Thursday, March 20, 2008

The myth of monogamy

So, like I've been saying: stop taking sex so seriously. Everyone cheats .


Anonymous said...

Actually, non-paternal events as it's called, is about 10% of all births. So it's there and relevant, but hardly something to accept.

Female infidelity or perception of it as likely is far more destructive than male infidelity.

The "secret sauce" of the West is monogamy, and family life spread to everyone, along with property. This allows men (mostly it's men) to work on their own behalf and pass things down onto their descendants. Women are treated well, with their own rights, and a few big men cannot hoard all the women and keep the rest as either a rabble in the bush or desert (Africa and Arabia) or eunuchs (most of China's history).

When perception of female infidelity is likely, men simply abandon offspring and adopt a "spread your seed" strategy. Think urban Black single-parent homes. How happy and prosperous is that model?

Yes it does matter. Monogamy and the nuclear family are the fundamental basis of Western prosperity and dominance.

Johnson said...

But I think monogamy is overrated in an era of birth control.

Now, we just have to differentiate between irresponsible women and slutty women. Big difference between the two.

MensaRefugee said...

But I think monogamy is overrated in an era of birth control.

I disagree. Sexual jealousy is an instinct. Its not rational. Even if no babies arise from extramarital pairings, it will lead to a massive change in investment in children.

Did you read the 3 Devlin Articles?

When it is said 10% of births are extramarital - thats an average. I remember reading, I think in Sperm Wars that for 4th births the number is 25%. So obviously for first and second births, it would have to be lower than 10%.

Moreover - if its a population average - that means if Blacks or lower class Jerry Springer Whites or (insert identifiable group here)
have more, than Chinese, Jews, Engineers (insert other identifiable group here) have less.

Frankly though, society is smarter than any of us - as Feynmann said "The imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man."

Society mediates individual needs - to spread the seed, or not to and nourish society's institutions instead. To say, oh everyone does it, its ok - is a very dangerous route down a slippery slope - probably to barbarity

Johnson said...

To say, oh everyone does it, its ok - is a very dangerous route down a slippery slope - probably to barbarity

I'm just saying that outside religion, sexual prudery has no use *in an era of responsible birth control*

Hey, if people are popping kids out, then perhaps we do need some fire and brimstone to control them. But if people are responsible, then we should look at the animal kingdom and realize that a little play on the side isn't going to destroy society.

David Canta said...

Monogamy comes with its own set of ethics, norms and values. The central tenet implies being permanently paired for life with a single sexual partner.
To that end man and woman were 'socialised' and 'gendered' differently in order to MAKE it work. This resulted in a convenant between man and woman:
Woman: I'll keep my hole for my family (i.e. husband and children)
Man: I'll menopause* myself and castrate** myself for my family (i.e. wife and children);
*menopause means that he pledges to stay with and support the woman even after her market value has dropped, even as she becomes infertile and even if no children is borne of the relationship.
**castrate means he pledges to work and provide for the upbringing of his brood, thereby reducing his chances of copulating with other females.
A woman had to keep her hole whole because the lost of virginity implies the inability to implement successfully her "fairytale-or-nothing" policy.
These rules were cemented in the law in terms of the near impossibility to obtain a divorce, bigamy law, alimony provisions and last but not least bastardy and legitimacy laws when it came to inheritance.

However the reality is that monogamy was always a Western social construct not backed up by biology. All these laws receded in the 20th century due to sex ratio imbalances during prolong periods of warfares and due to the effects of depression and economic booms and feminist movements. These culminated in the so-called Sexual Revolution. Once all these laws were struck down, the norms and ethics which underpinned them also collapsed and we got what we have now - a hypocritical monogamy.