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TetraGamy - addition of monogamy

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5. Tetragamy: supplement to monogamy

This sociocultural project concerns the destiny of so a basic society institution as family, traditional forms of which, in general opinion, has been long in crisis, posing the challenge to this institution. At first sight, the idea of tetragamy (two wives, two husbands) seems so "crazy" as to be rejected right away. However, if we approach the problem thoughtfully rather than through the prism of an established dogma, if we take into consideration that polygamous and polyandrous types of family have been long around and, along with monogamy, are now experiencing a crisis, then why cannot we accept a balanced poly-marriage involving two women and two men as a supplement to the traditional forms? Tetragamy is yet considered as a theoretical hypothesis of a person's and family's harmonious development. But this hypothesis is an inevitable result and a demand produced not o­nly by theory, but also by modern society, which is ripe for tetragamy and has the all conditions in place for it. Psychology is the main obstacle to tetragamy. All people, men and women, are divided, psychologically, into two big groups: the monogamous and the polygamous. Monogamy is fit for monogamous group, while for polygamous group, not o­nly traditional polygamous marriage and family are befitting, but also the new, culturally bounded form of group family: tetragamy. Tetragamy, therefore, is regarded only as a supplement to monogamy and other traditional forms and as acceptable only for polygamous group. This project is o­ne of TetraSociology's most controversial projects; however, it is not offered as an immediate solution, but is rather expected to get developed over several decades. The abstract below outlines some of the project's ideas.

TetraSociology: Hypothesis of Tetragamy as New Family Form

RC07, session 4. RC06, session 2.

Tendency 'of radical alteration' and 'disintegration' of monogamic family institute is well-known. It becomes less adequate to modern requests. More than half of husbands are unfaithful to wives, have mistress and about half of wives are unfaithful to husbands, have lover. Considerable part of western people lives in the diverse forms "non-standard" (unmonogamic) family. For example at USA in them lives from 27 up to 53 percents of the population (N.Smelser, 1988)

This tendency is generalised by TetraSociology in a new fashion. From its point of view the optimum of any social phenomenon is made by harmony of four resources, for family - four spouses. In TetraSociology the hypothesis of origin and wide spreading in 2nd half of the XX1st century of the new family form - TETRAR (fourfold), including two husbands and two wives, is advanced. Its single examples are met already now. Such form of family and matrimony can be called as TETRAGAMY. It has its features and advantages.

  1. Tetragamy is acceptable o­nLY to those men and women, which are capable to have not o­ne, and two sexual partners. About half of married women and more than half of married men, having nowadays the second sexual partner, there are capable to tetragamy in principle already today. Naturally, tetragamy can be only voluntary, based o­n the consent and mutual love all its members.
  2. Tetragamy represents the cultural form of group matrimony corresponding of the requirements of twinning and gender balance, ordering its modern chaotic forms.
  3. Dignities of tetragamy is the new quality: a) of family upbringing and the development of children; b) of sexual and psychological relations between the partners, c) of relations between the parents and children, d) of gender equality, e) of family harmony.
  4. From tetragamy everybody essentially win: men and women, adults and children, but most of all - children and women. Tetragamy is capable to decide demographic problem. Certainly tetragamy has defects but they are outweighed by dignities. Tetragamy is subject of the interdisciplinary and international researches for many decades, o­ne of the possible responses to the family challenges.

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