Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
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03-01-2013, 10:04 PM
Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
Remember, before you post some damned rude comment on this, these hypotheses are based upon my current knowledge.

In the United States, about 30% of all marriages end up in divorce. From personal experiences (I've never had I female companion or a 'girlfriend' in my thirteen years of living) and observations; I have concluded within my own mind that monogamy is not suitable for humans.
The species 'Homo Sapiens' has existed on this planet for 250,000 years; in which the majority of these years, humans had been a race of primitive hunter-gatherers.
Since the whole point of life is to reproduce (according to me its that, and to have fun, the latter more important), people would only need to keep short-term relationships in order to reproduce, therefore meaning that humans are indeed NOT monogamists.
Bitch and whine all you want in the comments section below; but at the end of the day, you can't deny the truth.

Cool story, bro. Drinking Beverage
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03-01-2013, 10:27 PM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
Monogamy is what much of the human species has evolved to.

Yes, sex is good for survival, but so is making sure the young survive themselves. Evolution has shown that monogamy can be effective in assuring this happens.

Many other species besides human have monogamous relationships as well.

This doesn't mean everyone feels this way or has this urge, it's just a product of evolution for some.

The same could be said that humans aren't made to want kids (my sister and her husband don't) or we aren't made to be social creatures at all (some hermatize into mountain dwelling). We aren't made to be any of these things. They are just results for some.

Monogamy is an outcome, not a rule. We aren't supposed to be anything, we just are.
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03-01-2013, 11:07 PM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
Technically you are correct since "survival of the fittest" describes an organism that has the most offspring. Animals that mate prodigiously have low male parental investment (MPI) because their children are born relatively strong and need little to no care to survive to pass on their own genes. Chimps, our closest cousins, are good examples of this. Their offspring may be weak when compared to other animals, but they are strong enough to hold on to their mothers' bellies, as well as walk, from an early age. They develop physically much faster than human children. It is important to note that chimps live in a violent patriarchal society where the males fight for alpha status so that they can have mating rights with all of the females in a community. Newly established alphas are known to sometimes kill the offspring of their predecessors to avoid gene competition. The joint human-chimp ancestor may have lived in such a society.

However, after we parted ways, the human lineage adopted an egalitarian society, one in which males do not compete for multiple females. We started having fewer children because our ever-growing brains required more and more time to mature. Hence, we are born weaker and have longer periods of immaturity in comparison with chimps. Animals that have fewer children tend to have higher MPI because it takes two parents to care for such helpless creatures. Too much energy has been put into the child—i.e., the creation of the sperm and egg and the calories sacrificed by the mother to bring it to term—for the father to just leave to go impregnate the next female. This may sound like a common occurrence in today’s society, but you have to view the situation through the lens of deep history. Anatomically modern human males living in the semi-forested grasslands of ancient Africa couldn’t just leave their wives and move to a new city to chase younger women. There were very few humans at the time, so they had to stay in tightknit hunter-gatherer groups. They all depended on each other for survival. Monogamy as far as wedlock is concerned is a modern invention. Biological monogamy is much, much older.

It is interesting to note that Gibbons, the “lesser apes,” are monogamous because they are small and can only protect a single female, a limited number of offspring, and a small patch of territory. I think this mirrors what it was like for early humans.
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03-01-2013, 11:19 PM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
This:
(03-01-2013 10:04 PM)Refuting_Ignorance_Every_Day Wrote:  Remember, before you post some damned rude comment on this, these hypotheses are based upon my current knowledge.

Is incompatible with this:
(03-01-2013 10:04 PM)Refuting_Ignorance_Every_Day Wrote:  Bitch and whine all you want in the comments section below; but at the end of the day, you can't deny the truth.

It's hard to take you seriously with comments like that, especially the last bit. Bitch and whine all I want? How about I do neither and still pwn you like the child you are?

First, get your facts straight. The divorce rate in the US for first marriages is over 40% and close to 50% in some states, while second and third marriages are even higher than that - average them all together and divorce rate is over 50%. That would seem to support your presumptuous theory.

However, many species on this planet are monogamous. Did you know that about 90% of ALL avians are monogamous? (That's birds, in case your wondering). Only about 3% of all mammals are monogamous. Significant? There are about 6,000 species of mammals on the planet and about 10,000 species of bird. You do the math.

