Are We Like the Flies?


| 5 Comments
Yesterday's class proved to be an interesting one as Andrew enlightened us on the topic of fly sex. I don't think its surprising that I have never learned about this before, but after listening to what Andrew had to say, two thoughts came to mind. 1) Male flies are jerks. 2) What does this mean for us humans? 

A male fly mates the way he does in order to ensure that his sperm carries on to the next generation. The whole point of this mating style is natural selection. My question is, how does this relate to humans? Would the human race be more successful as a monogamous or polygamous species? In other words, which mating style best supports our survival? 

Before yesterday's class, if you would have asked me if humans were a monogamous species, I would reply "yes," simply because I would be thinking of marriage and having a family. But now I am rethinking that. I believe that our species is a mix of polygamy and monogamy. Some people are polygamous their entire life. Some are polygamous until they marry and then they remain monogamous. Some choose to be monogamous their entire life. According to a New York Times article titled, "Monogamy and Human Evolution," only 17% of human cultures are completely monogamous. 

non-monogamy.jpg

According to livescience.com, Daniel Kruger, a social and evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health claims that "We do know that in humans we do have this pretty strong pair bond, and there's more paternal investment than in most other primates. We're special in this regard, but at the same time like most mammals, we are a polygamous species."

In my opinion, the ideal best way for the human race to survive as well as thrive is for people to remain monogamous once they find their life partner or get married. What they do before that, I believe, is their choice. That depends on things like personal values or religious beliefs. However, once a person makes a lifetime commitment to another person, they should remain monogamous so that they can start a healthy, happy family and raise children to make the same decisions. This would ensure that children grow up in a supportive, loving home and evolve into successful people. 

Here's a video explaining a little more about human monogamy

Sources:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/02/science/monogamys-boost-to-human-evolution.html?_r=0
http://www.livescience.com/32146-are-humans-meant-to-be-monogamous.html

5 Comments

I think that, in the best interest of our planet, we need as much monogamy as we can get. Religion and beliefs aside, monogamy should be supported. We do not need people acting like flies and mating with different partners just to pass on their genes. Each year the global population rises, "actual world population growth is about 1.2 percent per year today"(USA Today). We have very limited resources and with the growing population they are becoming more scarce. Hopefully collectively as a plant we will be able to create more sustainable energy and more renewable resources for the future, but until then monogamous relationships should be supported.

Resources:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2011-10-30/world-population-hits-seven-billion/51007670/1

While the sentimental part of me wants to agree with you, in saying that the human race should strive to be monogamous, it is impossible to negate the fact that we are, essentially, animals. Though this way of thinking is not supported by our societal structure or concept of morality, polygamy would benefit our species by encouraging the spread of a wider variety of genetics over a larger area. This improves the chance of genetic adaptations that stave off disease, or increase longevity of life. While monogamy is all good and well (and something I subscribe to), it hinders our genetic potential.

I agree with you when you say it is safer for humans to remain monogamous one they are married. Remaining monogamous in a relationship is healthy because you can further your relationship and start a family. Monogamy is not out if date. In the article, Is Marriage And Monogamy Better Than Polygamy, it says that just because we see celebrities having affairs doesn't mean that monogamy is outdated. "The mental health benefits of being in a relationship with someone you know is only in love with and committed to you are vast, including lower depression rates and higher immunity compared with singles." This quote is very powerful because I think people loose site of what it really means to be monogamous. Yes it means that you only have one partner, but it also means you are happier and have a healthier life ahead of you.

I strongly believe an individual should stay monogomous for many reasons. One is in our culture and lifestyle, it is essential to keep a family. The way we do it is not like natural selection, although I feel it is the most natural and right way of doing this. Agreeing with the comment above me, monogomy is definitely not out of date and important. Psychologically, it is important to know you only have one husband and one partner to make a family. I feel like pologomy would lead to other things such as crime and bad things like that.http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_evolution/2012/10/are_humans_monogamous_or_polygamous_the_evolution_of_human_mating_strategies_.html

This article shows the debate for whether we are pologymists or monogomists. I have one stance on this arguement and I would love to here what others have to say about this.

This article can bring about a lot of great debate. Which REALLY is better? Morally, monogamy is better for everyone, but when it comes to passing genes, polygamy is the way to go. I agree with Dylan in the fact that we may be hindering our genetic potential by remaining monogamous. For many reasons though, I cannot imagine our culture being polygamist. We are not like animals in the sense that we need to mate with many people. This causes many problems, and would ruin our way of life and our family. To connect this to our lives, watching shows like sister wives & Big Love can really stir up a lot of emotions. It really amazes me that people still actually live like this, and are okay with it! Are people naturally this way? Does their church doctrine support this? There are so many unanswered questions for me. I found a really interesting article about these types of shows. I found out that "1,231 cultures in the Ethnographic Atlas Codebook, 84.6 percent are classified as polygynous." I could not believe this! It's pretty rare for polygamy to be in our society, unless it's mostly hidden. I would be interested to find out more about this. The article below has some really interesting information which connects directly to this topic, I encourage you to check it out.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/darwin-eternity/201108/are-people-naturally-polygamous-0

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