Ricardo Padilla / Assistant Photo Editor

Amanda Teseo

Silhouette Staff

Often a dreaded conversation theme that inevitably arises between a couple, monogamy is a celebrated yet controversial topic of discussion. Some cultures have strict social rules on monogamy. Many people hold strong and often heartfelt views on the morality of monogamous relationships.

At the beginning of this year, a French pork butcher was discovered to be balancing a wife and three mistresses. While some rewarded this man with waves of admiration, the French Interior Minister showed public disapproval by stripping the man of his French citizenship.

The man responded by claiming that mistresses were a French tradition and, if he is to be stripped of his citizenship, countless other Frenchmen should also be subject to citizenship appraisal, at the least.

The man, like men throughout history was responsible for “giving in to temptation.” Many argue that monogamy is simply beyond the scope of a man’s nature and the eventual demise of a monogamous relationship is to be expected.

Dan Savage, an American relationship columnist who is notorious for his blatant honesty, suggests that the human race is not cut out for monogamy. He says that rejecting monogamy is more realistic and brings about more satisfaction in a relationship.

Savage, who claims to be happily enjoying a non-monogamous homosexual relationship, says that heterosexuals should learn some lessons from their homosexual counterparts.

According to relationship psychologist Dr. Susan Heitler, the success of a relationship is determined by the level of agreement between each member about the monogamy of the relationship. She explains that problems are likely to arise when there are guarded feelings regarding exclusivity, like jealousy and anger, that are not dealt with. She also explains that men are most often the ones to stray, and women the ones with the negative feelings.

At the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, a genetic variant in men was discovered to influence the way in which males bond with their partners.

The inability for some males to commit to one person can be attributed to a “divorce gene.” This gene is connected to restlessness within relationships and increased inclinations to stray.

So, does this mean men are more likely to balance multiple partners? History reveals males to be more promiscuous than females.

For example, there are a multitude of passages in the bible about males who engaged in polygyny. A female, on the other hand, was punished for any hint of promiscuity. A woman was expected to always be faithful to her man.

The feminist movement, however, resulted in imposed monogamy and faithfulness of men. This attempt to level out the playing field between men and women has not come without opposition.

Cultural pressure to form monogamous relationships has been linked with increased divorce rates.

Some people see monogamy as an unrealistic cultural imposition and argue that it forces naturally promiscuous people into cheating secretly. For other people out there looking for their “one and only,” monogamy is something they are searching for.

Overall, both monogamous and non-monogamous relationships have failed and succeeded. The question is, do you know which will work best for you?


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