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Monogamy is not natural, why do we insist on pursuing this flawed relationship model?

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    http://www.wild-bird-watching.com/Birds-Mate-Life.htmlhttp://www.wild-bird-watching.com/Birds-Mate-Life.html

    And seen some other wildlife thing where some kind of bird stayed with partner for life, maybe an albatross or something, whatever they were they were big and white.
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    (Original post by milkytea)
    Polygamy is an interesting idea. I think the only reason I favour it is because I have an annoying habit of falling for girls who have boyfriends.

    From talking to my friends about this, I think the reason that monogamy remains popular is because cultural attitude seems to give people (especially guys, I think) the idea that they somehow have "ownership" over their girl. Obviously this is a generalisation, as are all socially-related statements like that, but I think it's true on the whole. I don't mean they think of them as an object. I think that the idea of women as property is a cultural hangover from history which is kept alive by the almost universally-felt bad feeling caused by the idea that your girlfriend may be shagging somebody else. And let's face it, that idea is not a pleasant one. It's hard to get over. It's a difficult one because although it would seem more rational to simply embrace polygamy and hence avoid all the conflict caused by cheating and so on, but for people of our generation I just don't think we would be happy knowing that our boy/girlfriends could be seeing someone else. Of course if couples agree to it then that's their business.
    I'm a big believer in monogamy on the grounds its much less exhausting than the alternatives... one man to deal with is enough for me thanks!

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    (Original post by HSG1992)
    But if you legalised polygamy, you'd probably get a lot of people who would actively search for exclusive relationships.

    So I don't think that you can use cheating as an argument for monogamy being unnatural.
    That's not the argument, cheating occurs because it's unnatural. Not the other way round.

    It's unnatural because monogamy is a recent western cultural phenomenon. Humans have been non-monogamous for hundreds of thousands of years. Just because recently monogamy has become the fad doesn't mean it's the best form of relationships for humans.
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    (Original post by Historophilia)
    Monogomous relationships do last though? :confused: Obviously some break down, but not always due to infidelity. If they didn't last, why are people's Grandparents still married to their first husband/wife?
    Because that's what culturally expected of them? Doesn't mean they're necessarily happy.

    And sex decreases slightly in importance by that age. I'm talking about the whole of the rest of your life, not just when you're too old to find anyone else and too tired to have sex with more than one person.

    (Original post by Historophilia)
    Also, I'm pretty sure that there's evidence that humans have formed monogamous partnerships right back into the pre-homo sapiens era.

    There's no evidence whatsoever that humans are naturally polygamous.
    Humans have always been polygamous. Western culture became monogamous fairly recently. All the evidence points towards the fact that we were never meant to be monogamous, it's unnatural and problematic.

    (Original post by Historophilia)
    And at the end of the day, if you want to have a poly-amorous relationship fine go ahead. But the vast majority of people seem to view stable relationships as being a two person thing, and the vast majority of people seem happy with that.
    But they aren't even aware that there are alternatives. They think that's the only relationship that can exist, and society looks down on other types of relationships. Forcing people to form relationships which don't ultimately make them happy. Monogamy definitely isn't for everyone, but it's what's expected of you.

    (Original post by Historophilia)
    It's no 'pretence' as you put it, it's just what people do, always have done, and always will do.
    Always have done? Nothing could be further than the truth. Humans never used to be monogamous. We evolved to be strictly polygamous. Recent western culture has forced us to be monogamous.
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    (Original post by Stefan1991)
    That's not the argument, cheating occurs because it's unnatural. Not the other way round.

    It's unnatural because monogamy is a recent western cultural phenomenon. Humans have been non-monogamous for hundreds of thousands of years. Just because recently monogamy has become the fad doesn't mean it's the best form of relationships for humans.
    Aha my bad, I misunderstood your argument.

    In that case I'm not sure you can say for certain that it's a case of natural vs unnatural. Monogamy may just be a fad but my guess is that it's going to be around for a long time. It'll suit some people perfectly but for others, a lone partner may not be enough.

