Could Polygamy Reduce Divorce?

In a controversial statement, Satoshi Kanazawa asserts that polygamy would reduce divorce.

Kanazawa works as an evolutionary psychologist for the London School of Economics. In a video recently made for bigthink.com, he claims that the major reason for divorce is Western culture’s prohibition of polygamy.

In the video, he states, “humans are naturally polygynous. Successful men have always acquired more mates, but we don’t allow that in our society, so successful men are forced to divorce their previous wives who may be past the reproductive age in order to marry younger wives. If we allow polygyny-if we allow some men to acquire multiple mates-the divorce rate would go down dramatically.”

One critic countered that more divorce filings are initiated by women, contending that that subverts the idea that divorce happens because men simply want to mate with more women.

This is not Kanazawa’s first controversial statement. Indeed, he has promoted himself as an opponent to political correctness. In 2011, he publicly announced that black women were less attractive than other women because they have a higher mean body-mass index. His statements understandably created a storm of outrage. Following that blog, the London School of Economics prohibited him from publishing anything that was not reviewed by his peers for 1 year.

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