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Does Monogamy Work?

Monogamy as described in Oxford dictionary is the practice of marrying or state of being married to one person at a time; the practice or state of having a sexual relationship with only one partner. Recent discoveries have led biologists to define four aspects of monogamy:


• Social monogamy represents two individuals living together, having sex with each other, and jointly taking care of the welfare, e.g. acquiring food,shelter, money.
• Sexual monogamy refers to two individuals having sex exclusively with each other, e.g. having no sex with other partners.
• Genetic monogamy means two partners only having children with each other.
• Marital monogamy means a marital arrangement between two individuals.

For us humans, social, marital and sexual monogamy usually goes together, but not always in other species. 3% of mammalian species and up to 15% of primate species are socially monogamous including beavers, wolfs and foxes. In birds population even 90% of species are socially monogamous and up to 10% out of those species are sexually monogamous. Social monogamy has also been observed in reptiles, fish, and insects.

Where does humanity stand in regard to monogamy? Are we cut out for it as a species?

″ Our concept of infidelity is changing. Some married couples agree to have brief sexual encounters when they travel separately; others sustain long­term adulterous relationships with the approval of a spouse. Even our concept of divorce is shifting. Divorce used to be considered a sign of failure; today it is often deemed the first step toward true happiness. ″   — Helen E. Fisher, PhD Biological Anthropologist

“… monogamy, based on deep bonds of romantic love, is natural for humans. First, monogamy shows up in animals who invest time and work in rearing their kids and dealing with survival challenges. […] The second and most potent argument for monogamy is that we are wired for it! ″    — Dr. Sue Johnson, Couple and Family Therapist

″ You want an inconvenient truth? Try this one: human beings are clearly evolved for sex lives featuring multiple simultaneous sexual relationships. Men, especially, are designed by evolution to be attracted to sexual novelty and to gradually lose sexual attraction to the same partner in the absence of such novelty. ″ Christopher Ryan, Ph.D. Psychologist

Is Monogamy Natural ?

monogamous relationshipWhere does humanity stand in regard to monogamy? Are we cut out for it as a species? According to the Ethnographic Atlas Codebook, out of 1,231 societies noted, 186 were monogamous. This means that monogamy is not the predominant mating system among the hominid lineage. Read More…

How We Feel Love And Why We Love ?

pair boding - monogamous relationshipIt is widely believed by evolutionists that monogamy suppresses reproductive behavior. However, scientists acknowledge that reproductive behavior is not fully understood yet, and especially when it comes to romance which seems to play an important role in it. Read more…

Can Love Endure And For How Long?

lasting love - monogamous relationship

Can romantic love last or, by its very nature, does it have an expiration date? Some research has suggested that love inevitably fades after about 15 months while others give it around three years. Seemingly the consensus is that love resembles a brief fever that has to die eventually. Read more…

In Conclusion

monogamous relationship

“Call it love, call it friendship, call it marriage, there is something in our biology that leads to this enduring, emotional bond between two individuals that is widespread among human societies.” says Ferdandez-Dugue. Read more…

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