Are Human Beings Naturally Monogamous?

United States
December 14, 2006 1:22pm CST
Our life expectancies are lengthening and we move about the world often. Gone are the days when people marry the boy or girl next door, who they have known ever since childhood. Women can choose to remain single because they are not forced to marry to keep a roof over their heads With all this wonderful social change there is still that bit of culture lag that insists that "God" wants man and woman to marry and stay together, forsaking all others. But is this true? There is nothing to indicate that humans are naturally monogamous, or that it is healthy for us as a species. Without using religious dogma, can you make an argument for humans being NATUARLLY monogamous?
7 people like this
36 responses
@misskatonic (3726)
• United States
14 Dec 06
I don't believe that humans are naturally monogamous. Go back before the Abrahamic religions far enough and there are plenty of cultures with all sorts of relationship dymanics. Polyamorous relationships, no concept of life-long partnerships, etc. Naturally speaking, monogamy doesn't make much sense. If a species is to survive, there needs to be as much young as possible. So that means spreading the seed. The only argument I can think of is that monogamy lessens the chance of unknown incest - there aren't dozens of people all sharing the same DNA running around. But I don't really buy into that.
@prasanta (1949)
• India
14 Dec 06
In this era of scientific development, incest need not be prevented. Only thing -- the people should be made aware of the social, medical and psychological effects on the children produced through incest. Therefore, without producing any offspring, I feel people may go for incest, if and when it is unavoidable due to psychological or geographical or economic or social reasons.
3 people like this
• United States
14 Dec 06
But science is something different than nature. I was making an argument from a biological/evolutionary standpoint. And the only one that makes any sense to me is prevention of incest. IE, humans could have possibly evolved to favor only one mate to reduce the risk of inbreeding. I don't beleive that, it was just a purely speculative argument.
3 people like this
• Kuwait
14 Dec 06
naturally monogamous?i think woman are naturally monogamous but man they are the real polygamous. they are born to be polygamous, and i hate this line.hope that there is one out there who is really monogamous.
@prasanta (1949)
• India
14 Dec 06
No, it was never so. Considerig the long pregnancy time of human females, frequent mestruation (repeated at least 12 times in a yer)cycle and long mother dependency of the human children, we cannot conclude monogamy is the natural trait of the human being.
2 people like this
• United States
14 Dec 06
Hmmmmm. Most primates manage without monogamy. I believe it is our social structure that creates the circumstances you are talking about. A social structure that provided for matriarchy would look different. Elephants manage. LOL.
1 person likes this
@faelady (161)
• Canada
15 Dec 06
Most female monkeys sleep around on purpose, all on the same day. This is for a bunch of reasons: * more competeting sperm in her body, means the sperm work harder to get to their goal * more sperm means more chance of getting pregnant * best sperm wins, which ensures a strong baby * many males will now protect her and her child, since they all think that they are the father
1 person likes this
• Italy
14 Dec 06
all can do what they want! but in the economy of a family there are A man and A woman... not exist polygamy...is not right for kids, isn't right for sons... You Would had two fathers???? in my opinion isn't a religion question, but a moral question...
2 people like this
• United States
14 Dec 06
When you use the word "moral" your postion is based on rule or custom that does not take circumstance into consideration. That would be a religious stance. If you use the word "ethical"...where each choice is weighed for each particular circumstance, you are not. Morals are absolutes....ethics are thoughtful conclusions.
1 person likes this
@faelady (161)
• Canada
15 Dec 06
You have got to be kidding. So, tribal communities where kids grow up with many mothers (and many fathers) is unhealthy?? Seriously, the biological parents in such communities aren't any more important than any other of the mothers and fathers that take care of a child. In fact, it's proven that a child who grows up in such communities is better adjusted than a child with just two parents.
@sharone74 (4838)
• United States
15 Dec 06
I do not believe tha men were built to be monagamous. I think that is why they used to have multiple wives way back when. So that they can spread the irritation around and annoy each wife as little as possible. In a country where divorce is not allowed I will bet the male mortality rate is high!
• United States
15 Dec 06
By the same token, many women are not monogamous. In Africa there are tribes where the Woman has more than one husband. Infinitely more practical for birth control, childcare, and the pooling of resources.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Dec 06
Not really...because like most mammals we aren't. Survival of the species demands we seek out the best genetic mix for our offspring. Sometimes we get lucky and find that emotionally we are commited as well as physically.
2 people like this
• India
15 Dec 06
Yes it is something like keep experimenting and mabbe u will suceed some or the other time..
