Monogamy is Militarily Advantageous

You learn something new every day:

Why We Think Monogamy is Normal (Psychology Today)

“…a plausible answer is that it spread because historically, monogamous groups were advantaged militarily over polygynous groups (Alexander, 1987)…. the imposition of monogamy produced bigger, better armies, because monogamous groups can grow larger than polygynous ones. Why can monogamous groups grow larger? Because men want wives, and if you need a lot of men on your team, you must offer them something that they want.”

So, basically, the idea is that monogamist armies were bigger than polygynous armies, kicked polygynous butts, and “Yay! Monogamy!” happened.

I’ve always been fairly anti-violence, personally…

And, right, there were less men in polygynous groups because many men who didn’t have high enough status/attractiveness to attract a wife had to leave to look elsewhere for one. This is why the idea of allowing men and women to have multiple partners if they so wish (polygamy, if we’re talking about “marriage”) is what I like to call. . . a crazy idea.

Other thoughts of the day? I’ve been reading those two books on marriage, The Future of Marriage, and Is Marriage for White People?, and I feel the bubbling of opinions starting to form on my part. Will share later.

Oh! And I owe a review of the Polyamory and Diversity paper I read. It’s in the drafts folder. I’ll get back to it. Promise.

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  1. I’m monogamous but not married, and very, very curious about both of the books you’ve mentioned here.

    • The Future of Marriage is by David Blankenhorn, and suggests that gay marriage will lead to the “downfall” of marriage as a whole. I have the copy with the preface by Jonathan Rauch, which I really enjoyed reading (as someone who is pro-gay marriage).

      Is Marriage for White People? is by Ralph Richard Banks and focuses on why African Americans have lower marriage rates than white people in America.

      Both are really making me think!

      • I’m also pro-gay marriage. It’s funny to read your assessment of the book and then read the book’s own summary. If I hadn’t read your words, I’d not have guessed that was the path it’d take it down. Yikes.

        I’m going to have to check out both of these books. Thanks for getting me thinking, too!

    • Ha, I hadn’t noticed how different the Amazon description was to the back of my book:

      “Changing marriage to include same-sex couples, he argues, would require us to ‘deinstitutionalize’ marriage, ‘amputating from the institution one after another of its core ideas, until the institution itself is like a room with all the furniture removed and everything stripped from the walls.'”

      Yikes, indeed. He mostly focuses on marriage originally centering around children, whereas it now centers around the choices of adults, “leaving children out”.

      I’m a fan of thinking; you’re welcome! 🙂


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