Is Monogamy Natural for Human Beings?

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A question that is frequently pondered by many, but never universally accepted. I think this one, is best answered in the ‘comment field’ as opinions will definitely vary.

Bonobo

This is not a promotion for adultery, ha! It’s about monogamy, whether it is natural or not. Sure, it seems to be the right thing to do, especially if you’re married with kids. But, is it really in our nature to not stray, biologically?

What is the tie that ties two together and keeps the knot knotted? Trust, respect, and morals…could be the main reasons. To cut right down to the mental aspect of this, there is no telling how high the percentage is for sexually active male & female adults, (probably close to 99% or higher) when it comes to, from time to time, mentally lusting for other partners, sexually fantasizing about anyone besides your current lover on occasions, and so on.

Look at the high divorce rates in the U.S., as the results are self-explanatory when it comes to couples not wanting to stay together for the duration. I’ve known several people who only keep their marriage together solely because of the kids, or due to financial reasons, security issues, etc.

Emotional thoughts often conflicts the primal instinct with doubt, hesitation, reason, logic and conscience. Many people think love is illogical, and many think that being with one partner is actually cheating on yourself. On the flip side, there are a load of hopeless romantics and principal-bound fundamentalists out there. It sounds like a person’s head could split in half with all these conflicting rational thoughts.

Morals are not the only reason that keeps certain peoples’ genitals masterlocked by their spouse, since some customs and traditions around the world also practice these gonadal clamping beliefs of monogamy. On the other hand, depending on your system of beliefs, it may be perfectly normal to have multiple wives (polygamy) – it doesn’t work that way over here, though.

Like an animal out in the wild with all those potential mates, who is to really say there is only one for you? As nature often dictates, the male is generally a wanderer – out searching for fresh bounty and/or meandering around seeking female after female, sort of like a tomcat on the prowl. Hmm, I think I just defined the term ‘womanizer’. There are some monogamous pairs of animals that aren’t actually sexually monogamous, as they often pair up to mate and stick together, yet they still take part in promiscuous activities – having sex with other partners outside of their prime mate.

Going back to the Stone Age, can you even imagine something like “faithfulness” being applied to their lifestyle? Yeah, I really doubt it. Have we slowly evolved into this conflicting subject, as we have strived for sophistication? Human beings, at times, are borderline domestic animals that can revert back to animalistic ways in a whim. So, with that being said, I see no reason why our sexual sensualities would be restricted if we was, say, back in the wild!

Take a bonobo, for example. Huh, what is a freakin’ bonobo? It’s part of the Hominidae family (great apes) – often called a Dwarf Chimpanzee and has very, very similar DNA to us, Homo sapiens. These highly, sexually active creatures often display non-monogamous activities, along with face-to-face sex, oral sex, kissing and even have same gender relations. But the point is, they do what they want. As odd as it may sound, I unfortunately read about how two male bonobos occasionally take part in something they call “penis fencing” – I found this tidbit when searching for more info about this particular type of critter. Yeah, I’m informed now, thanks Wiki. I guess their display of “fencing” shows even more what it means to be “free in nature.”

Anyway, back to the subject, I assume religion has a lot to do with installing guilt to the ones who like variety, as with marriage laws often preaching about faithfulness. And with many, it is also a mutual agreement between two people that love & care for each other. Personally, I think being faithful and loyal are great virtues to try and attain…but, I can’t help but still wonder, “Is monogamy natural for human beings?” I think not…

Update [7-31-2013]: Dang, it is hard to believe that it has been 3 years since I originally posted this.  Anyway, I happened to think of this post a few moment ago, when I noticed an article online entitled “Monogamy may sound sweet, but why it evolved isn’t.”  You can find that recently published article, here:  http://news.yahoo.com/monogamy-may-sound-sweet-why-evolved-isnt-190422956.html Anyway, I think a lot of people are so glued to trying to twist and turn everything into the stupid evolution theory.  Sure, things evolve and adapt, but my gawd!  There are so many things I don’t agree with when concerning that theory.  Anyway, that’s another subject entirely.  I just thought I’d update this old blog post with a fresh link; cheers!

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3 Responses to “Is Monogamy Natural for Human Beings?”

  1. William says:

    HI – Take a look at indigenous cultures if you want to see what’s natural for humans. I think that we are meant to be monogamous and polygamous. That is, we form pair bonds (fall in love), but we also roam. It’s two different evolutionary drives that we are cursed with. One drive pushes us to spread our genes around with as many varied partners as possible, and the other pushes us to take care of our offspring so they will be successful and produce more offspring.

    Plus there are sexual differences – women need more security because they are more invested in the child rearing process. And then there are cultural differences, which evolve over time to suit the situation that societies find themselves in.

    I think marriage (One person till we die) is a relatively new thing for the human race, and it is not natural. At its center is property rights and inheritance. The idea of romantic love was simply superimposed onto the mercenary model of marriage about a hundred years ago – and that may be one root of our current divorce rate. People are expecting something (true love) that marriage was never capable of providing.

    Cool article, and something I think about a lot.

  2. Tonymac says:

    Great article and thanks for the research that went into it. I simply endorse what William has said above – that monogamy and polygamy are the results of two separate evolutionary drives.

    In South Africa both polygamy and same-sex marriages are legal – and there is some evidence of people taking advantage of that, but relatively small numbers.

    Love and peace,

    Tony

  3. Thanks, William, for the excellent feedback! Yeah, us human beings seem to be cursed or afflicted with a lot of things in today’s world, ha!

    Hey, Tony, thanks for the nice comment and for dropping by…

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