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  #21  
Old 03-21-2011, 01:24 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Originally Posted by Hades36 View Post

Like, our entire concept of love and romantic bonding is built around the idea that 2 people meet, fall in love, get married and have a baby; almost every romantic book, play, novelization, song, painting, poem, music video, article, lecture, workshop, website, etc. is focused on this idea, right? But I've always thought it was just silly to think that love, with all its complexities and mysteries and miracles, could be squeezed into a single connection with one other human being and put under wraps until that relationship ended and then it was applied to a new partners and so on.
Looking at movies and songs, you'd think NRE lasted forever. All the love songs that sell are based on a NRE feeling, that intensity: you're perfect, I want you and no one else til the end of time.

Songs based on a marriage 7 years in don't sell so well.
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  #22  
Old 03-21-2011, 02:11 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
..........
Songs based on a marriage 7 years in don't sell so well.
Gotta love this Mags !!

But back to the OP question about roots and survival of the mono.

From almost any angle you want to analyze it from it really comes down to a control tactic. As evil and manipulative as that probably sounds, it has it's innocent side too. As a species we're kind of dependent on control. Our security gets shaken unless we have our hand on the control lever - or at minimum, believe that someone else we trust has. So some of the junk that comes with monogamy is a pretty easy sell. We're offered some safety and security (supposedly). It's only after we discover that the sweet security we were sold was only a thin coating over something much more bitter. And that the REAL security only comes from our own internal strength.

Evolution is a slow process...............

GS
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  #23  
Old 03-23-2011, 04:16 PM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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I mean, from a practical, survival kind of standpoint, having more than 2 people in a relationship seems really beneficial. But there also seems to be a number, a tipping point as it were, where the relationship would be too large and clunky, at least with regards to intimate connections running smoothly. I imagine at that point the group would splinter off somehow and form a new family.
Trust the aspiring social scientist to start the nit-picking!

If we are talking of purely human evolution, there are many explanations as to why monogamy is the most popular (even in societies where some form of non-monogamy is condoned, it tends to be a minority relationship model) relationship form. Of course, when we are talking about monogamous vs. polygamous societies, we need to acknowledge that most known forms of culturally-sanctioned non-monogamy are in practice polygyny (having many wives) of the rich elite men. Some anthropologists have put forwards an argument that wives in most societies are akin to any other form of goods to be exchanged and accumulated among leading class men. This theory has some historical support from the fact that the ideal of female sexuality being strictly marital in expression has always been more heavily policed in the higher echelons of society. During much of Western history, rape was a crime against another man's rights of ownership, not against the woman who was raped.

Comparing monogamy and polyamory is hard because polyamory is a form of relating, whereas monogamy refers to the institution of marriage specifically. The opposite of polyamory would be monoamory, such as the opposite of polygamy would be monogamy. As to your point of relationships becoming too unwieldly with too many participants, this is only in assuming that each new partner would join the existing family unit in what could more aptly be termed as 'group marriage'. Since I guess the majority of polys are not in closed poly-fi arrangements, the practical limits of how many partners you could possibly have tend to be a bit different in origin.

Additional differences: lifetime monogamy vs. serial monogamy; double vs. single standard; monogamy as an ideal and monogamy as a practice; hierarchal vs. egalitarian polyamory etc.
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  #24  
Old 03-23-2011, 05:11 PM
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Hades36 Hades36 is offline
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Great, thoughtful responses. Thank you. Black Unicorn, I especially like you're sociological approach. I agree the differences and permutations are varied and critical.
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  #25  
Old 03-25-2011, 08:36 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I believe monogamy becoming the norm is due to wanting to know who's whose child. There didn't use to be a way to tell who was the father otherwise, and when property started existing (in the form of land or whatever) and needing to be passed along, men would have wanted to make sure they passed it to their own children and not someone else's.

I believe that's the reason why monogamy was generally expected of women but not so much of males.

Then with gender equality came the notion that both should. Often gender equality comes in making the gender that has more freedom join the other rather than the opposite (or a compromise). It's rare that the gender who had less rights suddenly gets them all.