Why is monogamy useful to some species and not to others? One currently wide-held belief (based on expert observation of trained scientists, rather than the wild assumptions of thirteen year olds), is that in species where the young are particularly vulnerable and may benefit from protection by both parents, monogamy may be an optimal strategy. Birds survive by flying but young birds cannot fly, so extra protection for the young is important. Most mammals, however, have their defense mechanisms in place practically from birth - the dama gazelle, for instance, can run and keep up with the herd unassisted at just a mere 3 days old.

So why are humans in the 3% minority? Because our infants are feeble. Very feeble. Probably the feeblest of all infants of all mammals, though I'm speculating there. If the prevailing theory about monogamy and its relation to infantile protection is correct, then it was a biological and evolutionary imperative for our species to evolve with predominantly monogamous social behavior.

So check your facts before you come onto a site with grown-ups who are more than willing to do a few minutes of fact finding before we decide whether we can or cannot deny your parody of the truth.

To your credit, I grant that you claimed this was merely the hypothesis of an adolescent, and knowing that, I might have chosen a less aggressive approach to refuting your hypothesis except for the fact that you embedded your hypotheses in such silly adolescent bluster that I felt compelled to refute the bluster as well.

In fairness, your hypothesis is not unfounded and I approve of your willingness to observe nature with a skeptical eye and question what you see around you, but I suggest that prefacing your guesswork with a little research will go a long way toward guiding you more successfully on your road to scientific discovery.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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03-01-2013, 11:43 PM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2013 11:47 PM by Hafnof.)
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
"Social monogamy is relatively rare in the animal kingdom. The actual incidence of social monogamy varies greatly across different branches of the evolutionary tree. Over 90 percent of avian species are socially monogamous.[14][21] This stands in contrast to mammals. Only 3 percent of mammalian species are socially monogamous, although up to 15 percent of primate species are.[14][21] Social monogamy has also been observed in reptiles, fish, and insects.
Sexual monogamy is also rare among animals. Many socially monogamous species engage in extra-pair copulations, making them sexually non-monogamous. For example, while over 90% of birds are socially monogamous, "on average, 30 percent or more of the baby birds in any nest [are] sired by someone other than the resident male."[22] Patricia Adair Gowaty has estimated that, out of 180 different species of socially monogamous songbirds, only 10% are sexually monogamous.[23]"
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_sexuality

"The incidence of sexual monogamy can be roughly estimated as the percentage of married people who do not engage in extramarital sex. Several studies have looked at the percentage of people who engage in extramarital sex. These studies have shown that extramarital sex varies across cultures and across genders.
The Standard Cross-Cultural Sample describes the amount of extramarital sex by men and women in over 50 pre-industrial cultures.[66][67] The amount of extramarital sex by men is described as "universal" in 6 cultures, "moderate" in 29 cultures, "occasional" in 6 cultures, and "uncommon" in 10 cultures. The amount of extramarital sex by women is described as "universal" in 6 cultures, "moderate" in 23 cultures, "occasional" in 9 cultures, and "uncommon" in 15 cultures. These findings support the claim that the amount of extramarital sex differs across cultures and across genders."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monogamy

However, one cannot derive an "ought" from an "is"[1]. Views on what "ought" to happen sexually between humans vary widely. As we are an intelligent species who can perform our own moral reasoning there is no reason for us individually to be bound by trends in the population. Humans around the world have very different attitudes towards sexuality, and these interact with our individual moral value positions. Some believe that when you can get some you should, and if that's the view of all parties in the exchange then there is not necessarily anything wrong with that. However, at a moral level I see it as important to understand and respect the needs and biases of all involved.

As for a 30% divorce rate - I really don't see this as being tied to the question of sexual monogamy. People can and can't live with each other for a number of reasons, and availability of sex is one of those things... but family dynamics are much more complex than that. Poor choice of partner, poor relationship skills, personal baggage, unwillingness to commit, external stresses, demands of children, and any number of other factors can be involved.

As for social monogamy - the family unit is still a major force for good in the raising of children. If children are not involved then only the needs of the parties involved are important... but when children are involved having a stable set of adults involved in their life, sharing the parenting burden, sharing the burden of acquiring necessary resources for the family, etc, are all important. It's seriously hard to raise a child alone. Family matters, and social and to a slightly lesser extent sexual monogamy play an important role in the definition and sustenance of a family. "short-term relationships in order to reproduce" don't cut it. That's something that's difficult to understand without actually being a parent, but if you seriously research what it takes to look after even a single child from birth I think you'll see that. Social monogamy is not the only way to build a family, but it is one way and family is important to the raising of children.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80%93ought_problem

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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04-01-2013, 12:10 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(03-01-2013 11:43 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  As for a 30% divorce rate - I really don't see this as being tied to the question of sexual monogamy. People can and can't live with each other for a number of reasons, and availability of sex is one of those things... but family dynamics are much more complex than that. Poor choice of partner, poor relationship skills, personal baggage, unwillingness to commit, external stresses, demands of children, and any number of other factors can be involved.


