If You Want Fidelity, Get a Dog: Humans are not meant to be Monogamous

White Rabbit

New member
We've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. But how does this square with the facts: fewer and fewer couples marry, divorce is increasing and marriages are haunted by the twin spectres of adultery and flagging libido. What if our past is actually one of egalitarian promiscuity? What if monogamy doesn't come naturally to us and never has? And, if having an affair would make your marriage last, would you?

Christopher Ryan is an American psychologist who contends that much of what we've been told about our species is in fact untrue, particularly when it comes to sexuality. The bottom line, he says, is monogamy is unnatural: we're just not designed to have sex with the same person over a lifetime. He cheekily suggests that had Darwin had a better sex life our theories of human sexual relations would be completely different.

This session was chaired by the ABC's Robyn Williams and was part of the 2011 Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House.

Christopher Ryan is a psychologist and co -author of New York Times best-seller, "Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality". Christopher contributes to Psychology Today and The Huffington Post.

Robyn Williams is a science journalist and broadcaster, and the host of ABC Radio National's The Science show. In 1987 he was named a National Living Treasure. In 1993, Robyn was the first journalist elected as a Fellow Member of the Australian Academy of Science. He was a Visiting Fellow at Balliol College Oxford in 1995-96. Robyn has written more than 10 books, the latest being a novel.


Boiling Frog

Truth Activist
Marriage is just a control and belief system "they" have in place. Otherwise sex would be more open, and people would live freer, happier lives with multiple sex partners. If you read the bible, it says that people in cities such as sodom and gomorrah, were out of control, having sex with each other. Laws had to be created to stop the people.

Sex and love are 2 different things. Why do we put such limits on ourselves?


Well being monogamous in a relationship is not just about you. Its about sharing your life with somebody, and keep something special just for them, such as sex. Wanting multiple partners is selfish and ego based. Sharing yourself with one person creates balance, something you can't get with just anybody or everybody.

There is nothing wrong with exploring, but maturing spiritually, emotional will end the wondering eyes.


New member
Ok, so from what I get from the top post, the basis for believing that humans are not meant to be monogamous is statistics? Really? Statistics? You know, those statistics are tainted by the fact that most relationships that end are because of "the grass is always greener" syndrome. People always strive for what they can't have. People also assume that if their relationship doesn't follow what they see on tv, then they're with the wrong person. The want the sheer perfection that all happy couples on tv have. It doesn't work that way in reality. In a REAL relationship, there are ups and downs, no matter who you're with. You'll never have perfection. So yes, statistics are tainted. You can't go by statistics to tell people that they are not meant to be monogamous.

Yes, people cheat on their significant others. Some people need more attention than others in the bedroom. Some people need more attention than other outside of the bedroom. If you are happy, then you will be happy no matter what.

Personally, with my current beliefs, what does it matter whether someone has multiple partners, even all at once period of time, you know, dating 4 or 5 people say, as long as everyone within the relationship(s) knows about everyone else and is ok with that kind of relationship. If everyone is cool with it, who cares, let 'em live the way they want. It's not for everyone. Some people are perfectly happy having just 1 partner and that's that.

So, the way I see it, not everyone is set to be monogamous, but some are. But don't give me that crap about "statistics show" and therefore it is. I don't buy that crap for 1 second.