The socially and morally acceptable life of a person is getting married in your late 20s or early 30s, having two or three kids, and spending the rest of your life with your partner. But how natural exactly is the concept of monogamy? Monogamy refers to the concept of relationship where a person has one partner in a lifetime. As acceptable and legal as it may sound, monogamy is highly uncommon amongst mammals, with only 9% practising it. Most males mate and separate, leaving behind the female to look after the young ones.
This concept isn’t just a patriarchal thing, though. There are two types of monogamy. Polygyny – one male with multiple females and polyandry – one female with multiple males, although the latter being rare. Some of our close relatives like gorillas, chimps, tamarins practice polygamy. Gibbons (along with humans) is another one of those rare species that practice monogamy. But homo sapiens haven’t always been monogamous, with polygamy still being practised by the majority of the society up until a few hundred years ago.
Though unnatural, one of the reasons why humans now are monogamous might be because human babies are extremely helpless and fragile at birth and do require biparental care. Also, the concept of sharing the rest of your life with a single person seems beautiful to many.