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Studies have shown that nowadays a lot of young adults end up cheating on their partner. The question rises up, of whether young people like the thrill of cheating, or if they are incapable of being in a monogamous relationship. This essay analyses the possible reasons why young adults are turning into polygamy.
In certain cultures, a person is allowed to have many spouses at the same time. Having more than one partner at a given time is known as polygamy. In bygone era this was a common practice, where men could have several wives at the same time, but now its practice is becoming less popular and people prefer to be monogamous. Anthropologist George Murdock’s research has found that 80% of societies had practice some form of polygamy. Depending on ethnicity, race, religion and caste marriage between a man to multiple women and vice versa is also recognised by custom or law and those entering such a union have certain rights towards children born out of such unions.
In the book Sex at Dawn by Cacilda Jetha and Christopher Ryan share their thoughts about the origin of mating and the evolution of modern sexuality. The book mentions how we were never intended to be monogamous creatures but society has made humans turn to monogamous relationships. Bonobos and chimps were the first to create to be in polygamous relationships to share and create a bond with each other. In the past hunter-gathers shared everything including their partners to create a community to bond. Monogamous relationships are a stronger bond between two partners that can not match that of polygamous partners. It is stated that sex is just sex and there should not be taken so seriously. Even though the book mentions that people are not destined to be with only one person but it’s through society that it allows humans to gain societal power. The issue is whether people are happy enough to be monogamous or need to be polygamist to be truly happy.
Throughout the book, it was mentioned that we were born to be polygamous human beings but society has changed the way it is viewed. Society has made humanity be surprised when seeing people in those types of relationships nowadays. ‘bigger the society is, the less functional shame becomes’. Ryan and Jetha stated that the bigger the society the less shame there would be but it could be that rather than being less functional it might be that there is more room for acceptance of different lifestyles. Society would be open to different forms of partnerships, such as monogamy and polygamy. Not long ago in human history, polygamy was the norm, but the mainstream culture now views polygamists as weird. Through society changes, it mentions that agriculture was one of the big reasons to change the way humans saw their partners. Agriculture allowed for growth in economical power as well as societal. The revolution of agriculture shifted the community structure. Politics intervened, hierarchy took place determining wealth and distribution of resources. Male dominance was starting in motion where women were now at a disadvantage, so women would be with a man for their resources and men wanted the women for their reproductive status. This is where the human species started the wrongfulness of sexuality.
“When communities grow beyond the point where every individual has at least a passing acquaintance with everyone else, our behavior changes, our choices shift, and our sense of the possible and of the acceptable grows ever more abstract.” In the hunter-gathering era, communal living was mandatory for societies to grow as this was the only way they could grow. There was no privacy, no individual responsibility but rather it was public and group dependence on one another. The shift towards monogamy happened due to the agricultural revolution where it involved coupled pairs to take care of one another and their children. Agriculture allowed people to reuse an area of land to gather resources such as food, shelter, and growth. Those who occupied land their entire lives with their harvesting efforts they gained that land rather than community sharing it. The rise of agriculture meant the people would be able to survive with their own land which meant they could be on their own.
Marriages seem to dissolve and divorce seems to be really high. The most common reason for the dysfunction seems to be mismatched interest between the man and the woman. The media seems to make it even more difficult for the couples to find a solution, with “relationship assistance” industries. As the couples tend to find what is bringing them together, the solution for the dysfunctional interest is the market trying to conform them into the monogamous standard of society. Women are advised by magazines to keep their man while men are told to get more girls. Disfunction in the views of relationships and society has a standard of sexuality. Monogamy is a cultural construct which is considered to advance civilization, monogamy causes for a stronger bond in passionate and emotional aspects.
Young adults get in a relationship at a really young age, and later on they might have doubts on what they are missing from life, and they might not know how to end the relationship they are in. It doesn’t mean that they might not love their partner, but in order to not get hurt they prefer to end it, and this way often recurs to cheating.
Jealousy has been lately more present in every relationship. With the presence of social media, couples find a way or another to feel that their partner is engaging in other social ambiance which doesn’t necessarily involve them. Jealousy has created a lot of problems in a relationship, which is why people rather stay clear of it and avoid being with just one partner. Monogamy is unnaturalIts true that being with just one person through the rest of your life requires a lot of responsibility and commitment, and not every person is capable of doing so. People can’t help of fantasizing about another person, or of being attracted to another person that isn’t their partner. It doesn’t mean that they are cheaters, but it is not natural that a human being doesn’t look around. Which is why people prefer to stay single and see numerous partners than stay committed to one.
Whether we want to admit it or not, a relationship sets boundaries for their other partners. They have to be faithful, not flirty with other people, unable to spend more time with other people other than with your partner, jealousy, setting rules for what one partner likes and dislikes about the other, etc. Monogamy is starting to give some young adults the feeling that they are not free. Despite of being with a loving partner, often they feel that they live in a world of rules, when they are supposed to feel free to do whatever they want with their lives.
A lot of young adults grow up with the idea of happily ever after, when in real life a relationship has its ups and downs and it takes effort and commitment. When people don’t get what they want right away from a relationship they are unable to stay on it and keep on searching for something that suits them best. The problem here is that they are lying to themselves and they are unable to face reality, which is why people are turning more into polygamy to avoid the hard work of monogamy.
As society standards change people move along with the notion of what it needs to be. There are many aspects in life that change the way we find relationships and how we stay connected with one another. Love is not the only thing that can influence sex for partners but the connection that is built with getting to one another. Our aspects based on our culture and our background has influenced how we seek relationship partners.
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