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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.

bullet Bigamy: A marital practice in which a person is simultaneously married to two spouses.
 
bullet Celestial Plural Marriage: One of many terms used within the Mormon movement to refer to religiously sanctioned polygynous marriage.
 
bullet Christian polygamy: Polygyny following the culture of the ancient Hebrews as described in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)
 
bullet Egalitarian 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.
 
bullet Group sex: Sexual activity among more than two people together in the same location.
 
bullet Group marriage: A committed relationship involving more than two persons. It often involves a commitment ritual. Synonym: Polymarriage
 
bullet Law of Abraham: One of many terms used within the Mormon movement to refer to religiously sanctioned polygynous marriage.
 
bullet Law 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.
 
bullet Law of the Priesthood. One of many terms used within the Mormon movement to refer to religiously sanctioned polygynous marriage.
 
bullet Monogamy: A marital practice in which a person has no more than one spouse at the same time.
 
bullet Open marriage: A committed relationship of two married persons in which both are free to engage in outside sexual relationships.
 
bullet Open 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.
 
bullet Patriarchal Order of Marriage: One of many terms used within the Mormon movement to refer to religiously sanctioned polygynous marriage.
 
bullet Plural 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.
 
bullet Poly: an abbreviation of Polyamory.
 
bullet Polyamory: 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.
 
bullet Polyfidelity: A polygamous relationship in which each participant restricts their sexual behavior to others within the established group.
 
bullet Polyandry: A marital practice in which one woman is married to more than one man.
 
bullet Polygamy: A marital practice in which a person has more than one spouse simultaneously.
 
bullet Polygyny: A marital practice in which one man has married more than one woman.
 
bullet Polymarriage: A committed relationship involving more than two persons. It often involves a commitment ritual. Synonym: Group marriage
 
bullet Quad: In a sexual sense: A sexual exchange involving four persons. A sexually active relationship involving four persons.
 
bullet Serial monogamy: A marital practice in which a person has multiple marriage partners during their lifetime, but is limited to one spouse at a time.
 
bullet Serial polygamy: A synonym for "serial monogamy" that is now rarely used.
 
bullet Spiritual marriage: One of many terms used within the Mormon movement to refer to religiously sanctioned polygynous marriage.
 
bullet Starvation 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.
 
bullet Sub-relationship: A sexual relationship by a polygamist with a person external to the polygamous relationship.
 
bullet Swinging: An exchange of partners, usually between two or more otherwise monogamous couples, which is generally structured to avoid the formation of emotional bonds.
 
bullet Triad: In a sexual sense, sexual activity by three persons, whether in a committed or casual relationship.
 
bullet Wife 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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