Are Men Really Polygamous By Nature?
Photo Credit: Blaj Gabriel

“Men are polygamous in nature”. It struck me like lightning when I first heard someone make this statement. I felt it was another case of people trying to rationalize a perceived wrongdoing. What was more surprising was to see some women speak in defence of this statement. In defence of the ‘men are polygamous by nature’ argument, a young lady said: ‘The female reproductive cycle comes once a month but for a man, its everyday. For each sexual act, the woman’s one egg is matched to a man’s one hundred and twenty million (120,000,000) sperm cells. Given that all these cells are viable, it would take only thirty (30) men to impregnate all the women in the world.” She opines that this points to one clear fact; men are by nature polygamous. She also says that monogamy and fidelity are unnatural situations promulgated by religious beliefs and societal pressure.” However, if there’s one lesson I’ve learnt, its this: seek to understand before you criticize. Thus, in search of knowledge I carried out a research on the biological nature of man and this war cry of being ‘polygamous in nature’ thing.

So one is tempted to ask then, Is it in a man’s nature to love and commit to one person, or to doubt, to flirt, and, perhaps, to stray? David P. Barash, a Professor of Psychology and Evolutionary Biologisy, gives an open-ended answer to this question in his book ‘Out of Eden’. He opines that “just because monogamy isn’t “natural” to the human species doesn’t mean it isn’t possible or even desirable. In fact, we often do those things best that don’t come easily to us.”

He states further that ‘being attracted to someone other than your mate doesn’t mean you’ve settled on the wrong person; it’s just a bug in your system. We also carry the biological imprint of polygamy, the opposite of lifelong fidelity to one mate. Complicating matters further, polygamy is divided into two categories: Polygyny, in which a man has more than one wife, and polyandry, in which a woman has more than one husband.

So, the question some may ask is if males carry the mark of ‘polygamy endorsed’ species, why then does the society (Religion an the Western World) especially frown against the idea of polygamy, which seems to be against our animalistic predilection for multiple sexual partners?Given the fact that 80% of early human societies were polygamous, why did later populations become largely monogamous? Science has no answer to that, apparently, although there are theories, as you might expect. One of them has to do with the “two parent” advantage to monogamy in caring for the young.

After carefully looking at the pro-polygamy view (from a biological standpoint), I truthfully still dont agree with them that men should be polygamous. If we roll back to the creation story (for those who believe it), the bible say God created ‘one man’ and ‘one woman’. I’m of the opinion that whatever kind of ‘sexual urge’ God put in man, He knew what he was doing . So, if He put such a drive in man, dont you think He would have also ensured He put a control system? If He really wanted man to mate with more than one woman, he would have probably made two women, right? I mean its just life. Men want to have as women as they want but thats just plain lack of self-control, because truthfully, how many really get all we want in life.

It’s my believe that men who argue for polygamy are really missing out the part of self-control and I think they may be questioning God’s intelligence. I dont mean to sound so religious but its just mu view. Would like to hear yours?


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