men. The high status men have sex with both the high status and low status women. And the high status women refuse to date down to have sex with low status men and prefer to be shared amongst high status men.
Some claim that non-monogamy and swinging increases happiness as those people in swinging relationships report greater happiness (and should thus be pursued). However most of these studies recruit their sample of swingers from swinger clubs and would hardly include men like Darell (who divorced Vikki and is currently happily married in a monogamous relationship) and thus might only be reflective of the happiest swingers of the entire group. A useful statistic to have would be the ratio of disillusioned swingers to current swingers. For example, in vegans, ex-veggies outnumber veggies 5:1. Which implies an 84% failure rate. If ex-swingers or the ex-non-monogamous outnumber current swingers by the same ratio, then it makes perfect sense to say that, the 16% of relationships that don't crash and burn because they'd experimented with swinging are happier (than monogamous couples) because only couples with a certain amount of happiness received from their swinging experience could possibly be selected for to continue with their swinging lifestyle but that the majority fail. One study (which doesn't have the most representative sample but is still useful for the purposes of illustration) found that 2.35% of Americans currently identified as swingers and that 4.76% had identified as a swinger at some point in their lives; implying that 51% of Americans whom attempt swinging are ultimately unable to maintain the lifestyle as compared to the general population that only has a first time marriage divorce rate of 35%. Considering that people whom even attempt swinging are likely to be higher in socio-sexuality than your average American, the rate of failure can be expected to be much higher should the entire population adopt the lifestyle.
So to summarize, no, non-monogamy doesn't aid the inceldom epidemic. We have plenty of evidence that in societies where it is practiced, it actually makes things worse and that this effect will be greater in contemporary western societies. However, this doens't necessarily equate to all forms of non-monogamy worsening the problem. If two couples were only to ever have sex with each other (and no one else) then the man's sexual desire is contained and it doesn't have the negative consequences described above. In cases where there is no limit on either partners sexual activity the above situation will eventually play out which in general isn't good for society.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]