The effects on children living with polygamous parents are largely negative, according to the Witherspoon Institute. Living in families where the father has no personal investment reportedly puts children at risk for drug abuse, trouble with the law and academic problems. In comparison to monogamous societies, household members of polygamous marriages are reported to be subject to higher rates of abuse, neglect and homicide.
Some polygamous sects ban teenage boys from the family, leaving them on the street with no emotional or financial support, according to LifeSiteNews.com. Poor education and lack of employment skills makes it difficult to take care of themselves, so they often turn to drugs and crime. Some say that girls are forced to marry young, often to much older men.
Children from polygamous families are subject to family conflicts and violence, according to Academia.edu. They also do more poorly in school and are more susceptible to alcoholism.
Polygamy has been around since ancient times in Africa, according to Scribol. In North America, polygamy began with the founder of the Mormon religion. There are more than 80,000 polygamists in the United States alone, and many more worldwide, as of 2015. Women are expected to have 10 to 15 children each. Some become first-time mothers at age 14. Many people believe polygamy causes physical and psychological abuse against woman and children.