General Question

dannyc's avatar

Is monogamy a dying concept?

Asked by dannyc (5228points) May 18th, 2009

Many religions allow more than one wife. Many marriages end in painful divorces. Pornography seems to be the most popular item online, thus I think there are a lot of people fascinated with sex with another Lawyers seem, as a result, to rule the world in profiting from this distress. Is there a better way and should we abandon monogamy and come up with a new concept to reflect the new reality.

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21 Answers

cwilbur's avatar

The problem is not monogamy. The problem is people who think that monogamy is the only option, when it’s really one of a set of possibilities. Not all of them work for all people, but there are a lot of people for whom monogamy works very well indeed.

Aethelwine's avatar

It’s not a dying concept in my life.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I would hope not. It would be disappointing to see society to deem it commonplace to use a person purely for sexual gratification only to toss them aside when someone new comes along.

Facade's avatar

I doubt monogamy will ever die out.

dannyc's avatar

Not dying out, but compared to 50 years ago, obviously a change is taking place regardless of people’s personal situations.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

It’s not monogamy that is dying.. we’ve been over this in several threads… it is the integrity of people.. the self control.. the discipline.. that is dying.

Facade's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater hit the nail on the head.

oratio's avatar

I don’t believe it’s the law or culture who makes us live monogamously. Most people I know, me included, only wants one wife.

No, it’s not a dying concept. But if you want several wives, go ahead.

ram201pa's avatar


hungryhungryhortence's avatar

The concept of monogamy isn’t dying out. What’s evolved are modes of behavior in relationships regarding marriage, cheating, divorce, remarriage, staying single, etc. People don’t feel so pressured to get married anymore or partner up as quickly as possible once they reach adulthood. People aren’t so afraid of leaving marriages anymore and having it impact their job status, social and family standings. Cheating may have been tolerated a lot more in times past to preserve face for all involved. Yes, divorce lawyers benefit because people don’t hesitate as much as before.

bezdomnaya's avatar

@oratio But if you want several wives, go ahead.

Well, maybe only if you live in Utah. :)

Blondesjon's avatar

Monogamy works just fine.

Loyalty and Patience are the concepts that are dying

Linda_Owl's avatar

The concept of monogamy is not dying out, but the concept of marriage may be.

wundayatta's avatar

Certainly, the concept of monogamy is not dying out, at the moment. In addition, I don’t think there is much convincing evidence to suggest that people’s feelings, on average, about monogamy have changed much over history. Officially, the vast majority of people say it’s best. Unofficially, a lot of people don’t behave monogamously. Sometimes they get caught, or they give themselves up.

For most, monogamy is seen as the ideal. Of course, there are bigamists and polyamorous folk who don’t see it as the ideal. But the practicality of monogamy, or, at least, serial monogamy, seems to pursuade most people that it is best, or at least, they should say it’s the best.

I don’t think divorce has much to do with it. Most people, after divorce, enter into subsequent monogamous relationships. There are very few people who actively carry on relationships with more than one person at a time (or so I believe), and probably fewer who have multiple relationships and are public about it. There is still a lot of stigma attached to non-monogamy.

justwannaknow's avatar

Why would anyone want more than one wife is beyond me. Why any one would want to share and get sloppy seconds is even more bizarre to me. But to each thier own. I will continue to give all my love to my sweet wife that puts up with my sh%$.

DarkScribe's avatar

Yes. That’s the “Till Death do us part” bit…

dannyc's avatar

Good answers all, but 50% of the statistics seem to make the assumption of monogamy a bit of a declining absolute. I see it all around me and wonder why. To say it is not happening seems intuitively false. This was not meant as a personal belief question, more in the aggregate. Thus I feel I did not frame it properly. I am happy that the responders seem happy in monogamy, but I know that it is not the norm any more with a 50 % divorce rate, thus the inquiry.

oratio's avatar

Ok. But marital monogamy is not staying married to one person your whole life. It is being married to one person at a time.

I suspect your question was meant to be:
“Is lifelong marriage a dying concept?”

or do you mean that most people have secret lovers?

dannyc's avatar

oratio, thanks.. That is exactly what I am probing..

wundayatta's avatar

Ah. That makes more sense. I don’t think it’s a dying concept. Perhaps it should die, because it creates so much angst and psychological harm to those whose relationships can not survive, but I don’t see it ever dying.

It is a model that relatively few individuals can match up to. When marriages fail, people tend to feel a lot of guilt, and I’m sure there are other negative consequences—consequences that would be even worse if the couple were to stay together. If we did not place such a huge value on lifelong marriage, I think we’d be able to handle the breakup of relationships more more effectively, minimizing the harm the breakups cause.

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