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Plural marriage, polygamy, polygyny & polyandry...

Definition of terms

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Some terms used to describe plural marriages and related arrangements:

The term "marriage" in the following definitions refers to the viewpoint of the spouses involved, not of society. No state, province or territory in North America currently registers bigamous or polygamous relationships.

bulletBigamy: A marital practice in which a person is simultaneously married to two spouses.
 
bulletCelestial Plural Marriage: One of many terms used within the Mormon movement to refer to religiously sanctioned polygynous marriage.
 
bulletChristian polygamy: Polygyny following the culture of the ancient Hebrews as described in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)
 
bulletEgalitarian polygamy: Polygamy within "peer marriages" in which all spouses have equal power. Decisions are made by mutual consent. Child nurturing, discipline, other parenting tasks and all other jobs are distributed among the spouses by consensus.
 
bulletGroup sex: Sexual activity among more than two people together in the same location.
 
bulletGroup marriage: A committed relationship involving more than two persons. It often involves a commitment ritual. Synonym: Polymarriage
 
bulletLaw of Abraham: One of many terms used within the Mormon movement to refer to religiously sanctioned polygynous marriage.
 
bulletLaw of Sarah: A Mormon term granting to a man's first wife the right to consent to, or prohibit, her husband's wishes to marry additional wives.  In the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132:64, God threatened any wife with destruction if she refused to consent to additional wives. Mormon denominations recognize the Doctrine and Covenants, to be divinely inspired and authoritative scripture.
 
bulletLaw of the Priesthood. One of many terms used within the Mormon movement to refer to religiously sanctioned polygynous marriage.
 
bulletMonogamy: A marital practice in which a person has no more than one spouse at the same time.
 
bulletOpen marriage: A committed relationship of two married persons in which both are free to engage in outside sexual relationships.
 
bulletOpen relationship: An agreement in which two or more partners are free to pursue other emotional and/or sexual relationships external to their prime relationship(s). This is normally done openly, with the full knowledge and agreement of all participants.
 
bulletPatriarchal Order of Marriage: One of many terms used within the Mormon movement to refer to religiously sanctioned polygynous marriage.
 
bulletPlural marriage: Synonym for polygyny. Commonly used to refer to Mormon polygynous relationships. One husband shares many wives; each wife normally has a separate living space.
 
bulletPoly: an abbreviation of Polyamory.
 
bulletPolyamory: Greek for "many loves." A romantic and/or sexual relationship involving multiple partners at the same time. The participants may or may not consider themselves to be married to each other.
 
bulletPolyfidelity: A polygamous relationship in which each participant restricts their sexual behavior to others within the established group.
 
bulletPolyandry: A marital practice in which one woman is married to more than one man.
 
bulletPolygamy: A marital practice in which a person has more than one spouse simultaneously.
 
bulletPolygyny: A marital practice in which one man has married more than one woman.
 
bulletPolymarriage: A committed relationship involving more than two persons. It often involves a commitment ritual. Synonym: Group marriage
 
bulletQuad: In a sexual sense: A sexual exchange involving four persons. A sexually active relationship involving four persons.
 
bulletSerial monogamy: A marital practice in which a person has multiple marriage partners during their lifetime, but is limited to one spouse at a time.
 
bulletSerial polygamy: A synonym for "serial monogamy" that is now rarely used.
 
bulletSpiritual marriage: One of many terms used within the Mormon movement to refer to religiously sanctioned polygynous marriage.
 
bulletStarvation economy: The concept that the intensity and deepness of one's love for another person is diluted if one or more additional emotional and/or sexual partners are involved.
 
bulletSub-relationship: A sexual relationship by a polygamist with a person external to the polygamous relationship.
 
bulletSwinging: An exchange of partners, usually between two or more otherwise monogamous couples, which is generally structured to avoid the formation of emotional bonds.
 
bulletTriad: In a sexual sense, sexual activity by three persons, whether in a committed or casual relationship.
 
bulletWife swapping: An obsolete and sexist synonym for swinging among opposite-sex couples.

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Reference used:

  1. "Polygamy," WordiQ, at: http://www.wordiq.com/

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Site navigation:

Home page > "Hot" topics > Marriage > Polygamy > here, or

Home>Religious info>Basic religious info>Religious practices>Marriage>Polygamy>here

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Copyright 2004 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2004-SEP-04
Latest update: 2008-JAN-29
Author: B.A. Robinson

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Go to the previous page, or to the Polygamy menu, or choose:

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