Are Humans Suited for Monogamous Relationships?
A monogamous relationship is a type of romantic relationship, where both partners are exclusive to each other. Its counterpart is a polygamous relationship when one has multiple partners. Polygamy has two main types, one being polygyny, when a man has multiple spouses, and polyandry when a woman has multiple husbands.
These days monogamy is the most popular type of romantic relationship, and most cultures in the world promote the idea of having only one partner.
It is mainly because most of the Western world is built on Jude-Christian values, where a family of one man and one woman is one of the highest virtues. Nonetheless, in the East monogamy is also the most popular option. The only modern culture where polygamy is accepted is the Middle East region, where Islam is the reigning religion and polygyny is a common practice.
Even though monogamy is the most accepted type of relationship, there is a lot of debate whether humans are actually suited for such relationships. Even these days, there are some cultures where polygamy is accepted practice, but in most cultures who get slowly modernized, this practice disappears bit by bit.
For example, in Northern Nepal polyandry was vastly accepted among people. One woman would marry multiple men, in most common cases all the brothers from one family. Such a relationship had a practical value because Northern Nepal is a region full of mountains, where arable land is scarce. All brothers of the family marrying one woman would guarantee that all the land that one family owns will stay in its hands.
But polygamous relationships are dying out not without a reason. Recent research has shown, that polygamy is positively correlated with war, meaning that only monogamous relationships can ensure the well-being and stability of a society.
In several parts of society, monogamy is generally regarded favorably, while polygamy is often judged, or even misjudged. Many individuals have asked themselves whether or not monogamy is better than polygamy. From an individualistic perspective – not everyone is built for monogamous relationships; the same principle also applies to polygamous unions.
There is also an evolutionary argument against polygamy. Humans have no bone in their penises, which makes them suited for long sexual intercourse. In the case of polygamous animals, they have bones in their penises, which makes ejaculation quick and the possibility of spreading one’s seed among multiple women in a short span of time.
These days the only modern polygamous cultures are in the Middle East, where Islam made it possible for a man to marry multiple women. All other societies in the world practice monogamy. Indigenous cultures who previously preferred polygamy are slowly turning to monogamy. This may be as a result of various societal pressures or norms.
Probably you can weigh in on the pros and cons of a monogamous or polygamous relationship. Are you in a polygamous relationship and how do you benefit? Do your partner know? How do you manage?