    I don't have a problem at all with polygamy to be honest. If it makes all involved happy and causes no one else harm then it's all good.
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    Monogamy is a part of our sexual model. The rather heavy-handed evolutionary theory suggests women seek to have babies with physically strong, arrogant dickheads and then find a nice, mild-mannered guy who was left out of the sex party to raise the kids in return for some vanilla sex. Monogamy is the second half of that.

    You are right in saying that people our age should naturally be polyamorous. However as a guy you should not welcome this proposal. Probability dictates that you wouldn't be part of the small minority of men who are monopolising sex with all the women. You would get no sex whatsoever. As ever, men occupy the extreme top and bottom of the power pyramid with women in between. Just like how everyone in the boardroom is a man and everyone sleeping on the streets is a man.
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    (Original post by Sisu)
    Around 25% of men and 11% of women have sex with someone besides their current partners. That doesn't show cause for concern on monogamous relationships. Psychology is never a easy field and you can't just say it's down to sex drive. Most psychological theories I've read have stated it's down to sex drive for men but other factors like lack of emotional commitment for women. So it isn't really clear cut.

    Monogamy is natural because it's observed in nature, around 7% of mammals are monogamous. That's the only factor on whether something is natural or isn't. Monogamy works for some people, polygamy works for others. There's no one size fits all.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...-be-monogamous
    No. around 3% of mammals are monogamous. Even with your statistic, that's 93% of mammals that aren't monogamous. How is that "natural because it's observed in nature"? :lolwut: You've ignored your own statistic. Humans are the only primates which exhibit monogamy. We never used to be monogamous until recently. If that doesn't tell you it's unnatural, I don't know what will.

    The only other animals which exhibit monogamy are some birds, far far less related to us than mammals and primates and they actually have evolutionary reasons for doing so.

    The reason why only 25% of men and 11% of women sleep with other partners is because they are forced to. A lot more obviously would want to, but they are not permitted. Eventually they will break up a relationship to pursue other sexual relationships, even though that relationship would have continued if they were permitted to sleep with more than one person. Insistence on monogamy is what breaks up otherwise perfectly good relationships.
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    Christianity and Judasms influence over europe, therefore USA, Latin America, Canada, Australia, marriage, is between one man and one woman, obscure denominations obviously offer different practaces.

    Not sure about how it came to be in the far east though.
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    Most things humans do aren't 'natural' (in this definition of the word anyway). For example we depend on tools, and have for several thousand years... other animals do not depend on tools.
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    (Original post by Politricks)
    Huzah! Let's get ourselves 10 partners and get them all pregnant, because 7 billion people on this planet are clearly not enough...
    Monogamy is what creates population growth, nobody chooses to have kids with someone they're not planning on staying with. A bit of a terrible argument if you don't mind me saying so.
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    (Original post by firechao)
    I think if we started taking it right back to man's impulsive urges we might be unhappy with what we'd have, to say the least.

    Human beings are all about self-restraint. It's "natural".
    Humans beings are all about self-restraint? Humans are one of the most sexually active animals there are. Making sex a lot more important to us than other animals. Humans are biologically predisposed to want to sleep with as many people as possible.
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    I think if you want to be in a relationship you should be prepared for monogamy and accept that it would be wrong to cheat.

    If you don't want a relationship and you instead want to enjoy casual pleasures with several or perhaps even a variety of likeminded people then fair enough and you're probably just not ready to settle down yet or maybe just not really the 'monogamous type'.

