Research:  The Benefits Of Monogamy

Personally I consider monogamy as the best form of a balanced mating system, because it causes the least suffering to women.

But research also indicates benefits of mongamy.   This article compares monogamous with polygynous marriages.

But on a more subtle level, the promicuous jerks, who ruthlessly manipulate as many women as they can by hook or crook into being their prey, also cause not only pain to the used women, but also social ruptures similar to what has been described in the article.  While in polygyinous society the less successful men do not find a wife, under a promiscuous social norm, the less successful men are also competing for scarce prey.


"In cultures that permit men to take multiple wives, the intra-sexual competition that occurs causes greater levels of crime, violence, poverty and gender inequality than in societies that institutionalize and practice monogamous marriage."

"Considered the most comprehensive study of polygamy and the institution of marriage, the study finds significantly higher levels rape, kidnapping, murder, assault, robbery and fraud in polygynous cultures. ...., these crimes are caused primarily by pools of unmarried men, which result when other men take multiple wives."

"The greater competition increases the likelihood men in polygamous communities will resort to criminal behavior to gain resources and women, he says."

"According to Henrich, monogamy's main cultural evolutionary advantage over polygyny is the more egalitarian distribution of women, which reduces male competition and social problems. By shifting male efforts from seeking wives to paternal investment, institutionalized monogamy increases long-term planning, economic productivity, savings and child investment, the study finds."

"Monogamous marriage also results in significant improvements in child welfare, including lower rates of child neglect, abuse, accidental death, homicide and intra-household conflict, the study finds."

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Replies to This Discussion

In my opinion, men's belief, that they can be at the same time promiscuous and persons with morals is as much a false belief as is the belief in the existence of a deity.   It is a delusion. 

Morals are in my atheistic definition the responsibility and care to avoid hurting and harming others.  

Lorena, in the case you are interested, there was another discussion:

And I am not bothered to reply to any defense of promiscuity.   Just as I am not bothered to discuss religious beliefs with the believers.   It is both equally futile.  Both the religious and the women-users stick to attitudes, that fulfill their personal needs.  

Enchantée que quelqu'une est d'accord avec moi...  Thanks for appreciating my opinions as insights.   Calling promiscuity a scourge to humanity (which I did on my ERCP-blog, which you may enjoy reading) makes it a lonely place, where thinking outside the box of an oversexed and desensitized society has led me.  

I found another research, that promiscuity can damage the victim's health, when the victim is dumped or cheated by a promiscous jerk and suffers a broken heart:

"Broken heart syndrome occurs during highly stressful or emotional times, such as a painful breakup,

Broken heart syndrome also is called stress cardiomyopathy. Symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack, including chest pain and difficulty breathing.

During an extremely stressful event, the heart can be overwhelmed with a surge of adrenalin and other stress hormones. This can cause a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. It's similar to what happens during a heart attack, when a blood clot in a coronary artery restricts blood supply to heart muscle."

Is there any evidence that a monogamous life is better for women, or this is just a feeling?

What if research showed out that monogamy is worse for men...would that matter?

Does your definition of morals, "not harming others", apply to both genders? Or is it something less noble -  just looking out for your own? 

And are you asserting that when a relationship doesn't work out, the woman is always the victim? 

Oneman, go to relationship advice and other self-help pages.   Read the accounts of the countless women, who have become emotionally attached to a man with the emotional need for exclusivity, but the man did not get attached the same way, instead he either dumped or cheated on her.   The woman suffered extreme pain, maybe even trauma.  

If reading about the pain of these women does not convince you, that monogamy and commitment prevent or reduce much of the suffering of women, if it leaves you cold and unmoved, if you feel entitled to practice ruthless promiscuity, then you are beyond the reach of being influenced towards consideration and responsibility.  If you cannot decide for yourself to treat women morally, nobody can make that decision for you.    

To be moral is a decision, how to be moral depends on awareness and knowledge and on asking before risking to hurt the potential victims.  

PS.  Note the IFs, I know nothing about you personally.  

Only women suffer pain at broken relationships? Does reading about the pain of men convince you of anything, or does it leave you cold and unmoved?

Caring about the suffering of women, but being indifferent to the suffering of men is not a virtue. It is not noble. It is not fair. It is not just. And its not cool. 

You argument begins with a host of false premises. You might take note that the vast majority of authors in the polyamory world are women.   The poly movement is NOT polygamy, which you seem to equate as the only alternative to monogamy. You also forget that there are and have been many successful cultures that were matriachal and in some, as in the Na culture, women could have as many lovers as they like. The Meghalaya of India are matriarchal and men complain of being oppressed by women. Do a little research in cross cultural sexuality and you will find that your premises don't hold water. In addition, do a little biology research and you will easily see that human are not now, and never have been monogamous. Remember that mongamous means "one mate for life." How many people do you know that have only had one sex partner for life? There are almost no species on the planet that are monogamous. Read The Myth of Monogamy by Barash and Lipton.  Read Sex and Dawn by Ryan and Jeptha. Read my latest book, Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuaity.  In addition, there is no argument from evolution to support monogamy in humans. As you site, there are many arguments on its benefits within the narrow confines of a particular, patriarchal, Christian, Hindu or Muslim culture. That says nothing about normal human tendencies and behavior, only that religion can make life miserable for those that don't conform. Hope this gives you some new areas to consider in your research.

Heh, ouch.  I wasn't going to jump in, because I've seen in other threads that there's no convincing her.  Good to see someone else do the job.

I also noticed the distinct gender slant to her comments, as if women never cheated on their husbands/lovers.

Ditto on the polyamory.  I knew a lot of polies, back when I hung out with Pagans a bit more.  Almost all of them were bisexual women.  There was one guy that I remember.

I was hesitant to jump in, also, but here goes.  I am a polyamorous woman, and it has afforded me many different lovers and many great experiences.  I have, a few times, signed on for serial monogamy, but I have not found it as satisfying (and I mean emotionally and physically).

You're one of the ones I was thinking of, as a blatant demonstration of the nonsensical nature of her position.  Probably just my girl-crush showing.  ^.^

Breaking a commitment that you've made to someone and causing them emotional trauma is bad, yes.  Going into a relationship knowing that it's not a committed relationship and having everyone on the same page takes care of every (semi-)rational argument Maruli has made.

Yes, always on the same page.  I'm pleased that when you think about sexual liberation/alternative lifestyles, you think of me.  Probably just my Joseph P crush showing:)

Amen* to what you and Dr. Kellie have been writing! That's for the next page, male-dominant polygyny being the opposite of promiscuity among free, empowered people, as well as here.

* (in the original sense of "I agree!" "What they said!" No spooks needed.)

In my experience poly relationships can have various levels of commitment, including some or all partners sharing a household, finances, parenting, etc. Relationships can be open to outside lovers or closed (though I don't personally know any such "polyfidelitous" folks).

Going into a relationship knowing it's not exclusive, and, as you said, having everyone on the same page indeed does take care of all of those (semi-)rational arguments against responsible nonmonogamy (which Deborah Anapol riffed on as "responsible nonmonopoly" and "responsible nonmonotony" in cartoons in Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits).




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