Book Review - The Myth of Monogamy

Book Review - The Myth of Monogamy

There are 13 comments on the atheism.about.com story from Jul 13, 2009, titled Book Review - The Myth of Monogamy. In it, atheism.about.com reports that:

The fact that monogamy is honored more in words than in deeds is a starting point for a recent book by David Barash, a University of Washington zoologist and professor of psychology, and Judith Lipton, a Seattle psychiatrist. These two researchers explore the nature of human mating strategies, particularly in the context of how other species seek and hold on to mates. According to the two authors, behavioral and biological evidence demonstrates very clearly that the inclination towards multiple mates is natural whereas monogamy is not.

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#1 Jul 13, 2009

Daniel P from Long Island

“Protestant, Gay, Libertarian”

Since: Apr 08

Long Island, NY

#2 Jul 13, 2009
And this is news ???!!!

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Since: Jul 08

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#3 Jul 13, 2009
Evidently to some people it is HUGE news - scientific proof, not just theories, that monogamy is not the natural state of affairs for most of the animal kingdom - including humans.
Ash

Monroeville, PA

#4 Jul 14, 2009
patricialynn wrote:
Evidently to some people it is HUGE news - scientific proof, not just theories, that monogamy is not the natural state of affairs for most of the animal kingdom - including humans.
As is rape, incest, murder, pedophilia, theft, cannibalism, poo flinging, on the other hand, distinctly foreign to the animal kingdom is: true altruism, compassion, romance, forgiveness, music, Branston Pickle, the whole of civilization not to mention sapience itself is distinctly unnatural.
nipsey

Baldwin Park, CA

#5 Jul 14, 2009
I like how people with alternative lifestyles bash people who enjoy monogamy every chance they get, yet they're supposed to be so "secure"... going after someone you know is in a relationship is ethically dubious on many levels but hey if it "feels good" for you do it don't even think about the other person. I guess double standards and hypocrisy are requirements as well
banana man

Jakarta, Indonesia

#6 Jul 14, 2009
Ash wrote:
<quoted text>
As is rape, incest, murder, pedophilia, theft, cannibalism, poo flinging,
Perhaps I'm wrong but I can not recall hearing or reading any instance of rape in the animal kingdom, I believe rape is an exclusive phenomenon to mankind as animal needs no hospital or doctor when giving birth is an exclusive phenomenon to animalkind.
Lesbianism is also, IMHO, not known in animalkind and an exclusive phenomenon to mankind.

The same goes with pedophilia, I believe a male gorilla has no interest in anything less than a sexually mature female gorilla and a sexually mature female gorilla is not interested in a male toddler gorilla.

I also believe that the tendency to equate fondness for no-strings-attached sex as an "animalistic behaviour" is misleading and dishonest because human actually are more sexually driven compared to animals, animals only copulating during mating season.
Ash wrote:
<quoted text>
on the other hand, distinctly foreign to the animal kingdom is: true altruism, compassion, romance, forgiveness, music, Branston Pickle, the whole of civilization not to mention sapience itself is distinctly unnatural.
Although it depends on how would you define it, I think that TRUE altruism is basically non-existant both in human and animal but do feel free to prove me wrong by citing concrete examples.

As for compassion : Mother elk's attempt to fend off a pack of wolves from devouring her calf, eventually led to her demise as well is more than an example that animals do know compassion for their own offspring. On the other hand we have female humans tossed their new-born babies to the river or garbage can, it's quite often here in Indonesia where abortion clinics are both expensive and illegal.

As for romance : When papa bear making a move towards mama bear, do we humans have a way of knowing for a fact that there was no romance involved between them? On the other hand, when MJ's "will you marry me?" accepted by Debbie Rowe, can we know for a fact that Debbie Rowe wasn't thinking about hitting the jacko....err I mean jackpot?
Of course most people think that lots of money means romance, most people will find that candle-light dinner at the luxurious romantic French restaurant is romantic while
only a handful of people will opine that having hotdogs for dinner at the public park bench is hardly romantic.

As for forgiveness : We humans do not actually forgive, if we do then there would no need for police/judge prison - "we forgive your crime but still you need to serve the time" is NOT a forgiveness.

As for incest, murder, theft, cannibalism, poo flinging; I think you are right, human and animals do share similar aptitutes.

And you brought up an interesting point about human civilization as being unnatural, is it unnatural for human to wear clothes because we were all born naked?

