So the human mating system is kind of in between, we’re sort of pair bonded, but there’s this push to polygamy. There’s this push towards males taking on multiple female partners. But there also seems to be a push towards polyandry, or in other words, females taking on multiple male partners [...].
Basically what Dr. Santos is saying in the interview is that if we look at the human reproductive system, and morphologically compare it to other primates, we can conclude that the human reproductive system is designed for balance when it comes to sexual interaction between men and women. Nature made it possible both for men to have multiple partners if desired, and for women to have multiple partners if desired.
In the fifth part of my article series on Understanding Women, I had already discussed research by University of Michigan psychology professor Terri Conley and her team, where they concluded that men and women naturally do not differ much from each other when it comes to their sexuality. And this is consistent with what Dr. Santos is saying in the interview above.
This is more evidence that supports the fact that when it comes to relationships between men and women, nature never intended a person to tie him/herself to just one partner for life and restrict their freedom in the process. In fact, humans are designed to have multiple partners. So indeed like I wrote before, we can love as many people as we like, and if we truly love someone, we should allow them to be free human beings who are able to give and receive love from as many people as they like. If we don’t do this and instead restrict people to love it will only cause a lot of problems.
Some of these problems are mentioned in the interview below with Dan Savage, where he explains why monogamy is ridiculous:
Here’s some of what he says in that interview:
Instead of deciding to allow women to have the same sort of freedom and leeway that men did, we decided to let men have the same limitations that women had and we put monogamous sexual commitment at the heart of all relationships, all long-term commitments, all marriages. And we’ve watched – we should now be able to recognize – the consequences of that, which are a lot of short term relationships, a lot of divorce. Because monogamy is ridiculous and people aren’t any good at it, they’re not wired for it, it’s unnatural, and it places a tremendous strain on our marriages and our long term commitments to expect them to be effortlessly monogamous.
But people understand [that] love means “I don’t want to fuck other people” because of these misconceptions pumped into people’s heads about romance, love and what it means. And so they meet somebody else that they’re attracted to and think “well I must not be in love with my partner anymore otherwise I wouldn’t be attracted to this person.” Or they feel threatened when their partners are attracted to other people, because it makes them feel insecure. And we just need to get past that.
I’ve written a lot about the “misconceptions pumped into people’s heads about romance and love” in my article series on Understanding Women where I’ve also explained why these misconceptions exist in societies around the world.
Another important issue that’s being caused by these misconceptions is that because society expects people to be monogamous, this leads people to have very high and often very unrealistic expectations for potential partners. And this is logical, because if you’re going to have to stick with a single partner for the rest of your life, then that person will have to be perfect. So people become very picky and waste a lot of time waiting and looking for the perfect partner that’ll be able to satisfy all of their needs and desires for the rest of their life. And these unrealistic and high expectations ultimately lead to people becoming disillusioned. Psychoanalyst Karen Horney M.D. indicated the following in her article titled “The Problem of the Monogamous Ideal”:
[...] the overestimation of love leads to disillusionment; the desire to possess the partner results in the partner wanting to escape; and the taboos against sex result in non-fulfillment. Disillusionment plus the desire to escape plus non-fulfillment result in a secret hostility, which causes the other partner to feel alienated. Secret hostility in one and secret alienation in the other cause the partners to secretly hate each other. This secret hate often leads one or the other or both to seek love objects outside the marriage or relationship.
Eventually people realize that all those misconceptions that were taught to them by society about love and romance, don’t agree with reality, and as Dr. Horney said, they become disillusioned. They start to see from experience what reality is and it leads to big issues. Apart from people becoming disillusioned, we can also see here that monogamy leads to issues because it requires two partners to want to possess each other. And because human beings naturally want to be free individuals, this results in their (subconscious) desires to want to break free and escape. And like Dan Savage said in the interview I linked to above, we can see the consequences of that everywhere around us. It’s not just the problems such as short term relationships and divorce, but also the more extreme cases of people murdering their lovers and children, people committing suicide, rape, child-abuse, incest, sexual perversion and generally a society full of jealous, untrustworthy, mentally ill and unstable people.
The time has come for us to finally recognize the root cause of all these issues and fix it so we can all look forward to a better future for humankind on Earth.
Author Christopher Ryan explains in this TED talk why humans are “sexual omnivores” by nature:
Ryan hopes that a more nuanced understanding may put an end to discrimination, shame and the kind of unrealistic expectations that kill relationships.