My answer to Besides humans, which animals are monogamous?
Answer by Viktor Leberecht:
Actually hardly any animals are monogamous, the same as humans.
To my knowledge genetic research shows that humans were polygamous in their beginnings and started becoming monogamous only relatively recently – a few thousand years ago – in their history.
The reasons for this change are a topic of hot debate which is very often influenced by the interest to prove the ideologies of a group or a religion (no offence meant to members of any group or religion).
It seems that being true to one partner and serial monogamy are relatively new solutions to partnership and upbringing of children in complex societies. And the question of the debate today is if they are the only possible solution.
The newest book about this is by David Barash, who, being a zoologist and psychologist, is one of the leading experts. He already had a book on this in 2001 one, and the new one once more sums up scientific findings: we are promiscuous and polygamous by nature. Short summary and links to more articles here:
The other important book, that goes even further is by Christoper Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, called Sex at Dawn.
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