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Monogamy - It's Actually a Guy Thing

Monogamy - It's Actually a Guy Thing

Early humans, males and females, were sexually promiscuous. Then, about 4 million years ago, we started opting for long term mates.

The question is: why?

For years there was general agreement that, somewhere along the line, males begrudgingly accepted fidelity because it ensured their paternity rights.

Now a research scientist has stepped forward with a different and arguably better theory. Evolutionary biologist and mathematician Sergey Gavrilets, PhD, believes it was men who led the campaign for monogamy. Here’s his argument line…

Among early humans, a few alpha males regularly subdued all the other guys with their sheer physical superiority and fighting power. That let them subdue sexual rivals and freely mate with any and all the females they wanted. Lower-ranking males were left with only two choices: continue fighting the toughest guy on the block, or invent a way to beat the system.

Gavrilets has developed a mathematical model to trace the origins of monogamy. His number crunching suggests that, at a critical juncture in human development, lower-ranking males devised a plan to secure mating rights. Since jewelry and high-quality sex lubricants, like Creme De La Femme, hadn’t been invented yet, they came up with a simple strategy. They started providing extra food and physical protection to one female exclusively.

This arrangement gave the males easier mating access, which was what they wanted. And it improved the female’s nutrition – which enhanced her fertility and increased survival for her and her offspring. In exchange for these lifestyle perks, females grew willing to remain sexually faithful.

And there you have it: monogamy was born. 

Gavrilets also thinks he has the answer to why, historically, women so often like sexy bad boys. It seems that, in strictly evolutionary terms, women don’t so much like monogamy as they settle for it in exchange for very compelling social advantages. This concession (to sexual exclusivity with a better-providing but lower-ranking male) is constantly at odds with women’s biological attraction to alpha males who can provide “more evolutionary fit” genes.

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