I think now we need to work on making it socially acceptable to decide for yourself what works for you without having to follow such models if they don't work for you.
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  #26  
Old 03-25-2011, 09:52 PM
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I'm seeing the beginnings of the brainwashing in two of my daughters right now -- the 14 and 15 year olds. So much talk about cheating and all the drama and judging over it -- as if we expect kids at that age to "commit" to just one person, for the rest of time! I am appalled, at what my girls are being conditioned to believe. It's like watching them read dated history books, and sitting in class with a biased, ignorant teacher. I'm so glad you started this thread, because it will sure help me educate them, as to the history of all this nonsense. I just downloaded "Sex at Dawn" on my Kindle, so I think that will help too.

"Those who do not know history,
are condemned to repeat it"

-- right???

(I must say I am thankful to the reality tv show, "Sister Wives" -- my 14-year old keeps asking, "When can we get one?")
(I have yet to reply, "Honeybabes, we're actually much, much closer to getting a brother husband..." )
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  #27  
Old 03-26-2011, 01:29 AM
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TheBlackSwede TheBlackSwede is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I believe monogamy becoming the norm is due to wanting to know who's whose child. There didn't use to be a way to tell who was the father otherwise, and when property started existing (in the form of land or whatever) and needing to be passed along, men would have wanted to make sure they passed it to their own children and not someone else's.

I believe that's the reason why monogamy was generally expected of women but not so much of males.

Then with gender equality came the notion that both should. Often gender equality comes in making the gender that has more freedom join the other rather than the opposite (or a compromise). It's rare that the gender who had less rights suddenly gets them all.

I think now we need to work on making it socially acceptable to decide for yourself what works for you without having to follow such models if they don't work for you.
Loving this thread. I'm an Anthropology nerd, so this is something I've spent plenty of time discussing and reading about. I too think it has to do with property. If you look into the history of marriage, it basically all comes down to property rights in agricultural societies at its very root. In a hunter-gatherer society, what is the necessity of monogamy?

That's not to say there aren't plenty of "monogamous" tribes of people out there... there are. But I did place that word in quotes, because we're primates, and we get around. Even in what we regard as "monogamous" primates, they still have sex partners outside of their primary mate, and it's not uncommon at all.

I would consider the hypothesis that Humans have had a variety of relationship types in different settings for millions of years, to include monogamy, polygamy, polyandry, and group marriage, which could explain why different people need different things. How to test this? Now THERE'S yer problem...
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  #28  
Old 03-26-2011, 02:07 AM
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Somegeezer Somegeezer is offline
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This is an interesting thread. I don't think there is much I could add to it, as I don't really have a great knowledge of polyamory. But I want to read more of it nontheless. =]
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  #29  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:56 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Just got my copy. Yay!
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags (poly, F, 61) loving miss pixi (poly, F, 39) since January 2009, living together since 2013
also loving Punk (42, M) since Oct 2015 (he has recently downgraded us to friends)
"Master," (mono, 34), miss pixi's Dom for 2 years
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  #30  
Old 03-30-2011, 02:03 PM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I believe monogamy becoming the norm is due to wanting to know who's whose child. There didn't use to be a way to tell who was the father otherwise, and when property started existing (in the form of land or whatever) and needing to be passed along, men would have wanted to make sure they passed it to their own children and not someone else's.

I believe that's the reason why monogamy was generally expected of women but not so much of males.
True to a degree. However, there are societies (the Ashanti of West Africa comes immediately to mind) where property rights are transferred along the female line, i.e. men inherit their mother's brother. Or women might own the land entirely whereas men own ceremonial equipment and uncles initiate their nephews into the secret men's societies or whatever. Property from an sociological POV is not a uniform concept as we in the West understand value.

From a strictly biological POV, men should invest in the children of their womb-sisters, for a lack of better word, i.e. women with whom they share a mother. Whereas before the advent of modern technologies of re-production, women always knew who was their child, men never really do. I think it's a trade-off between the avails of pregnancy and labour/security in the continuation of your line.

There are a lot of theories of 'monogamy' (most often single-standard) being the compromise between a woman wanting to have a strong male partner care for her and her offspring and a man wanting to impregnate as many women as possible somewhere in the dawn of time. I personally think these theories are way too biased by what we (think we) observe from modern and historical behavior standards. For example, these theories never explain why having an unrelated man take care of her and her baby would be so much more preferable for a woman than having a close relative be the man in the house (or the cave). Also, why a society would necessarily function better with multiple male-female couples than with larger family groups composed of women with men primarily affiliated with each other and their mother's/sister's house is never explained either.
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