Back to the topic of monogamy, it is not the question of whether monogamy is natural or unnatural to human, it is the question of free choice and the question of honesty, if a man feels that monogamy is not suitable for him then he should never marry and thus do both himself and his pro-monogamy wife-to-be a favor.
There's a bit downside of it though, if a man never get married, he will be accused as a "commitment-phobia" while in all actualities he is committed to his freedom and committed to honesty for his pro-monogamy ex girl-friend(s).

“safe, sane, consensual...”

Since: Jul 08

perpetual arousal

#7 Jul 15, 2009
nipsey wrote:
I like how people with alternative lifestyles bash people who enjoy monogamy every chance they get, yet they're supposed to be so "secure"... going after someone you know is in a relationship is ethically dubious on many levels but hey if it "feels good" for you do it don't even think about the other person. I guess double standards and hypocrisy are requirements as well
Evidently you didn't read the article - the authors of the book presented their findings, but personally encouraged monogamy - they just felt people should understand why it is so hard sometimes.

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#8 Jul 15, 2009
Ash wrote:
<quoted text>
As is rape, incest, murder, pedophilia, theft, cannibalism, poo flinging, on the other hand, distinctly foreign to the animal kingdom is: true altruism, compassion, romance, forgiveness, music, Branston Pickle, the whole of civilization not to mention sapience itself is distinctly unnatural.
That was a lot of bad things to compare to a trusting relationship.

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#9 Jul 15, 2009
patricialynn wrote:
<quoted text>
Evidently you didn't read the article - the authors of the book presented their findings, but personally encouraged monogamy - they just felt people should understand why it is so hard sometimes.
I think most people start commenting on headlines without reading the articles. I read only some of them myself.
Who should understand, though? The only person that counts is the person cheated on. It won't hurt outsiders, unless it encourages cops not to set up prostitution stings that arrested 32 men in Brooksville, Fl very recently. All the "prostitutes" were very flirtatious female police officers. Online newspaper had a field day with how bad the men were. Were they? Risky behavior, but who's needing to be understanding?
Townsfolk?
The cheated on partners?
The current partners being met with a proposition to let husband/wife have other sex with other people?

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#10 Jul 15, 2009
AlanE wrote:
<quoted text> I think most people start commenting on headlines without reading the articles. I read only some of them myself.
Who should understand, though? The only person that counts is the person cheated on. It won't hurt outsiders, unless it encourages cops not to set up prostitution stings that arrested 32 men in Brooksville, Fl very recently. All the "prostitutes" were very flirtatious female police officers. Online newspaper had a field day with how bad the men were. Were they? Risky behavior, but who's needing to be understanding?
Townsfolk?
The cheated on partners?
The current partners being met with a proposition to let husband/wife have other sex with other people?
Lots of "other" in that last sentence, Lol. I think an article, book, etc. is no different than our opinions, with best effort to support authors' stances.
Poly- and mono- have valid points. I'm however extremely fed up with trend that cheating/poly- men are bad, while poly-/cheating women should be accepted by men. I understand cheating is not the same as permission for multiple sexual partners. Way too much has happened negatively toward cheating/poly- men, that unless there's a foundation that those men should not have been victimized and all women should be understanding, as a man there's no way I can swing over to the side that women should be allowed to cheat or be poly-.
A slowly developing distrust, which started out peach fuzzy good times, erodes relationships. It's not instantaneous. Kids are watching us, too. But I have to say some of these posts have me thinking it's about the perfect life. I definitely do NOT know, but take a chance with my own lifestyle that it's on track, monitor feedback from my trusted partner, and adjust course.

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Since: Jul 08

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#11 Jul 17, 2009
Alan, to me the difference is very very simple - are the partners being completely honest with each other?

After all, it is possible for a poly individual to still be cheating.

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#12 Jul 17, 2009
patricialynn wrote:
Alan, to me the difference is very very simple - are the partners being completely honest with each other?
After all, it is possible for a poly individual to still be cheating.
See, there you go again helping me understand! Thanks patricialynn.
GOP valueless agenda

Bradenton, FL

#16 Apr 5, 2012
patricialynn wrote:
Evidently to some people it is HUGE news - scientific proof, not just theories, that monogamy is not the natural state of affairs for most of the animal kingdom - including humans.
.......... lack of fidelity is a right wing affliction .......... flag wavers like Twitt Romney spent the VIET NAM war years in the missionary position in FRANCE .......... Now the zio-imperialists , including ROMNEY's three sons evade military service , but demand more wars for HEEBISTAN and AIPAC .......... Like the attack on the USS LIBERTY.
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