I would argue the divorce rate is higher than 30%. I know in parts of California it was much closer to 50%. However, I'd agree the reason for a marriage ending had little to do sex and a lot more to do with life and all the stuff that goes along with it --- very much like the things you mentioned in your comment.

Sex is actually a really small piece of the puzzle that is human relations.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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04-01-2013, 12:16 AM
Re: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
Sounds like someone is trying to justify being a shitbag partner in a marriage.
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04-01-2013, 12:45 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
1. One country, within a very small time period, is not representative of the billions of other humans and societies.
2. Technological level doesn't have anything to do with sexual or social habits. There are more "primitive" species (basic animals) that are monogamous.
3. Humans don't have the "luxury" to reproduce and leave. One child is produced, and MUST be taken care of and supported for a decade at least. Both partners have to invest a lot of time and energy to ensure their prodigy survives and thrives.
4. The "point of life" is not to reproduce, or survive at any individual level. It's about ensuring that a gene pool survives. If may very well be that a species develops in a way which 99% of them will die to ensure that 1% of the population is guaranteed survival. An ant colony for example- Only the Queen reproduces, and the millions of others cannot. They don't ensure their own genes survival, but the "gene pools" survival.
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04-01-2013, 12:47 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(03-01-2013 10:27 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  Monogamy is what much of the human species has evolved to.

Yes, sex is good for survival, but so is making sure the young survive themselves. Evolution has shown that monogamy can be effective in assuring this happens.

Many other species besides human have monogamous relationships as well.

This doesn't mean everyone feels this way or has this urge, it's just a product of evolution for some.

The same could be said that humans aren't made to want kids (my sister and her husband don't) or we aren't made to be social creatures at all (some hermatize into mountain dwelling). We aren't made to be any of these things. They are just results for some.

Monogamy is an outcome, not a rule. We aren't supposed to be anything, we just are.
This.

There is one issue I have with those who support polygamist marriage though. I foresee difficult issues in making polygamist marriage legally binding, such as inheritance, power of attorney, custody, etc. I am in full support, however, of those who either choose to live with each other and don't get married, open marriages, or bachelors/bachelorettes with several partners.

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04-01-2013, 01:02 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(04-01-2013 12:47 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(03-01-2013 10:27 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  Monogamy is what much of the human species has evolved to.

Yes, sex is good for survival, but so is making sure the young survive themselves. Evolution has shown that monogamy can be effective in assuring this happens.

Many other species besides human have monogamous relationships as well.

This doesn't mean everyone feels this way or has this urge, it's just a product of evolution for some.

The same could be said that humans aren't made to want kids (my sister and her husband don't) or we aren't made to be social creatures at all (some hermatize into mountain dwelling). We aren't made to be any of these things. They are just results for some.

Monogamy is an outcome, not a rule. We aren't supposed to be anything, we just are.
This.

There is one issue I have with those who support polygamist marriage though. I foresee difficult issues in making polygamist marriage legally binding, such as inheritance, power of attorney, custody, etc. I am in full support, however, of those who either choose to live with each other and don't get married, open marriages, or bachelors/bachelorettes with several partners.
I've know quite a few polygamy based relationships and few have lasted. The undoing seems to be jealousy -- No matter how hard they try the jealousy thing seemed to be end game for them. I've known two that are successful with an awesome dynamic. But both have rules respecting privacy and maintain somewhat separate living spaces (one owns adjoining condos and the other lives in a duplex). Both are triads and are married to one of the partners -- "one couple" owns the condo and the other owns the other condo and they do make all medical decisions together, But those are the exceptions not the rule...

There are some with more devil-may-care attitude toward relationships but they more or less flit around until they find the next great thing in their lives.


I see similar situations involving "open marriages" too. But as far as property rights or legalities, the person outside the "marriage" is left out of those...They take more a don't ask, don't tell attitude.

None of this is from my own personal experience (my husband and I don't swing that way) but we do many people who do (you could say our friends are eclectic and eccentric) but more from personal and very direct observations.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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