Monogamy Analysis

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The progression in human society from polygamy to monogamy is not particularly well understood; There are a myriad of factors that could have triggered such a change. The origins of monogamy are argued by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá to have accompanied the rise of agriculture in society. They believe that human society was naturally polygamous before the spread of agriculture, citing evidence in the form of humankind’s relation to species such as the bonobos and the human anatomy. They propose the pronounced polygamy and casual sex in bonobo societies is informative to humanity’s natural state. In addition to this, the large genitals in humans serve as evolutionary evidence towards a history of polygamous societies. They contend the…show more content…
However Ryan and Jethá believe that this form of monogamy goes against true human sexual nature and leads to unhappiness, as well as the need to cope through various distractions. Marlene Zuk disagrees with these arguments, and believes that monogamy in human society is not unnatural. She submits that it is simply not enough to model human nature on closely related species, and she questions what is really known about human ancestors. When considering the evidence, Zuk’s criticisms are more convincing as Ryan and Jethá’s views do not properly reflect modern society; monogamy does not go against true human sexual nature.
Although it can be argued that polygamy plays to the true sexual natures of humans, it can also be argued that the nature of human sexuality itself is dependent on it’s environment and the conditions that it exists in. The conditions that human ancestors lived in supported the lifestyle of polygamy, with a greater emphasis on survival and a
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The introduction of monogamy was partially brought about by the need for caregivers for young offspring; Children need several years of guidance and care until they are ready to be independent, especially in the more advanced and complex society of modern day. With monogamy, there is a secure nurturing connection for the child with not only the mother, but the father as well, and that is believed to assist in accelerating the growth and development of the child’s brain. This attachment between mates and their offspring is rooted in human hormones, which demonstrates how a monogamous society is far from unnatural for humans. The ratio of men and women also becomes much more equal through monogamy than through polygamy, which leads to less competitive mating issues that develop with a gender imbalance. Even more, it is found that in modern polygamous societies, most people naturally end up with a sole partner despite their sexual “freedom”. Even though humans can be polygamous, there are logical benefits to humans being monogamous in modern society. This can explain the shift from polygamy to monogamy as a natural evolution.
Through monogamy, modern human societies have been able to gain a greater social stability while also embracing natural human sexual desires. The way monogamy fits into the modern social structure is demonstrative of the adaptability of humanity’s nature
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