Monogamy vs Polygamy – which one is good and which one is bad?
In the 21st century, you can be who or what you want. You can do absolutely anything, as long as the consequences of your actions don’t hurt others. Homo Sapiens has evolved enormously in the last 300.000 years. From the sole purpose of survival to gaining knowledge, exploring and discovering the universe, humans are more advanced now. But even after so many years of evolution, some things stay the same.
Disclaimer: in this article, I will present verified and verifiable data, not personal opinions. I’m not attacking anyone or any type of lifestyle.
From the moment we are born, we need love from people. First from your parents and then from a partner. But the idea of having a partner or more and the feeling of love are not the same. While love truly exists in our brain, through various chemical reactions, monogamy is a rule. You will have sexual relations with only one person during the entire period of the relationship/marriage. Recent increases in the divorce percentage, however, raise an alarm that something is wrong with this formula.
The history of monogamy
Monogamy is a form of marriage/relationship in which the man has only one wife/girlfriend and the woman only one husband/boyfriend. Polygamy is a form of marriage in which a man/woman has, at the same time, more wives/husbands.
Between the years 300.000 BC and 12.000 BC, Homo Sapiens was a hunter-gatherer. Monogamy didn’t exist during this period. Only tribes where multiple men impregnated individual women. All men were fathers in terms of protection, investment of resources and energy, etc.
Then, 12.000 years ago, the agricultural revolution happened. It is only now that the idea of monogamy and marriage is emerging. Nothing was done from love, it was just a business. Two families were connecting in order to strengthen and increase their labor force, to conclude peace treaties, to preserve power. The idea of “love” in a relationship/marriage appeared just 300 years ago.
Right now, it’s not legal for you to marry more than one woman, but why? What makes polygamy such a wrong thing? Why is it banned even in the most open-minded countries and regions of the world? Moreover, should polygamy count between the many choices you can make? In other words, should a relationship between several people be as normal as a relationship with one person? Opinions are divided, but I am here only to give you information so you can have your opinion. So, let’s begin…
As I said, there was a period when many men impregnated one woman. Thus, the child had more than one father. This way, only the strongest and well-adapted genes would survive and the weak were eliminated. So, from the perspective of the evolution of generations and individuals, it wasn’t actually a bad thing. But, as with most animals, it was necessary and beneficial.
Back then it was about reproduction, but the times and role of sexual contact have changed. If reproduction is no longer the only purpose, then the transmission of the best gene is not the biggest problem either. Now, the most serious problem is sexually transmitted diseases. Logically, more sexual partners mean a higher chance of contracting a sexual disease, right? Apparently not.
There was a recent study made by the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information). It concluded that monogamous people have a higher chance of getting in contact with such diseases than those in an open relationship. This is because people who are in a monogamous relationship/marriage use condoms and STI tests less often. Even if people in open relationships have more sexual partners, protection and prevention measures are also much higher.
Evolutionary psychology has shown that men are more likely to have out-of-relationship adventures in order to pass on their genes as fas as possible. It has also been shown that women are less prone to deceit. Why? Because of the uncertainty that they may lose all the resources provided by the father in the child’s upbringing.
According to the psychologist Lawrence Joss, being monogamous is an aspiration, a simple choice, not a rule. To succeed in a monogamous relationship, you must be an emphatic, authentic person with communication skills. Also, in order to be a polygamous person, you must have certain qualities. Those include not being jealous or insecure regarding the sharing of partners.
Jealousy can be a sign of love, a sign that you want attention from the one you love, etc. If you want to know more about jealousy, check this article!
According to the claim made by Pepper Schwartz: “I don’t think we are a monogamous animal. A really monogamous animal is a goose. A goose never mates again even if its mate dies. Order and investment create monogamy – it’s not necessarily natural.” – Pepper is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Given that polygamy also represents a simple choice, why are so many countries still prohibiting it? Well… In 2000, the United Nations Human Rights Committee reported that polygamy violated ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). It violated women’s rights by unequal treatment regarding the right to marry. Countries that have certified polygamy have not signed ICCPR, therefore they do not have to comply with it.
Another reason is that in a country where polygamy is allowed, the father is less pressured to raise a child. A report by Susan Deller Ross (Law Professor and Director at the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic) in Namibia, Swaziland, and Tanzania showed the impact of polygamy on women and children. Findings showed that men could not economically support more than one wife and a child. The economic struggle and emotional support were two key issues. That is why the Human Rights Committee and CEDAW have invoked to keep polygamy illegal.
In Canada, after an investigation into the rape of 15 to 16-year-old children in a community in Bountiful, Wally Oppal said: “My opinion always was that no right in the criminal code is absolute, and every right has limitations. That polygamy section was put there for a very good reason, to protect women and children. So we went ahead with the polygamy charge at that time.”
As I said in the disclaimer, I did not create this article to present my personal opinion to you, but this issue. I tried to give you information, so you can answer the question: Should polygamy be legalized?
Photo: Denisa Boroica