Your Body

Monogamy Is More Natural For Women, And It All Comes Down To Science

By September 29, 2015 1
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In the first post of this series, thanks to an in-depth conversation with a Pakistani Uber driver, we arrived at the conclusion that we Americans are, at best, hypocritical in our cry for monogamy and our criticizing of any individual, group, or religion that defies it.

We left off with an understanding that yes, it is pretty well-documented throughout our nation’s divorce rates, infidelity-devoted websites, and public political scandals that affairs happen quite consistently, so to argue that monogamy is “natural” would be, in fact, baseless.

But what about women? Doesn’t it appear that we seem to have this whole monogamy-thing down, or at least more-so-down than our male counterparts? But that acknowledgement seems, not only sexist, but anti-feminist. I mean, that would be to imply that men are “naturally promiscuous”, which cannot be.

Can it?

Enter Edward Osborne Wilson.

As I was mulling over this debacle, a guy-friend of my mine recommended that I read a book entitled “On Human Nature”, which was written by the aforementioned E.O Wilson. This Pulitzer-Prize winning book expertly fuses biological thought with social conditions, providing a scientific explanation for our traits, such as greed, anger, jealousy, and of course, monogamy.

Wilson asserts that it all boils down to our biology, and that evolution (no matter how much our minds advance up the ladder away from our neanderthal great-great-times a million-great grandparents) can never fully rid us of our basic animal characteristics, or in other words, our human nature. Yes, he asserts that nearly everything (religion, culture, morality, you name it) is all ultimately reducible by the biological process.

So what are the biological differences between men and women that would explain the state of sexual promiscuity? Well, most obviously, we are actually built entirely differently. Men have testosterone, women have estrogen. Men have balls, women have ovaries. We are actually, physically,completely “wired  differently” if you will, so isn’t it a bit weird for us to assume that we would desire the same things? As if by evolving our brains we can somehow will our bodies to create some all-even hormone called estro-testo-gen?

Of course not. There are sociobiological underpinnings to everything that we do.

Men produce sperm. Approximately 525 billion cells of it, right up until the day they die. But us women?–we get a total of just 400 eggs that we can produce over a lifetime. E.O Wilson asserts that it is that very reason alone that makes women more selective, and more preservative when it comes to finding a mate. It is our biological nature to do so, an inclination that no feminist or evolutionary movement could every rid us of. It is simply our bodies and as he puts it, “the genes have the mind on a leash, not the other way away around”.

Let’s us try on this theory for a second then:

Humans are mammals. Although we like to think that our brains have evolved us to a point so far superior to other animals in the wild because we shower, and read books– we are still basically mammals. Let’s relate ourselves to lions in the wild then, who grow their pack by reproducing with multiple women within it. It is for them a basic survival instinct, as a small pack cannot defend itself against a larger one. Should the king of the jungle choose to be monogamous with just one female within his pride– should that one female be unable to produce him any offspring– that king would be putting his entire pack in danger, at risk for future extinction or an overcoming by another pack of lions.

People who think that our ability to think has propelled us into a superior state of being, are incorrect. In my opinion, it has propelled us into an almost inferior position, as we deviate away from our basic human instincts for survival. I mean, we are the fools that are quite literally destroying the planet upon which we rely on for life. We are fools polluting the oceans upon which, our existence depend on. To me, the only thing our brains have been able to do successfully is to overdevelop our egos, which has propelled us into a false sense of security. We believe we are smarter than those dumb animals, meanwhile they are the ones that flee the scene well ahead of a natural disaster. We think that science will somehow get us out of this ecological catastrophe, a ticking-time bomb if you will, and so we go on over-indulging and burning up the earth’s resources. We don’t take the extinction of various species seriously, at the same time that we acknowledge and awe at the mathematical precision of the circle of life.

It is then, our over-developed ego– our incessant need to believe that we can “out-think” or “be above” nature, that has us gripping onto this evidently challenging concept of monogamy.

To put it plainly– trying to sell monogamy as a natural state of existence would be similar to trying to sell marathon-running as instinctual. It is certainly not natural and instinctual for people to get up and run miles and miles every single day in preparation for a big race, but people DO do it. It is accomplishable, and I don’t think a single person would be unimpressed by the endurance and focus that it took to cross that finish line.

Monogamy: a beautiful, impressive choice. Not natural.





  • MovieBuff

    I rather liked this.