Parents' Guide to

Polygamy, USA

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Inside look at plural marriage community, without sex talk.

Polygamy, USA Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 5+

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 18+

Are you Freakin' KIDDING ME?

I heartily disagree with this reviewer's characterization that there is a positive side to a polygamous lifestyle that is not negated by its negatives. Firstly, even though she characterizes polygamy as a "choice", how can an 18 year old girl be expected to make any other choice regarding marriage when "the lifestyle" is all that she has really been exposed to? How much exposure to normal marriage situations does this reviewer suppose these girls have had? Second, this reviewer is not taking into account that "the lifestyle" causes young boys to be cast out because since there are many women for one man, some boys must be got rid of so that there isn't so much competition for the attentions of the girls. Third, what about the girls born in Centennial Park who may not be able to bear children? What is their purpose? Where do THEY fit in? Built in babysitters, maybe? Fourth, what are the boys who are on their "missions" being payed? Does it occur to the reviewer that they go unpaid so that "the brethren" can continue to make a profit using cheap labor and so that normal municipal services (which require taxes) are not needed? Fifth, does it occur to the reviewer that Colorado City and Centennial Park are basically only separated by a couple of miles and that they are BOTH fundamentalist Mormons?

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3):
Kids say: Not yet rated

The overall purpose of Polygamy, USA is to dispel many of the negative stereotypes that surround the polygamist lifestyle, due -- in part -- to the media attention it has received over the years. The people featured here, many of whom made appearances on TV shows like Our America with Lisa Ling and The Oprah Winfrey Show, clearly note that their members do not marry until they are at least 18, and are expected to earn a high school education before doing so. They also underscore that this lifestyle is a choice, and that no one is forced to enter into it.

The series is informative, thanks to discussions about the group's specific faith-based doctrines about baptism, death, and of course, plural marriage. It also reveals some of the patriarchal community's interesting history and cultural traditions, like practicing placement marriage (marrying someone you barely know), expecting women to prepare for and find/choose the man they will wed, and mentoring the young priested (ordained) work missionaries of the community while they wait for a woman to choose them. But the show also underscores their beliefs about having the right to practice the lifestyle that they choose to live, which continues to be illegal in all 50 states.

TV Details

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