In a blog post analyzing one such study on non-monogamy published by Perspectives on Psychological Science, Naomi Schaefer Riley, who is a senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum and a former columnist for the New York Post, noted that the study admitted to its own possible bias.
"Importantly, the authors acknowledge one big limitation of their study, which is that 'participants were not randomly selected, and, hence, the participants that we recruited may have been motivated to provide socially desirable answers,'" Riley wrote in a 2017 analysis for the Institute for Family Studies.
Furthermore, Riley adds, studies that tout the benefits of non-monogamous relationships also ignore the main reason that monogamous relationships have remained the norm: children.
"Why do we insist on monogamy as the foundation for our culture?...the answer is not because it necessarily brings the highest rates of personal satisfaction for adults, but because it is the best way to raise children," she said.
Children are the ones who stand to suffer the most when raised in an environment with anything other than their two married, biological parents, research shows.
"The research on stepfamilies - where you often have effectively three parents in a child's life - is clear," Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, told Riley for a 2017 article in the New York Post.
Complications of three-parent (or more) households include the complications of three different adults with different sets of beliefs attempting to raise a child, as well as splitting their time with that child, among other things, he added.
"The complexity of three parents in the mix seems to be suboptimal for kids," he said.
In 2011, Rose McDermott, a researcher who has studied non-monogamous relationships throughout the world and a professor of political science at Brown University, said that such relationships have been damaging to women and children in a myriad of ways.
"My research over the past decade, encompassing more than 170 countries, has shown the detrimental effects of polygynous practices on human rights, for both men and women," she wrote.
"According to the information I have helped to collect in the Womanstats database, women in polygynous communities get married younger, have more children, have higher rates of HIV infection than men, sustain more domestic violence, succumb to more female genital mutilation and sex trafficking, and are more likely to die in childbirth. Their life expectancy is also shorter than that of their monogamous sisters. In addition, their children, both boys and girls, are less likely to receive both primary and secondary education."
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"Whatever their concerns about protecting religious freedom, or demonstrating cultural sensitivity, Western nations should think twice before allowing the kinds of family structures that lead to such abuses," she concluded.