Americans can come off as rather prude. When we look at our European counterparts, we’re rather uptight in how we approach sex. We’re shocked by anything that isn’t vanilla in regards to sex, put an R-rating on anything that shows a woman’s bare breast, then sit back and judge the parts of this world that aren’t so close-minded. But in one place where Americans seem to be evolving in regard to their moral acceptance of polygamy, according to a new Gallup poll,.
But of all the sexual offenses, the one that really, really, gets our panties in a twist is cheating. Over 90 percent of Americans think extramarital affairs are pretty much the devil’s work, with only eight percent saying they’re “morally acceptable.”
What’s defined as morally acceptable can run the gamut, depending on who’s answering the questions. For example, although 62 percent of Americans think pornography is “wrong,” only one percent think it has anything to do with morals. When it comes to suicide, 19 percent think it’s morally acceptable, unless it’s doctor assisted, then that percentage becomes 56. And for some reason Americans think the death penalty is somehow more morally acceptable than teenagers having sex with each other ― it doesn't really make much sense.
Despite the fact that it’s still outlawed in 50 states, polygamy seems to sit better with people than porn, but not quite as high as teenage sex. Weird, isn't it?
Here are six other things about polygamy you may not have known, and the crazy thoughts Americans have about it.
1. Acceptance For Polygamy Has Doubled
The Gallup poll found that acceptance of polygamy has more than doubled, going from seven percent acceptability to 16 percent since 2001. But for some reason, in 2006, acceptance for the lifestyle reached an all-time low with only five percent considering it “morally tasteful.” That same year, HBO’s Big Love premiered, about a man and his three wives, and just four years later TLC’s Sister Wives started its run, so maybe Americans just need TV shows to kill any hang-ups they have.
2. Americans Are More Accepting Of Polygamy Than Human Cloning
According to the Gallup poll, these days 15 percent of people are down with human cloning, whereas only 16 percent are accepting of polygamy. In 2001, that acceptance percent was at seven for both. On the flip side, more people think cloning animals, at 34 percent, is more morally acceptable than Polygamy. Sure... why don’t they ask Dolly the sheep that question?
3. Polygamy Is (Sort Of) Legal In Utah
Although polygamy is illegal in every state, if it’s practiced in Utah, it’s not entirely illegal. Confusing, right? Basically, if you marry more than one person, you’re a bigamist, but it’s not like the cops are going to stop whatever murder case they’re working on to arrest some guy with four wives.
4. Not All Polygamists Are Mormon
While the word’s origin comes from the Mormon meaning “plural marriage,” the Mormons certainly weren’t the first (or the last) to have multiple marriages. (Look at Muhammad ― he had 12 wives.) Even when polygamy was at its most popular in the religion, only 20 to 30 percent of the church actually practiced it.
5. There Are Roughly 50,000 Polygamists In The U.S.
Although trying to get an exact reading is tricky because those who practice polygamy aren't going to put it on their census forms, it is believed that there are about 50,000 people living in polygamy in the United States. The Mormon form of polygamy has spread to Mexico, the UK, and Canada, too.
6. Americans Think Polygamy Is Worse Than The Death Penalty
Not only did the Gallup poll find that Americans think cheating is the worst thing someone can do, but it also found that polygamy is more morally acceptable than cheating — but less morally acceptable than divorce, the death penalty, suicide, same-sex relationships, and abortion. Which just goes to show that if some sexist, homophobic, gun-toting person thinks polygamy is worse than those things, than it must be really, really bad. Groan.