Facts Related to Human Polygamy:
- Human divorces, on average, occur 4 years into marriage.
- Affairs among committed partners are estimated in 50%-80% of relationships.
- Humans average from 4-6 sexual partners over a lifetime.
- Vasopressin controls the level of polygamy in men.
- Oxytocin controls the level of polygamy in women.
Facts Related to Other Species and Polygamy
- The degrees of polygamy vary among animals species.
- The majority of animals are polygamous.
- Polygamy drives females to be highly selective in males they mate with.
- Vasopressin controls the level of polygamy in most male mammals.
- Oxytocin controls the level of polygamy in most female mammals.
Every man wants it – the holy grail of sex. The right to claim “my manliness is simply too great to be contained by one woman.” Usually, people from both ends of the debate (who normally have no real knowledge on the subject) are extremely passionate about their viewpoints.
Those supporting monogamy feel that the ability to be monogamous is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Those supporting polygamy (usually as an excuse for their behavior) feel like monogamy is going against nature.
- The reality sits somewhere in the middle and most certainly varies in degrees…
You’re A Fox!
No, really. You’re a fox – both men and women. Given that there are quite literally, varying degrees of polygamy in the animal kingdom and it’s clear that humans have at least a slight polygamous tendency, it helps us to look at animals that behavior similar to us.
- Why a fox? It’s probably a coincidence – to an extent – that they’ve evolved a similar pattern to us regarding mating in their social environment.
Foxes are seasonal polygamists. When foxes find each other, they stick to gether monogamously…for a period of time…for one season in fact.
And what is this season?
It’s a breeding season. Foxes stick together long enough to raise a child and then depart, repeating the same process, in general.
- Human’s average divorce-rate is 4 years into marriage – roughly the average age it takes to raise a baby.
Our Monogamy Idol
Think we’re the best species when it comes to monogamy? Think again.
The prairie vole mates with a partner for life. What causes this “pair-bonding”?
A chemical – Vasopressin (in males). Vasopressin reacts to receptors in the brain and causes stimulation in the reward system, much in the same way we get joy from eating sugary foods. The reward in this circumstance is associated with a single partner.
- Scientist can genetically alter a polygamous rat’s receptors in the brain to make this species act monogamously and vice-versa.
3 Levels of Human Polygamy
In the human brain, there are 3 different receptors to vasopressin, each person possessing one of the 3 types.
Your receptor type will alter your response to vasopressin, subsequently affecting your ability to pair-bond with a single partner.
Even in human species, polygamy-tendency varies.