@sororravn (448)
• United States
15 Dec 06
No, I do not believe that human are anturally monogamous. What we weem to have is a culture of serial monogamy these days. People move from relationship to relationship with no thought.
2 people like this
• India
15 Dec 06
Well I think its necessary to analyze the lives of monogamous and polygamous humans and then we could get a glimpse of truth
2 people like this
• United States
15 Dec 06
I don't think that people are naturally monogamous. It is easy for us to have many. Animals and humans are the same.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Dec 06
nope
2 people like this
• India
15 Dec 06
actually no .it all depends upon the amt of harmone the infan gets in the woomb
• United States
15 Dec 06
Care to elaborate? What sort of hormone, At what point of gestation?
1 person likes this
@matt608 (843)
15 Dec 06
The main arguemnt that comes to mind is that it is better for the children to have two parents to bring them up. But this mean polygamy is fine, as long as offspring are not produced, and once they are you should stay with that person untill the offspring are 18.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 06
I did not include offspring, only consenting adults.
@nebulla (127)
• India
15 Dec 06
Yes one can stay alone but many times you decide to meet a person because you feel you want to give a chance to yourself in love. The powerful word. LOVE. If you first understand what it is then you go for a date your mind will be clearer. This is what I found out. I shall share it with you. Love entices you into its arms but it is enough to hold you there for only so long. You may grow restless with reality, with the day to day tedium of work. You may itch long to have the carefree delights of passion again...to fall in love all over again just for the feeling. If you fall for that, you will find yourself moving from relationship to relationship always in search of what you only find in the beginning. Love, true long-term love requires more than just being there. It requires that you invest in your relationship; that you work with your partner to succeed. You must create a new love that is deeper and stronger than the fleeting thrill of passion. Together you can build a bond that no one or no thing can break. You can be comfortable in the safety of your relationship. And you can grow in your shared understanding. You can achieve your dreams with your loving partner by your side. Then you are truly in love. This is the opportunity and challenge of love.
• United States
15 Dec 06
Interesting. But on a social level, does that naturally lead to monogamy? There are people who can invest energy in several loving relationships simultaneously, as opposed to one person at a time in sucession, which would be "serial monogamy". I have to assume that you are saying love leads to monogamy as a natural and logical step in secular devotion.
@Aali311 (6118)
• United States
15 Dec 06
I don't think they are monogamous at all, look at the way most of us live today in life and even back in the days. Men had concubines, then today married men look to have extra marital affairs, it's not happening at all.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Dec 06
Well, it's not only men who have affairs, but yes, I agree. Monogamy is not even the norm in some "primitive" (i.e. untouched by Western folkways and mores); in New Guinea or Africa, for instance, men have more than one wife....and that is under their own moral codes!
• United States
15 Dec 06
i think it differs for different people...some people can stay with one partner for their entire life and be satisfied...some people cant...
@love143 (170)
• India
15 Dec 06
So I got to thinking....are humans truly monogamous beings? Are we naturally meant to find, mate with, and remain loyal to only one partner throughout our lives? Some animals are monogamous and choose a partner for life whereas others choose different partners each breeding season, or even multiple partners within one breeding season. So which group do we actually belong to? Are humans different because of our cognitive abilities and emotions? I got to thinking of this because of another thread that touched on marraige and the divorce rate being so high. Maybe we're not actually naturally meant to be with only one person for the rest of our lives and that's why the divorce rate is so high. Or maybe we are truly monogamous and the divorce rate is so high just because we screw things up What do you think?
1 person likes this
@rms2727 (815)
• India
15 Dec 06
i wont say humans are naturally monogamus, its just because of societal norms and the institution of marrige that it is so. we have created a mental restriction by inposing such norms.. thats about it. otherwise we are like any other animal
1 person likes this
@alchemistrx (2554)
• Philippines
15 Dec 06
I have a notion that they are not.I've seen some that are monogamous but I couldn't agree more because some are not.They just can't stick one girl but I am not generalizing.them all. It's bad experience for me but i always get the hitches.
1 person likes this
@pizzuga (40)
• Italy
15 Dec 06
the times are changed to see two women or two men together today it doesn't make sensation anymore the society the times that the job races it brings us to adjust us and who doesn't do him/it it stays out of the world
1 person likes this
@hexhate (366)
• Italy
15 Dec 06
I don't believe in monogamy. I think that what we search can't be given from only one person.
1 person likes this