11
   

Monogamy Unnatural in the Natural World

 
 
ebrown p
 
  4  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 07:58 am
@sozobe,
I don't think humans are unnatural at all.

Then again, I don't think most humans are monogamous.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 08:00 am
@sozobe,
By your argument if "Having two adults committed to defending them and nurturing them ups their chances" then having three adults (such as one man and two women) would up their chances even more. This deflates your monogamous claim.

In any case there is hardly always a rationale for human behavior in the context you refer to, simply look at the massive destruction of the Earth's habitat, nuclear proliferation, persecution of homosexuals....... in fact the list is virtually endless. Thus:

-taken in their entirety human social conventions are hardly always defensive and nurturing of the young,

- taken in their entirety human social conventions as pertaining to monogamy and the survival of future generations cannot be shown to be definitively superior to polygamy.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 08:33 am
My point is simply -- if "unnatural" is used as a synonym for "unusual," there are a lot of unusual/ unnatural things about humans, from our pathetically weak babies to the way we use language. That doesn't necessarily mean much.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 08:42 am
@Francis,
I echo your well-stated opinion, Francis, about Kenson's senseless, proselytizing drivel. Kenson's commentary pretends to be a debate, but it is propaganda.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  5  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 08:43 am
While the point of the original article is interesting, I think it makes a lot of questionable claims that makes me discount the entire article. Examples:

Quote:
People who have been cheated on can sometimes be extremely violent and much of the violence in the United States can be attributed to infidelity.


Much of the violence in the US is due to infidelity??? Ask any policeman what they think and I think you will end up with drug abuse and the resultant crime. That may or may not be correct, but I think infidelity is not going to be high on the list.

Quote:
"The most frequent calls psychiatrists get in the middle of the night are from people who have discovered adultery,"


I'm not a pychiatrist so I can't directly dispute this, but it sounds far fetched to me. Middle of the night calls not from depressed, potential suicides, but from someone who found a cheating spouse?

Quote:
Obtaining accurate data about human infidelity is difficult because people lie about it, according to Lipton. But she said various studies indicate it is quite common, with 50 percent of men confessing to at least one affair and 30 percent to 50 percent of women admitting that behavior.

"Being monogamous is rare.


So rare that half of married couples don't have even one affair?

Quote:
Males tend to be opportunistic and have sex out of marriage because it is available and pleasurable. For women it is a way of obtaining something better than their mate, someone who may be richer, more handsome or more powerful, they said.


Isn't this really, really oversimplified? Especially for women? After all, my understanding is that women often don't leave their marriage for the "richer, more handsome or more powerful" guy and they put their existing family life at risk. This sounds like a quick, off the cuff remark rather than an expert opinion.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 08:46 am
@engineer,
Agreed with all of that, too.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 09:12 am
@sozobe,
Sozobe,

I really don't like the term "unnatural"... because it implies that humans aren't simply products of the same evolutionary process that produces all species of animals on Earth.

My point is that humans are in fact, just another species. Although we have some traits that other animals don't have (like big brains, language and the ability to make nuclear weapons)-- other species have traits that we don't have (such as eating our spouses or inborn magnetic navigation).

It seems to me that pathetically weak babies is not a unique trait. Primates have infants that require defense and care, as do many mammals (kittens can't fend on their own). Then there are houseflies-- maggots have no ability to defend themselves and the ones that survive depend on the fact they happened to hatch on food.

Monogamy (meaning long lasting mating pairs that care for offspring) is fairly common in nature from mammals to penguins.

Of the traits discussed in this thread so far-- language and technology seem to be the only ones that are unique human.

The "human" traits of infidelity, polygamy and even prostitution are shared with many other animal species.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 09:37 am
@ebrown p,
I don't like the term "unnatural" much either. That was part of my point. (See the title of this thread.)

