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  #41  
Old 03-31-2011, 10:53 PM
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TheBlackSwede TheBlackSwede is offline
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I definitely think that a variety of relationship patterns are natural for humans, including monogamy, poly, etc. Pretty much the only science we have on the matter are statistics regarding fidelity in monogamous relationships, at which we, as a species, tend to fail miserably at. If society's premise is that "humans as a whole are only monogamous animals", their research on the subject has disproven their hypothesis.
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  #42  
Old 04-02-2011, 12:15 AM
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I definitely think that a variety of relationship patterns are natural for humans, including monogamy, poly, etc. Pretty much the only science we have on the matter are statistics regarding fidelity in monogamous relationships...
Actually we have dozens of years of anthropological research on dozens of "traditional" (pre-agricultural) cultures still practicing a hunter/gatherer lifestyle as well.
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  #43  
Old 04-02-2011, 12:59 AM
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Actually we have dozens of years of anthropological research on dozens of "traditional" (pre-agricultural) cultures still practicing a hunter/gatherer lifestyle as well.
Agreed, tons of cultural studies, even some science like caloric intake, hours worked in a day, but I haven't seen any data on successful relationships and mating patterns. If you know of some, I'd LOVE to see it!
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  #44  
Old 04-02-2011, 01:00 AM
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Agreed, tons of cultural studies, even some science like caloric intake, hours worked in a day, but I haven't seen any data on successful relationships and mating patterns. If you know of some, I'd LOVE to see it!
Read Sex at Dawn. While you're waiting for the book, do a search here for the title. It's been discussed quite a bit.
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  #45  
Old 04-02-2011, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Read Sex at Dawn. While you're waiting for the book, do a search here for the title. It's been discussed quite a bit.
I've seen it mentioned a lot here - haven't read it yet, but it's on the "to read" list for sure!
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  #46  
Old 04-07-2011, 05:51 AM
pheonixaise pheonixaise is offline
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Just like to chime in here a little.

Monogamy stuck as a cultural norm because of patriarchal values established in Rome, but patriarchal non-monogamy was practiced long before hand.

Poly doesn't make sense naturally (either in humans or in animals) when looked at from a multiple-man scenario. Yes, from a fully educated perspective, mixing the male genes to make a more complex gene pool is in fact a positive thing. However, in regards to natures immediate and uneducated perspective, having multiple females makes perfect sense.

The mating cycle is always longer for the female of a species than for the male. In every species, the male is capable of reproducing hundreds of times in the time it takes for a female to complete one reproductive cycle. Also, the odds of a female in any species dieing in childbirth is significantly more than the male dieing in childbirth (since that only happens when the female kills him)

As for the rise of monogamy, it was first established as a method of control not in the days of the Romans (It was supported there for political reasons, such as marriages of convenience and stately reputation) but in the days of the Christians, who used each of the seven sacraments to keep track of everyone in their dominion (chief among these sacraments were baptism, due to the fact that it told the church you existed, marriage, because it told them when you were a certain age, and confession, because it allowed them to know where you were at least once a year)

Poly, or consentual non-monogamy, began to become acceptable again (I use this loosely, more to mean tolerated under the radar than actually accepted) in the 60's, among certain NR (New Religious) groups, and become openly identifiable around the late 80's (the 80's bit is rough, as there is no conclusive data to prove it wasn't earlier)

The way it developed, however, was intriguing. Due directly to the influence of monogamy in the Western World, women were viewed as a status symbol as much as anything, and so when those women realized that they were in every way equal to men, they realized that they had become a commodity in their society. An attractive female never had to give a man anything she didn't want to, but the man would often come running at her beck and call.

This interesting reversal from Patriarchal "Come over here woman I want you" to the modern day revelation of equality manifested poly in quite the opposite manner than it was once implemented.

Instead of following the basic natural cause and effect of multiple-women, one man non-monogamy, women would assert themselves into the situation, making (from the data I have collected, which is A. from a random sample, and B. subject to unlimited contestation and rebuke) 73% of polyamorous relationships in the 21st century matriarchal, that is to say that the woman was 73% more likely to discover that she was polyamorous than the man was.

