Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Monogamy

This ought to be “T is for Taxes” day, but it’s not--but it is! So confusing!


No, today is M is for Monogamy. Many aver that monogamy is the ideal state, though the evolutionary record wouldn’t support that view. Spreading the wealth seems to be a more, ahem, productive strategy.

Still, monogamy reigns, at least in the U.S. (Stop back by to check my “P is for . . .” post later this week!)

Why is that? Of course, we’re not in danger of running out of people anytime soon, so that may be one factor. We don’t have to rely on propagation as a way to increase the effectiveness of tribal living. In fact, the over-population of our species puts a strain on clean air and water as well as other resources. But that would be a political discussion, and we don’t do that here (at least not often!).

I believe monogamy is so important, so privileged by the media and laws, because we aren’t in survival mode, most of us reading this post. And those in survival mode don’t have their lives improved by having multiple sexual partners.

A professor in my distant past told us that art developed and flourished once survival wasn’t the all-consuming job of every member of the tribe. With leisure--even limited leisure, not a lot--the human instinct to create and leave something behind was allowed to manifest.

I think that’s true of monogamy. We have the luxury to keep attention to one partner since we’re not vying for survival of the fittest or trying to increase population. And monogamy’s a whole lot easier than juggling multiple partners’ needs and desires. Is it “natural” to seek monogamy or counter to our genetic structure?

I believe monogamy is an invention, so to speak, of the relative freedom from survival struggles.

Or not! Why do you think monogamy is the preferred status of most couples?


  1. It feels natural for me, all of your theories make sense.

    1. Thanks, Ida! I'm waiting for the other side to weigh in! LOL Thanks for stopping by and commenting.