biologists human mammals Need To Know Relationship

Are humans naturally monogamous?

Humans aren’t sexually monogamous in the sense that many
birds are. Geese form lifelong couples and virtually never mate
with anyone except their partner. We are termed ‘socially
monogamous’ by biologists, which means that we usually live
as couples, but the relationships aren’t permanent and some
sex occurs outside the relationship.
There are three main explanations for why social monogamy
evolved in humans, and biologists are still arguing, which is the
most important. It may be because human babies need a lot of
looking after and stable couples can share the parenting burden.
Or it could be because men want to stay close to prevent their partners
from cheating. And it could also be a strategy that women evolved to
discourage men from killing infants that they suspected were not theirs.
Monogamy in humans is beneficial because it increases the chances of raising
offspring, but it is actually very rare in mammals – less than 10 per cent of mammal
species are monogamous, compared with 90 per cent of bird species. Even in
primates, where it is more common, only about a quarter of species are monogamous.
Our early ape ancestors weren’t monogamous and the practice probably didn’t take
off until Homo erectus emerged, around 1.9 million years ago.


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