Sister Wives

Common Sense Media says

Docu-series turns polygamists into reality stars.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Polygamy is described here as a lifestyle that can be positive and healthy for those who choose it. Kody Brown clearly notes the distinction between the L.D.S. (mainstream Mormons) and what he calls the Fundamentalist Mormon Doctrine that promotes and practices polygamy. The Browns voice some concerns over prejudice toward their lifestyle.

Positive role models

The Browns practice a fundamentalist doctrine that endorses plural marriage. Neither Brown nor his wives proselytize or criticize other faiths. The women appear to care about and respect one another. Most of the wives come from plural families.The adults (and some older children) share in parenting duties.


Some talk about dying at the hands (or fins) of sharks ... and toasters.


Discussion about the existence of sexual relationships between Brown and his individual wives.

Not applicable

The family drives large cars like Honda minivans and Chevy Suburbans. But the logos/brands aren’t highlighted.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality series presents the polygamist lifestyle as one that's both positive and healthy for those who choose to live it. Much of the show's focus is on the relationship between the sister wives themselves and their ability to deal with their husband’s courtship of a potential fourth wife. There’s no proselytizing here, but the family occasionally makes references to being fearful of living out in the open and dealing with prejudice. There are also some mild conversations about the importance of healthy sexual relationships between each individual sister wife and their husband.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

SISTER WIVES follows the day-to-day life of an American polygamist family. Husband Kody Brown and his three wives -- Meri, Janelle, and Christine -- negotiate their relationships with each other, their 13 children, and, on occasion, with the mainstream world. Viewers also get to see how the courting and introduction of a fourth wife, Robyn, into the family circle impacts the wives, as well as the overall family dynamic.

Is it any good?


Sister Wives offers a fairly voyeuristic look at plural marriage from the point of view of people who have chosen to live according to a religious doctrine that promotes it. The series' intent is to show how complex this cohabitation lifestyle is and to counter some of the stereotypes about plural marriage that exist today. But while Brown and his family discuss some of the challenges that come with choosing their lifestyle, including the emotional and financial burdens it creates, overall the series paints a happy picture that sometimes seems a little too idyllic.

The family is very likable, and they seem to be a bit worldlier and open compared to other plural families (both real and fictional) depicted in the media. Despite all of this, some of the choices they make and other unspoken signs indicate that they're sometimes not as comfortable in the mainstream as they appear on camera. Nonetheless, the show ultimately offers viewers a unique chance to see real people openly share their experiences as part of a plural family.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the lifestyle presented in this show. Why/how do some families practice polygamy if it's illegal in the United States? 

  • What are some of the stereotypes surrounding polygamists? Do you think this show contradicts some of these stereotypes?

  • Why do you think this family agreed to be in a TV show?

TV details

Cast:Christine Brown, Janelle Brown, Kody Brown, Meri Brown, Robyn Brown
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Sister Wives was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byDogcrazed March 13, 2011

No thanks!!!

Can't stand it, there is nothing positive about women having to share their husband. That is not love, you cannot tell me that this is not sexist, if a woman did that (which for the record I would think is just as bad as a man having multiple wives), no one would accept it, but because woman are viewed differently, they think it's ok. It's not breaking stereo types, it's breaking morals, and I'm pretty sure the law in most states.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byAurora95 April 7, 2011

You shouldn't be criticized if your different

I have no problem with this show. This is a lifestyle like so many others that people have chose to follow. If you have watched the show, you will see that the browns are like any other family. They have jobs and make a living, they are good parents and focus in their kids. If you really think about it there like anybody else, they just do things differently. And of course people are going to say "Eww, how sick is that!" but we all live differently, and have different views on life. It's not like the sisterwives were forced into this, they each chose it bc it's what they wanted. It's kinda sad how close-minded people are and how our goverment tries to keep us in a box, when all we were ever taught was to learn about our rights and freedoms. I've been watching the show and I really like it! It teaches you that Being different shouldn't be bad. And this can apply to everyday life as well. I don't know why people try to make it look like it's an "abomination" But then again that's just me

What other families should know
Great role models
Adult Written byLayneE October 7, 2010

Send a message to break the law?

Polygamy is illegal in the United States. While I watched the show to figure out why anyone would agree to be a sister wife and share their husband, I'm not sure that shows that undermine the laws of this country is the best thing for younger kids to watch.


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