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Are Humans Meant to be Monogamous?

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Are Humans Meant to be Monogamous?

Old 03-19-08, 02:43 PM
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Are Humans Meant to be Monogamous?

Are Humans Meant to be Monogamous?

Jeanna Bryner
LiveScience Staff Writer
LiveScience.com
1 hour, 49 minutes ago

News of politicians' extramarital affairs seems to be in no short supply lately, but if humans were cut from exactly the same cloth as other mammals, a faithful spouse would be an unusual phenomenon.


Only 3 percent to 5 percent of the roughly 5,000 species of mammals (including humans) are known to form lifelong, monogamous bonds, with the loyal superstars including beavers, wolves and some bats.


Social monogamy is a term referring to creatures that pair up to mate and raise offspring but still have flings. Sexually monogamous pairs mate with only with one partner. So a cheating husband who detours for a romantic romp yet returns home in time to tuck in the kids at night would be considered socially monogamous.


Beyond that, scientists' definitions for monogamy vary.


Evolutionary psychologists have suggested that men are more likely to have extramarital sex, partially due to the male urge to "spread genes" by broadcasting sperm. Both males and females, these scientists say, try to up their evolutionary progress by seeking out high-quality mates, albeit in different ways.


The committed partnership between a man and a woman evolved, some say, for the well-being of children.


"The human species has evolved to make commitments between males and females in regards to raising their offspring, so this is a bond," said Jane Lancaster, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of New Mexico. "However that bond can fit into all kinds of marriage patterns - polygyny, single parenthood, monogamy."


The human species is somewhat unique amongst mammals in that fathers do invest in raising children.


"We do know that in humans we do have this pretty strong pair bond, and there's more paternal investment than in most other primates," said Daniel Kruger, a social and evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. "We're special in this regard, but at the same time like most mammals, we are a polygynous species." Kruger said humans are considered "mildly polygynous," in which a male mates with more than one female.


Whether or not the married or otherwise committed individuals stray for sex depends on the costs and benefits.


"There is plenty of evidence that males have less to lose than females by having extramarital sex," Lancaster said. "Having less to lose, it's easier for them to do it."


Women, however, could lose "dad's" resources when it comes to raising their kids. "For women, the well-being of their children is not improved by promiscuity," Lancaster told LiveScience.


Some scientists view both social and sexual monogamy in humans as a societal structure rather than a natural state.


"I don't think we are a monogamous animal," said Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle. "A really monogamous animal is a goose - which never mates again even if its mate is killed."


She added, "Monogamy is invented for order and investment - but not necessarily because it's 'natural.'"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/...tobemonogamous
Old 03-19-08, 02:49 PM
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Well, it's not in our nature to be monogamous, but reason allows us to have monogamous, exclusive relationships. It separates us from the animals.
Old 03-19-08, 03:02 PM
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If you believe any of this crap, the terrorists have already won.
Old 03-19-08, 03:03 PM
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POLYGAMY NOW!!!!

Old 03-19-08, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DonnachaOne
Well, it's not in our nature to be monogamous, but reason allows us to have monogamous, exclusive relationships. It separates us from the animals.
Unfortunately I think to a lot of people "reason" would be spousal support and/or child support.
Old 03-19-08, 03:08 PM
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It's just a matter of time before Ms. Bryner's husband uses that article against her.
Old 03-19-08, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
POLYGAMY NOW!!!!

As I was going to St. Ives
I met a man with seven wives
And every wife had seven horses
And every horse had seven dogs
And every dog had seven pups
Dogs, pups, horses, wives
How many were going to St. Ives?
Old 03-19-08, 03:18 PM
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I think it's OK for males to have multiple female partners, but females should definitely only have one male partner.
Old 03-19-08, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Aphex Twin
I think it's OK for males to have multiple female partners, but females should definitely only have one male partner.
But then we will run out of partners eventually...
Old 03-19-08, 03:25 PM
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These types of articles always try to put humans in the same category as all other animals. I am waiting for the article that says, "Should humans be self-aware?"
Old 03-19-08, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by GoVegan
As I was going to St. Ives
I met a man with seven wives
And every wife had seven horses
And every horse had seven dogs
And every dog had seven pups
Dogs, pups, horses, wives
How many were going to St. Ives?
2403
Old 03-19-08, 03:28 PM
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Lots of people use biology to justify their actions across the board. Doesnt mean its right. Given natural instincts a person with available food will eat and eat and eat as much as they feel like. Junk food more than healthy food too. Are we meant to be obese? Whos fault is it if we're obese? Its simply human nature to stuff our faces so we cant be blamed. Replace gluttony with any vice and you can blur the issue with biology.
Old 03-19-08, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
"Should humans be self-aware?"
This was a mistake all along. There's no percentage in it.
Old 03-19-08, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Aphex Twin
I think it's OK for males to have multiple female partners, but females should definitely only have one male partner.
the obvious exceptions, prostitutes and porn stars.
Old 03-19-08, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
2403
Old 03-19-08, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Save Ferris
Lots of people use biology to justify their actions across the board. Doesnt mean its right. Given natural instincts a person with available food will eat and eat and eat as much as they feel like. Junk food more than healthy food too. Are we meant to be obese? Whos fault is it if we're obese? Its simply human nature to stuff our faces so we cant be blamed. Replace gluttony with any vice and you can blur the issue with biology.
Using phrases like "meant to be" implies a religious belief. What about non-religious people, how should they approach this subject?
Originally Posted by kvrdave
These types of articles always try to put humans in the same category as all other animals.
When you remove god and religiously imposed morals, why should we be considered separate from animals?
Old 03-19-08, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Giles
the obvious exceptions, prostitutes and porn stars.
Yes, that is true. Also if you are exceptionally hot, you should share yourself with me in addition to whomever you are currently with.
Old 03-19-08, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by GoVegan
As I was going to St. Ives
I met a man with seven wives
And every wife had seven horses
And every horse had seven dogs
And every dog had seven pups
Dogs, pups, horses, wives
How many were going to St. Ives?
Uhhhhhhh, what is 1, Alex?
Old 03-19-08, 03:47 PM
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So he and his brood weren't going as well? It didn't say he met them going the other way.
Old 03-19-08, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
2403