Interesting how we profess this to be completely natural, but nature would imply that it would be a male-dominated lifestyle, and yet is not. I love the way our world works ^^
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  #47  
Old 04-07-2011, 05:08 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Originally Posted by pheonixaise View Post
Interesting how we profess this to be completely natural, but nature would imply that it would be a male-dominated lifestyle, and yet is not. I love the way our world works ^^
Are you sure, though?
Nowadays the population is higher, and it could be that our natural drive is geared towards reproduction as much. Then it could be geared towards taking better care of the fewer children one does get. And for that, the more adults to take care of a child, the better. If there are more women, there is a potential of more children at the same time, dividing the resources and attention.

In my opinion, you can explain something AND its opposite with nature. And nowadays, the "more people to take care of fewer children" model makes more chance than the "let's have has many kids as we can" one, because each child costs more in our societies (due to schooling, etc) so people tend to have fewer of them than in less developed countries, and spend much more on them as well.

And then you have polyandry as a tradition in places where the population is already so high, which once again leads to conclusions that it could be a way to curb down natality.
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  #48  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:55 PM
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And then you have polyandry as a tradition in places where the population is already so high, which once again leads to conclusions that it could be a way to curb down natality.
I've read an explanation to one Tibetan tribe's practice of polyandry as wanting to ensure agricultural success through increased 'man'-power in mountain areas that are hard to cultivate. Among this tribe, two brothers marry the same woman which would conceivably lower inter-male competition for females and lessen paternity issues. Considering the harsh environment, natality concerns are probably also present. Many island cultures have institutionalized male homosexuality and practice strict gender separation, taboos and abortions to maintain the population level.

A famous example of one Indian high-caste warrior community does illustrate that 'alternative lifestyle' can bring about a norm for sexual behavior that differs greatly from the surrounding society's. In that particular community, women have complete sexual freedom in that they take lovers at will. The society is centered around all-female households composed of mothers and their female children, who have children of their own with their lovers. Grown men are only marginally members of the community through their female lovers, otherwise they live with other men.

Interestingly enough, everyone's married. Marriage is very important and central to their lifestyle. All the women have husbands that are assigned at early childhood. Since the children are so young, the marriage is never actually consummated. However, the husband is considered the factual father of any of the children his wife might have with her lovers. It is the duty of those children to take care of the mourning and burial rituals of their mother's husband upon his death.

Anthropologists have explained this curious custom as being born of a situation where men were at constant war and had very high mortality compared to women. To ensure a favourable rebirth, every warrior needed male children to take care of his burial. One couldn't rely on actually siring some before their demise, so the business was taken care of by assigning wives to each man in childhood and then those wives trying their best to ensure male heirs would ensue by taking donations from whoever was available (alive) when they were fertile.

So a society that places a very high religious value on male heirs but where men are frequently away on campaigns for years at a time and risk death, has developed some pretty weird customs to ensure the religious and cultural continuation of the group.

As a comment to pheonixaise, poly is one flavour of non-monogamy, and tends to attract quite specific type of people. I imagine early human society of Homo Sapiens in Africa struggling to find a some sort of equilibrium between the sharing of resources and propagation of one's genetic line, and probably implementing various relationship strategies, all of whom at some point were a good fit with the environment and thus were enshrined in our genetic heritage. As to why polygyny for example is more common than polyandry although we are capable of both, the answer will probably have more to do with specific circumstances and groups trying to maintain their identity in changing environments than with one or the other being more 'natural' as it were.
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  #49  
Old 04-07-2011, 10:17 PM
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As I am sure you know, BU, ancient Greece and Sparta were homosexually based societies. I guess you could call them non-monogamous, because each man would marry to produce heirs, but would typically have a "real" lover, another male, that he was more married to than his wife.

I found out recently that Spartan boys were taken from the women's quarters at age 7, to the men's barracks. There he would be taken as a protegee by an older man, and they would eventually become lovers.

When it was time for a man to marry, the wife chosen for or by him, after the wedding, would be put in a room, have her hair clipped short, be dressed in men's clothing and left alone in the dark. Her new husband, if he had the nerve, would come in and consummate. If he really didnt like women, this male drag requirement for sex could go on for months or years.
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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

me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37

Last edited by Magdlyn; 04-07-2011 at 10:19 PM.
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  #50  
Old 04-07-2011, 10:33 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
When it was time for a man to marry, the wife chosen for or by him, after the wedding, would be put in a room, have her hair clipped short, be dressed in men's clothing and left alone in the dark. Her new husband, if he had the nerve, would come in and consummate. If he really didnt like women, this male drag requirement for sex could go on for months or years.
Wowza!!! That's hawt! I have things to get done & shouldn't even be on this forum now, but I got a rush just reading that.
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