Is Monogamy Natural For Humans? Here’s What Science Has To Say

As much as we like to admit it or not, many of us are guilty of some form of cheating. Whether it’s an innocent but seductive smile addressed to someone at the gym or going out with a colleague, it’s there. Cheating can take many forms, but it’s usually about what you choose to hide from your partner for whatever reason.

You may think it’s harmless, but if your partner is not in the know about your flirting outside your relationship, then it’s something.

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The truth is every human being has had the urge to try out stimulating experiences outside the committed relationship. What makes the difference is that while others go all the way, some choose not to act on these urges.

But where does it all come from? Why is it so ubiquitous? Is there any chance that monogamy isn’t natural, the way we were conditioned to think? Are we truly hardwired to be with only one person at a time?

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As a matter of fact, there is. Firstly, let’s take a look at animals’ behavior which can tell us a lot about our primal instincts. It looks like only 3 to 5 percent of the 5,000 species of mammals have a bond for life. That makes the monogamy rate pretty low, perhaps lower than many of us expected.

Experts in biology, psychology and sexuality affirm that we, humans, were not meant to be monogamous.

That being said, monogamy is rather a social construct.

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This can only shed light on the status of marriage among us humans. Psychologically, we have been trained to aspire to marriage as the one true connection between two people. It’s supposed to guard us against cheating, jealousy, insecurity and so on. At least, in theory. In practice, judging by the confessions of so many married couples, marriage is precisely what makes these things thrive.

Infidelity usually arises when there is a void in the relationship, a disconnection, a lack. But if everyone involved feels safe as part of a healthy loving relationship, there’s no need to look for affection some place else.

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It’s natural to form strong bonds with one another and seek love and companionship. But these aren’t unbreakable. Our natural condition is rather one in which we all lean towards being polygamous. As long as there is openness,  honesty and commitment with regards to all parties, there is nothing unnatural or promiscuous about it.

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Lately, there have been different approaches to polygamy.

Culturally, monogamy is not the only accepted “pathway” anymore. Some even associate it with archaic patriarchal views. After all, under the original sense of marriage, the woman was her husband’s property.

Polygamy accepts that there can be no ownership over one person, man or woman. It is based on mutual love and respect and rests heavily on the idea of human freedom. It makes no false promises either. Being in such an honest and committed relationship would even make it harder for people to seek external stimuli. In other words, to cheat.

So is polygamy the new monogamy?

Please share!