IS MONOGAMY NATURAL?
Dr Gabrielle Morrissey discusses monogamy in humans - is it really a natural thing?
Is monogamy natural? This is easily one of the top five questions I hear as a sexologist and relationship expert. One might assume it's a question asked more frequently by men, and you'd be right, although women certainly ask about it too.
According to research, it's becoming increasingly apparent that no, sexual monogamy is not natural, or easily achieved.
There have been many cultures that have recognised variant unions, such as polygyny (one man and several women), polyandry (one woman and several men) and polyamory (multiple or open, loving, consensual relationships), although these unions have continued to remain in the minority compared with monogamous unions.
While non-monogamous unions became popular in western countries such as Australia in the 1970s, following the 1972 release of the groundbreaking book, Open Marriage (M. Evans & Company), by George and Nena O'Neill, the trend then of "responsible non-monogamy", including trios, open marriages, and groups of couples, never really caught on. Partly this is due to jealousy: men and women do not like to share sexually or emotionally...