"The guy and his wives aren't going anywhere! They are sitting on a fucking road, waiting on the... How the hell should I know?"


Old 03-19-08, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by GoVegan
As I was going to St. Ives
I met a man with seven wives
And every wife had seven horses
And every horse had seven dogs
And every dog had seven pups
Dogs, pups, horses, wives
How many were going to St. Ives?


Just the guy.
Old 03-19-08, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
So he and his brood weren't going as well? It didn't say he met them going the other way.
I can't believe that stimulated a debate. Ok, even if they were headed the same direction, you forgot to add back in the wives, horses and dogs. Doing that would bring the answer to 1802. Since you didn't do that, I'm forced to assume that you think that only men and puppies count.
Old 03-19-08, 03:56 PM
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Most humans aren't monogamous. Look at the divorce rate, kids out of wedlock. At the very basic level, think of just dating a lot of people. pedagogue for example, has dated 45% of the 20-26 year olds in the greater Miami area.

Also, a similar article in the NY Times.

I think it is entirely possible for people to be monogamous, but it is impossible to expect everyone to be monogamous.
Old 03-19-08, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
Using phrases like "meant to be" implies a religious belief. What about non-religious people, how should they approach this subject?
Or purely from a survival standpoint. Obese animals dont outlive lean ones.
Old 03-19-08, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by GoVegan
I can't believe that stimulated a debate. Ok, even if they were headed the same direction, you forgot to add back in the wives, horses and dogs. Doing that would bring the answer to 1802. Since you didn't do that, I'm forced to assume that you think that only men and puppies count.
Or a more in depth explanation would be:



The following interpretations of the riddle reflect the ambiguity of the language, which could originally have been specific to the normal social expectations of a period in history. The idea of meeting somebody on a journey obviously depends on the means of transport and the kind of journey being undertaken. If the route to St Ives is basically one road with traffic moving both ways along it, it is reasonable to assume that "meeting" someone will involve them coming the other way towards you. To be accurate you would "pass" somebody going in the same direction or stationary by the roadside. You could also meet them at a junction if they were crossing your route on their way to somewhere else. Depending on how the question is interpreted, the answer could also be zero: the person traveling to St Ives is not any of "kits, cats, sacks, wives". Even with this interpretation, however, the answer could be one: in the case the narrator is a wife. Going away from St Ives were: one (1) man, seven (7) wives, seven times seven (49) sacks, seven times seven times seven (343) cats, and seven times seven times seven times seven (2,401) kits, making a total of 8 humans, 49 sacks, and a somewhat implausible 2,744 felines; a grand total of 2,800 kits, cats, sacks, and wives (or 2,801 if you include the man). However, as "sacks" are inanimate objects, 2752 presumably living creatures were headed away from St. Ives. Although it is usually assumed that the man with the wives was going away from St Ives, it may well be true that they were going to St Ives: obviously, one might easily overtake them if they had to drag along sacks filled with 2,744 cats and kittens. The sheer weight of the animals would slow them down. In that case, the answer is 2802, or 2753 if the sacks are not counted. Another solution derives from the fact that the narrator mentions that the man has seven wives, but does not explicitly state that the wives are present, nor their sacks, cats, and kits. If the man is traveling to St. Ives and not away, the answer could be two, one, or zero (depending on if you count only wives, sacks, cats, and kits, and if the narrator be a wife). Yet another answer could be that the man and his cadre of wives, cats, and kittens could be living in a house along the way to St Ives, and the narrator simply paused along the way at his house. Another solution would treat the riddle as a red herring, and state that the average number of wives, sacks, cats and kittens traveling to a large market town in the 18th century could easily number much more than the 2801 mentioned in the riddle. One could also look at it in another way. "...I met a man..." could indeed refer to a man moving from the place, moving to the place or just standing or living somewhere along the track. Another involves the use of past tense "Every wife had seven sacks,". Yesterday he had money, today he has not. Using this past tense could mean that either a wife was carrying seven sacks, or used to carry seven sacks but at the moment both men meet one or more sacks were missing. The same would apply for a cat which had seven kits. Perhaps 1 of the kits died; The cat still has 6 kits, but had 7. Another solution is that the man met was not monogamous, and had 7 wives. Therefore, this scenario is brought forth: The narrator is going to St. Ives, and stops at a pub, or someplace similar, for a quick rest. While there, he meets the man, who tells the narrator about his multiple wives, who are at home, each with their seven sacks, cats, and kittens. That means that only one, the narrator, was going to St. Ives.

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