Are you monogamous or polygamous?How would you describe yourself?
I think that relationships don’t have to fit into any one model. They can look however you want them to, as long as everyone is consenting and being treated with respect. Monogamy is the norm. While monogamous relationships have a ton of health benefits, choosing not to be in a monogamous relationship doesn’t mean you’re doomed.
There are three types of monogamy scientists now refer to based on their animal studies.
Sexual monogamy – the practice of having sex with only one mate at a time.
Social monogamy – when animals form pairs to mate and raise their offspring but still have flings on the side. (extra pair copulation in science talk)
Genetic Monogamy – when DNA testing confirms that a female’s offspring all come from one father.
For us human beings, social and sexual monogamy generally go together. This is not always so in other species. Studies now estimate that 90 percent of all birds are socially monogamous, living and raising young together, but frequently having sex with other partners.
As scientists continue to uncover clues about why certain animals stay loyal to a partner, the underlying reason for monogamy remains an open question. The most commonly accepted explanation is that monogamy evolved in situations where young are more likely to survive if both parents are involved in raising them. This might help explain why humans tend to be monogamous. No question that human children do take a long time to mature.
By nature it seems that humans are naturally polygamous. Although polyandry, a marriage of one woman to many men is rare, polygyny, the marriage of one man to many women is widely practiced in human societies. Humans, in fact, possess certain characteristics typical of non-monogamous species. Monogamous species are also monomorphic – meaning both males and females are the same size. Polygamous species are dimorphic– the male is larger than the female. Guess what comes next. Because human males are typically 10 percent taller and 20 percent heavier than females, it seems that humans have been mildly polygamous throughout history.
Neurobiological research has not necessarily supported the idea of sexual monogamy–but it has shown us that “social” monogamy is important. We seem to be designed as social beings. It makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. If we weren’t designed to seek out the company of others, our species might not survive.
Whatever type of relationship you choose is cool as long as you’re safe and happy… What do you think? Is monogamy the sure path to “happiness”? Or should we start considering non-monogamy a “viable” substitute for monogamy? 🙄