Meanwhile, yes, we do have particularly weak babies that stay weak for a particularly long time, compared to most other animals. (Especially both aspects together -- how weak they are for how long.)
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 10:56 am
@engineer,
True the article is a bit out there, but I thought it was kind'a fun.........and anyway you're a weak baby and so is sozobe (just kidding).
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 11:02 am
@Chumly,
Waahhh!!!
the prince
 
  3  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 11:04 am
@engineer,
I like monogamy. I try it with a different partner every day.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 11:18 am
Quote:
Unnatural in the Natural World
I suppose there's a logic in this phrase but I have no idea what it might be.
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 02:11 pm
@dyslexia,
Quote:
Quote:

Unnatural in the Natural World

I suppose there's a logic in this phrase but I have no idea what it might be.


The question is whether there is any species where monogamy is the norm.

I agree with the author of the original article. Monogamy is not a common trait among any species of animal that I am aware of (except for those where mating involves the death of one of the partners)-- and this certainly includes humans.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 02:18 pm
@ebrown p,
That goes back to what engineer said, though -- how is 50% not "common"?
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 02:37 pm
@sozobe,
Engineer snatched that 50% figure completely out of context to make exactly the wrong point. Here is the quote he hacked up in its full context.

Quote:
Obtaining accurate data about human infidelity is difficult because people lie about it, according to Lipton. But she said various studies indicate it is quite common, with 50 percent of men confessing to at least one affair and 30 percent to 50 percent of women admitting that behavior.

"Being monogamous is rare. If people want to do it they have to work at it," Lipton said. "It's similar to wanting to play the violin. People can love good music and aspire to play the violin. But most find it difficult and won't practice. Monogamy, like the violin, takes practice and diligence because there are so many temptations."


The point is that the rate of monogamy in humans is at most (and I mean at most) 50% even within marriage, a social institution laden with social pressure designed specifically to force people to be monogamous. I would also point out the key words are 50% "confess" to infiedelity... the people lying to researchers in this case aren't the ones who claim to be unfaithful.

What is the definition of "monogamy" here? If someone doesn't have a physical relationship with a new partner until they divorce their current spouse-- is this monogamy?

It seems to me that the correct definition of monogamy is "only having physical relationship with one person in a lifetime".

A slightly looser (but still reasonable) definition would be-- not having physical relations with other people except one's first spouse.

I don't think that this is very common at all.

Edit: (Just to clarify: monogamy is the the same thing as faithfulnes. The two are really very different concepts.)
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 02:44 pm
@ebrown p,
That is.... Monogamy is NOT the same thing as faithfulness.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 03:03 pm
@ebrown p,
I think your interpretation is more extreme than mine. I would say it is one partner over an extended time period. In mammals, I would say that it would extend through multiple reproductive cycles. I've always thought the idea of monogamy is to verify paternity. We're not completely unique in that. There are animal species where the males go to extremes including infantcide to try to verify paternity.

I disagree that I took the quote out of context. The author implies he is correcting for lack of reporting with the 50% figure and that includes any infidelity at all. Monogamy is not "rare", even though it is not necessarily the norm.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 03:14 pm
@engineer,
Under your definition of monogamy, one could be both monogamous and unfaithful.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 03:18 pm
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

Quote:
Unnatural in the Natural World
I suppose there's a logic in this phrase but I have no idea what it might be.
I cited the title of this thread, my argument is that if a phenomena occurs it is, by definition "natural" ergo cannot be "unnatural" Nothing that actually occurs can be "unnatural".
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 03:24 pm
I'm with ebrown p's interpretation of monogamy in the context of George Atkinson text. Serial monogamy can only be called monogamy with tongue firmly planted in cheek (or in female anatomical parts sequentially).
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Married Men Sex Drive - Question by marriednymph
the dead end of polygamy - Discussion by askthequestions
Marriage and Monogamy - Question by AffairNinjaTurtle
"Is cheating natural?" - Discussion by HesDeltanCaptain
 
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 12/03/2022 at 08:41:06