    I think it's wrong to try and combine the two because I think it's fundamentally weird for people in a truly loving relationship to be ok with each other having sex with other people. What's the point of being in a relationship if it doesn't satisfy you and you have to look elsewhere? If you can have sex with other people then you probably don't love the person that you're with.
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    (Original post by limetang)
    Most things humans do aren't 'natural' (in this definition of the word anyway). For example we depend on tools, and have for several thousand years... other animals do not depend on tools.
    Monkeys use tools I think. I don't know if they actually depend on them as such but I know they can and do use them.
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    (Original post by HSG1992)
    Monogamy may just be a fad but my guess is that it's going to be around for a long time.
    Monogamy hardly exists apart from western cultures, where after a period of social sexual liberation it is becoming less relevant. For example the majority of homosexuals do not practise monogamy. Only approximately 17.8% of 563 societies studied in the world practise it. It's mostly in places rooted with a long history of judaeo-christian beliefs, which again are becoming irrelevant now. In most societies, extra-marital sex is normal for men. Genetic monogamy is extremely rare and social monogamy is not common.

    I foresee it becoming less common in the future, for the better.
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    Title of this thread = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy.
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    (Original post by limetang)
    Most things humans do aren't 'natural' (in this definition of the word anyway). For example we depend on tools, and have for several thousand years... other animals do not depend on tools.
    Making and using tools has always been natural for us.... what makes you say it isn't? That is part of what makes us human.

    Everything we do is fulfilling a natural need, otherwise it is a social or culturally constructed need. For example we browse facebook because we are social beings and we want to compare ourselves to our peers. Therefore browsing facebook is natural to us.

    Relationships for them to work have to correspond to our natural needs. Monogamy however ignores hundreds of thousands of years of genetic and evolutionary programming, and often does not fulfil all our needs. Hence why it is unnatural for us.
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    (Original post by TheIronist)
    Title of this thread = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy.
    It is not bad because it is not natural, it bad because it is flawed and does not fulfil our natural needs. Therefore the fallacy doesn't apply.

    I'm not talking about morality, i'm talking about practicality.
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    (Original post by limetang)
    Most things humans do aren't 'natural' (in this definition of the word anyway). For example we depend on tools, and have for several thousand years... other animals do not depend on tools.
    The intelligence that allowed humans to create and now depend on these tools could be said to have come from nature. Therefore it's natural.
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    (Original post by littleone271)
    I think if you want to be in a relationship you should be prepared for monogamy and accept that it would be wrong to cheat.
    But why should human beings have to suffer monogamy? When all their primal urges and instincts are telling them different?

    Relationships should be about love, not ownership over the other's genitals.

    (Original post by littleone271)
    If you don't want a relationship and you instead want to enjoy casual pleasures with several or perhaps even a variety of likeminded people then fair enough and you're probably just not ready to settle down yet or maybe just not really the 'monogamous type'.
    Why cannot one have a relationship where they are emotionally committed, but allow each other to be sexually liberated?

    (Original post by littleone271)
    I think it's wrong to try and combine the two because I think it's fundamentally weird for people in a truly loving relationship to be ok with each other having sex with other people.
    It's not "fundamentally weird", it's weird because your culture tells you it is. You need to start thinking beyond how society tells you how to be.

    There is nothing wrong with being in a truly loving relationship, and having sex with other people. It is not natural or healthy to just have sex with one human being, so instead of resisting your urges, or putting tension on the relationship or breaking it up, why not allow each other to sleep around? The relationship would be much stronger for it.

    Obviously it only works if the two people are emotionally committed, and truly in love. If you are truly in love, you shouldn't care. Couples who do not trust each other or who aren't committed are too busy primitively claiming ownership over each other's ballsacks.

    (Original post by littleone271)
    What's the point of being in a relationship if it doesn't satisfy you and you have to look elsewhere? If you can have sex with other people then you probably don't love the person that you're with.
    Few people are genuinely sexually satisfied with sleeping with just one person. Particularly males. They might say they are, and lie to their partners to make them feel better, but this is rarely if ever actually the case.

    100% of males will cheat if they thought their partner would never ever find out. But they can do this and still truly love their partner, they are just responding to their deeply embedded biological needs in order to be able to continue with their "monogamous" relationship. There's nothing wrong with it. Why should their partner have ownership over their body?

    Monogamy just isn't compatible with true human happiness.
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    From an evolution and evolutionary psychology perspective it's quite clear, especially for men that multiple partners are desired.

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