Polygamy Now
The unfolding story of polygamy in the United States

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Men in Polygamous Cultures Live Longer

It's in the news, so it must be true. Men who live in polygamous cultures live 12% longer than men who don't.

Virpi Lummaa, an ecologist at the University of Sheffield, suggested that after accounting for socioeconomic differences, men aged over 60 from 140 countries that practice polygamy to varying degrees lived on average 12% longer than men from 49 mostly monogamous nations.

Actually, this is quite an innovative and careful study, and factors out the gross national product of the culture, the "grandfather" effect, and other variables. You can read more at

Study suggests polygamy may lead to a longer life.

Chris Wilson, an evolutionary anthropologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, believes the care and attention of several wives who depend on the social status of their ageing husband could explain everything.

"It doesn't surprise me that men in those societies live longer than men in monogamous societies, where they become widowed and have nobody to care for them."