Seitensprung und Fremdgehen

The ancient question whether human beings are able to live monogamous

In the world of mammals a faithful partner - like us humans have or at least desire - is an uncommon exception. There are approximately 5000 species of mammals from which only 4 per cent create monogamous partnerships so far. From the biological point of view there is a difference between two types of monogamy: social and sexual. Social monogamy means that two individuals form a couple to reproduce themselves and to raise their offspring; however, beside their partnership they have sexual relationships with other individuals.

Sexual monogamy means the same behaviour as a couple, nevertheless without any sexual contact to third-party individuals. Transferred to human beings this would mean a man having extramarital affairs but returning to his home every evening to tell his kids a bedtime story would be monogamous in a social point of view. According to statements of evolution psychologists men rather tend to polygamy and extramarital sex for only that reason that the evolution targets them to spread their genes in maximal quantity. However, due to the simple attraction to have sex with many women. Also well-known is the fact that women and men as well search always a partner with optimal genes for a combined reproduction.

Binding partnerships between men and women (or homosexual as well) as we know today developed long time ago. According to several opinions just because of the well-being of their children. Today, scientists consider the sexual and social monogamous behaviour of human beings rather as a social than a natural impulse. This would mean that - from a simply natural point of view and irrespective of any social conventions - us humans are a polygamous species. However, in our cultural environment - beside open relationships and prostitutes - polygamy always is associated negatively and is carried out only in form of cheating and infidelities - mostly without the own partner knowing.

Certainly, this leads to the moral question where faithfulness begins and where it is needed. For example, polygamy is daily routine of callboys and callgirls; on the other hand, their customers betray their partner's trust, in other words, they are unfaithful.

In other cultural and religion environments - or also in ancient myths as well as in historical documentations polygamy is respected and common indeed. Examples are the harem known from Arabic and Far Eastern culture as well or the Egyptian culture which legalized polygamy at Cleopatra's times.

Monogamy and Polygamy always are a matter of each individual character and are also a question of education. Sharing the partner with others isn't everybody's taste, however, according to science it is our nature definitely.


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