"Is the Family of the Future Polyamorous?"
To answer that grabby headline, "Some will be!"
But how many? My own bet is that 50 years from now, in a totally poly-aware and poly-accepting society, most people will still choose monogamy most of the time — if only because it's structurally simpler (i.e., less work).
Why do I think that? Look around the polyworld right now. There are more open couples than bonded vees and triads; more triads than quads; more quads than quints. The trend is clear: the more complicated the family structure, the less often it "occurs in nature." Follow that trend the other way, and simple dyads will be commonest.
The number trend changes, however, when you get into larger extended networks that are not so much families as tribes. These become possible where there's a big community, mostly in urban areas. The extended-network model seems to be where more of the poly world has been going for the last 10 years, especially the young. And within an intimate network, you see a lot of pairing up: "anchor-partner" dyads with extensions.
This story popped up at Connections.Mic, then Yahoo News. Excerpts:
Is the Family of the Future Polyamorous?
By Oliver Bateman
When it comes to marriage, three is still a crowd. But that might be changing sooner than we think. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, a small-yet-growing percentage of Americans report that they find the concept of plural marriage "morally acceptable," while polyamorous relationships are increasingly receiving mainstream media coverage....
...The rise of polyamory (as well as the possibility of a more liberal replacement for [Justice Antonin] Scalia, who passed away in February) begs the question: Will multiple-partner relationships eventually become the norm? And if so, what would actually change from a legal perspective?
..."Our entire system is geared toward the nuclear family model, two biological parents," Sandy Peace told Mic. Peace is a California psychologist and sex educator who has done extensive work with people involved in the polyamory community. "Many polyamorous families don't 'come out' to neighbors and school administrators because of concerns about prejudice and misunderstanding."
...Whether or not plural marriage should be legalized is "debated within our own community, similar to the gay community — there are people who don't believe we should go after plural marriage, and there are those who do," Robyn Trask, the executive director of the polyamory support organization Loving More, told U.S. News & World Report in 2015.
Dallas-based sex activist Golden Blayze, a genderqueer person who "nests" (i.e., resides) with another genderqueer partner but also maintains relationships with a cisgender man and two other genderqueer individuals, disagrees. For Blayze, who uses the pronouns "they" and "them," formal legal recognition matters.
"I am a firm believer in the idea that sex is political, that the personal is political, and that my lifestyle is a challenge to heteronormativity," Blayze told Mic. "Yet to be open and speak my truth to power, when there are so many day-to-day difficulties ranging from insurance to social security benefits ... it's already not easy on the people who are important to me, but these hurdles make it so much harder for all of us to be together."...
...The road from recognition to tolerance to full and complete acceptance for polyamorous families is likely to be long and harrowing. In spite of these challenges, many in the community stress the lifestyle's inherent advantages....
"The dominant cultural ideal of the 'nuclear family' can be very isolating and is not normative for many families and cultures," Peace said. "Multi-generational households and extended family caring for children allows for a diversity of connection and support. Polyamorous families and social networks mirror this extended family structure even though they are not related by blood."...
"Having three parents when you have a toddler is the best thing that ever happened," remarked one of the participants in Sandy Peace's 2012 study of polyamorous identity development, adding how "the great thing now is that one couple stays home to babysit and the other couple goes out for the evening and then we switch off."...
Read on (March 14, 2015).