Ancestral hominin monogamy may have resulted in our extinction. So why is there currently so much moral value and emphasis placed on monogamy?
One person. That’s it. Just the One. Monogamy is defined as being married to/having sex with only one person at a time. Scientists posit that human evolution toward monogamistic tendencies was developed in order to ensure the procreation of lower-level males in a primitive hierarchical system. While monogamy has been maintained as the socially accepted norm, why do so many people fail at it?
Some humans are wired to be sexually greedy (except for some: I see you, my acey babes) and those greedy of us who operate as such have to work at monogamy. I strive to understand the practicality of a social construct that entails spending the rest of one’s sexual life with only one person. Scientists have classified three types of monogamy: social, sexual, and genetic; and some of us already know that we have no business attempting any or all of the above.
Humans, like most earthly organisms, are fueled by biological imperatives. Eating, drinking, sleeping, and sexing are the survival mechanisms our ancestors excelled at, and that is why we’re lucky enough to be here. I wouldn’t be writing this if even one of my predecessors had failed at any of the above. We eat different foods and we drink various drinks, so why is it considered evolved and correct for us to limit our sexual appetites to be satiated by only one person?
Directing all sexual affection toward a sole recipient takes conscious effort. If it didn’t, the institution of marriage wouldn’t be the bastion of monogamous love that we recognize it to be today. That signed piece of paper is traditionally designed to lock us down into our singular love. Luckily, getting married doesn’t leave people blind or dead. Because if the subconscious can fantasize about and desire others, then in monogamy, the body must refrain from indulging in the lust laid bare by our imagination.
Our prehistoric ancestors sexed basically any and everyone they met. Analysis of ancestral hominin sexual behavior also indicates that Neanderthals and the Denisovans from my little slice of the world (hello, Southeast Asia!) had the…