Poll: What do you call homogamous marriage?

With another state (Washington) set to become the seventh to allow it, and Maryland teetering on the brink, I thought of asking Family Inequality readers what you call it — that is, the marriage of pairs of men or women, or what we scientists (by which I mean, me) call homogamy.

There are different contexts for this, so let’s ask the question about professional or formal use (e.g., teaching, research, a letter to the president). If you use different language in different settings, maybe discuss that in the comments. Try to answer with the language you actually use, not what you think is best.

For some people (like the news media), that’s the easy part. They don’t usually talk about the “other” kind of marriage as a category. Do you? If so, what do you call it?

I never tried a poll before. I hope it works. If the categories don’t suit you, please say something in the comments. Thanks.

Now that you’ve taken the poll so you can’t be swayed, here has a few of the posts I’ve written on this before:


Filed under In the news, Me @ work

14 responses to “Poll: What do you call homogamous marriage?

  1. Dex

    Why is polygamy you think not allowed in the US?
    Is it a bigger threat to the morality?


  2. Ron

    If “multiple marriage” is poly/bigamy when it’s multiple women and poly/biandry when it’s multiple men, then why isn’t same-sex marriage homogamy for women and homoandry for men?


    • Adam

      I think it’s actually poly/bigyny for men and poly/biandry for women. Poly/bigamy refers to having more than one spouse and can be used for either.


  3. BrendanH

    We scientists use homogamy to refer to marriage of like with like, e.g. catholic with catholic, middle class with middle class, poorly educated with poorly educated. See also hypogamy, hypergamy, endogamy, exogamy.

    See e.g. http://users.ox.ac.uk/~sfos0006/papers/bjs2003.pdf

    You need to be more specific: sexually homogamous marriage


    • That’s why I called the article “Homogamy Unmodified.” Gender is the most basic form of like-marries-like (and the biggest social issue with regard to marriage). So let’s modify it for education or religion, rather than gender.


      • BrendanH

        If the word “unmodified” appeared anywhere in the title or body, I might have seen your point sooner.

        However, while you’re right that gender homogamy is somehow fundamental, same-sex marriage is too novel an idea (it’s an idea whose time has come, but would have been practically inconceivable not very long ago) to be the default meaning of homogamy.


  4. 0 votes for homogamy? If you don’t vote in your own poll, how is this cultural shift supposed to gain a foothold?


  5. Yesterday, I
    blogged that in state laws, it looks like the trend is towards calling it “marriage equality,” and for good PR/political reason. But you don’t offer that as a choice.


  6. I adopted your terms for it when you first published the post on hetero/homogamous. These words are so incredibly useful, since I write about sex and gender a lot, and have discussed heterogamous couples with the same gender presentation, etc. It sounds nicer than same-sex marriage and provides an equal term for “opposite-sex” (bleh!) marriage.


  7. I studies assortative marriage, family, and gender. Therefore, when I first saw homogamous marriage, I thought it’s really confusing. Homogamous marriage first reminds me of homoygamy, such as education, race, etc. homogamy. However, maybe it reflects my stereotype…

    I like your point so much: gender is the most basic form of like-marries-like. I think for a while why, unlike other characteristics such as education, age, or even intelligence, same-sex marriage is not the predominant marriage form. Is it because reproduction is the most important gain to marriage? (Gary Becker did a lot of research based on this assumption)? Though I doubt that in modern societies the majority of people get married for the sake of reproduction. Anyway, it’s an interesting topic!


  8. Christiano Pereira

    I just call it marriage. I dislike usurping homogamous for this purpose because it already has a specific meaning which I find quite beautiful – two people who are so alike that they want to spend their lives together. I disagree that gender is the predominant characteristic of similarity, and in a way, I believe that the fight for gay rights is a struggle to make gender irrelevant. Just as it could be said that for those that oppose racism, skin color does not matter. It would be incongruous for me if two extremely dissimilar people got referred to as a homogamous couple just because their reproductive organs are similar.


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