It’s no secret, the subject of fidelity in relationships is a hot-button topic. Just a mere mention of even a fictional couple’s relational woes can cause heated discussions and arguments amongst anyone within earshot. While some argue that humans are eventually supposed to settle down with one partner, others argue that monogamy is an outdated fallacy that has never worked to begin with. Indeed, everyone has an opinion on this topic…but who is right?!
Stop, you’re both right…
Humans are a complex species. We exist as one, but are divided into sections based on a plethora of innate factoids and information. Religiously speaking, most Western religions promote 2-parent families with an emphasis on monogamy and many have taken this to be the only ‘right’ way to live their lives. On the flip side, religions that stem from other cultures (as well as some fringe, Western-born religions) promote a varied subset of this notion; often allowing only one partner (typically the male) to partake in extramarital sex, or even going so far as to encourage multiple brides and/or grooms.
That being said, it’s not far-fetched to infer that perhaps there is no wrong or right way to live your life…as long as it’s honest. That is to say, if 2,3,4 or more adults agree to live and share their lives in an intimate way, none but the named parties can possibly decide whether or not this arrangement is right for them. According to a recent study conducted on the monogamy (or lack there of) of multiple mammalian species, ‘”I’m far from convinced that humans are really monogamous,” said Tim Clutton-Brock, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Cambridge.’ ~CNN.com Furthermore, there seems to be no rhyme of reason to the collected data from these studies: “‘When we looked at the data, it has this very weird shape,’ Wlodarski told Live Science.’Rather than it being a whole gamut of mating strategies, there seems to be two potential phenotypes within males and within females.'” ~lifescience.com
Though there are still no conclusive studies on this subject, most studies show that monogamy is a recent human convention that may have stemmed from hunting & gathering, financial issues, and a number of other social constructs. Thus, it seems as though the institution of marriage and its associated definitions will continue to evolve with the times.
The prevailing opinion seems to be that it is immoral to engage in any relationship besides a committed one between one man and one woman. Those who dare veer outside of this ideal are typically met with fierce criticism and opposition. However, with the decline of marriage rates amongst heterosexuals and the inclusion of homosexuals in the so-called ‘sanctity of marriage’ shows us first hand that times can and will change. In the future it seems that #DTR (defining the relationship) will eventually, solely be left up to the parties involved. Indeed, though we as a society feel the need to convene with those with similar lifestyles in the name of uniformity, it is also time to admit that forcing beliefs on others is an archaic practice that typically ends in massive, outright rebellion.
Sources:Ghose Tia. “Both Monogamy and Polygamy May Be Natural for Humans.”LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 03 Feb. 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2015. Landau, Elizabeth. “Monogamy: Who Needs It? – CNN.com.” CNN. Cable News Network, 30 June 2013. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.