I may be hung in the town center for saying this, but… here goes…
There. I said it. In fact, about 78% of human societies are polygynous (where men marry more than one woman). Just 22% of societies are strictly monogamous, and only 3% of all mammal species are monogamous (although at least 15% of primate species are monogamous).
With those statistics, it would seem monogamy needs more of an explanation than polygamy does.
So why does our society so seep in monogamy” even when more than half of the monogamous couples end up cheating on each other?
In simple terms, there’s a basic tension between biology on one side, and society on the other. Biology simply wants a male and female to mate, and for the woman to get pregnant. Society is the one that wants that union to be perpetuated.
Society’s standard of monogamy is based on an attempt to promote childrearing while curbing sexual desire. You have all these formal and informal things set in place to try to deter the strong natural biological force because humans have learned long ago that it was something that needed to be regulated or it’d cause all sorts of problems.
Jealous spouses, cuckolded husbands, and fathers who didn’t believe the child was their own and wanted to kill that offspring. These situations were not beneficial to human societies, and there, the standard of monogamy was set in place for the perpetuation of society.
Many couples have been able to look past the fear and jealousy that goes along with polygamy, and continue to have a wonderful loving relationship with each other. After all, isn’t there a difference between love and sex?
It certainly isn’t for everybody. Not yet, at least. However, is it the right direction to go? Have we humans evolved enough spiritually to have this kind of society?