The Rise of Monogamy - Paper Sample

Published: 2021-08-11
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University of Richmond
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Term paper
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What is the primary purpose of this media blog post? What evidence isPresented on the blog to support the main ideas of the post? What evidence ispresented to refute or go against the argument? Are there any scholarly references given on the blog?

The primary purpose of this blog post is to lay out the ideas of Christopher Ryan that human beings of both sexes are naturally promiscuous and not monogamous and faithful as they have been made to believe. He says that when it comes to being faithful and monogamous, there is no difference in males and females. In the blog post, Ryan who has a Ph.D. in Psychology notes that while monogamy has been accepted as a right way of life in many societies today and societies are made to believe that being faithful is natural; our primal urges are to be promiscuous (Waterflow, 2013). The argument presented to refute the argument of monogamy and faithfulness is the comparison of the genetic relation of humans to chimps and bonobos. Ryan who was the owner of this idea said that humans are genetically related to chimps and bonobos than they are to any other primate and therefore the sexual natures are also similar. This blog has pointed out that bonobos are famous for their sexual promiscuity and like humans, they are the only animals that have sex face to face and males also have external testicles. Another idea is that similarly, human, chimps, and bonobos do not just use sex for reproductive purposes but also for bonding (Waterflow, 2013). To refute monogamy and faithfulness, he says that chimps and bonobos do not restrict their bonding to just one partner as many humans have been encouraged to do. Ryan in this blog, therefore, says that monogamy is not hardwired in either men or women (Waterflow, 2013). This blog has been written in the words of Christopher Ryan a psychologist and a co-author of the book sex at dawn. He talked about this idea at a TED conference.

The Evolution Theory

The evolutionary psychologists have advanced the theory that the human mind just like the other organs was designed to transmit genes to the next generation. They say that a mans instinctual nature is to produce copies of themselves. The theorists also indicate that both sexes are prone to infidelity under the right circumstances. They, however, argue that a man is more deeply inclined to acquire other mates or to keep a harem and a casual fling. These theorists say that women can also be promiscuous although regardless of how many partners they have they can only have one offspring per year. For a man, every mate offers a chance to sire another offspring.

Use scholarly articles from peer-reviewed journals to describe the mating system of chimpanzees. Remember to include how the dominance hierarchy, feeding ecology, and male aggression affect the relative reproductive success.

Chimpanzees have a complex mating system with both males and females using many tactics. Adult females who are sexually active undergo estrous periods of sexual swellings, which are about thirty-two to thirty-six. Copulation rates are higher when their swellings are full than when not full (Watt, 2015). Male interest in fully swollen females is higher and high-ranking males who dominate mate at higher rates. The higher-ranking males sometimes try to prevent females from mating with other males present, which is called mate guarding. Males also try to persuade females to go on cohorts and during this period they try to avoid other males and to mate exclusively. The higher- ranking males increase their mating success by using aggression to increase their share of matings and therefore achieve higher paternity success ( Langergraber, Mitani, Watt & Vigilant, 2015).I refute with the argument that human beings and chimpanzees are sexually similar. Female chimpanzees have periods of swellings, which is absent in female human beings. The mating rates of chimpanzees are high during the periods of full swelling than in other periods. Human beings on the other side can have sex in their chosen time.

Use scholarly articles from peer-reviewed journals to describe mating system of bonobos.

Males in multi-male multi-female societies of bonobos compete for mating opportunities with fertile females to maximize reproductive success. The high ranking males can restrict other males access to fertile females. Therefore, these dominant males account for the larger number of matings than the minor ones. Mother- son associations are high among bonobos and enhance their sons proximity to mating success with estrous females by allowing them to interact with other estrous females (Surbeck, Mundry & Hohmann, 2010). This potential only increases when the male sons are traveling or living in the presence of their mothers. However, a larger proportion of mating performance still reflects dominance status rather than maternal support. In the absence of maternal support, the low-ranking bonobos have low chances of mating compared to the high-ranking ones who are aggressive in the competition to win mating chances with estrous females (Surbeck, Mundry and Hohmann, 2010).

In my critical analysis, I oppose the argument of the media blog that human sexual behaviors are similar to those of bonobos. Mother-son relationships are also present in human beings. However, the relationship in human beings does not aid in any way for sons to be engaged in sexual activities with females closer to the mother. Sexual behavior in human beings is also not based on higher ranking dominating the fertile women but on female choice.

Give an overview of three scholarly articles from peer-reviewed journals that examine the role of testosterone levels on chimpanzee mating strategy.

Chimpanzees experience age-related changes in urinary testosterone levels. Both female and male chimpanzees experience these changes. Older chimpanzees of both sexes have significantly higher urinary testosterone levels than the younger ones. It indicates the reason why they experience a juvenile pause. Chimpanzees experience a sharp increase in the levels of urinary testosterone levels in around the age of eight years. It suggests the aggression and male mate competition with the rise of the testosterone levels. Female chimpanzees show the same pattern in the increase of urinary testosterone levels (Beranger, Deschner, Deimel, Stevens, & Hohmann, 2014).

Another scholarly article researched on the relationship of the levels of testosterone and the performance of cognitive tasks showed that higher levels of testosterone in male chimpanzees correlate with higher levels of performance in the physical cognition as well as causality scales. Moreoevr, among male chimpanzees higher levels of testosterone was directly related to lower levels of the theory of mind performance. Among female chimpanzees, higher levels of testosterone caused more skillful achievement in the attention state task (Wobber & Herrmann, 2015).

Another article researching on the role of testosterone in chimpanzees found that testosterone is positively associated with male sexual behavior. They said that the higher the levels of testosterone, the higher levels in the interest of males to mate and explained the reason why they are highly ranked in dominance. Testosterone in both male and female bonobos played a role in the mating effort (Onyango, Gesquiere, Altmann & Alberts, 2013).

Use at least three scholarly articles from peer-reviewed journals to explain the evolution of polygamy/promiscuity to (serial) monogamy in modern humans.

Modern humans have evolved highly from polygamy to monogamy. Findings in some scholarly articles have explained the reasons. One reason is that there has been spread of human capital increasing labor income. As a result, womens income opportunities have increased. It has reduced the marginal benefit of the economic benefits provided by polygamous unions increasing the cost of polygamous mating for men (Citci, 2014). For this case, men have found it optimal to marry monogamously instead of bearing high cost of polygamous mating (Citci, 2014).

Another article discusses that the stability of marriage practices regarding resources has led to the rise in monogamous marriages. The extent of resource depletion through division is the primary determinant of marriage practice. Stability is based on the maximization of inclusive fitness, strategic behavior, and ecological factors rather than just paternity confidence (Archetti, 2013), which has led to the rise in monogamous marriages to maximize inclusive fitness. Another article discussed that competition among members of one sex for reproductive access to the other is one of the strongest and fastest evolutionary processes. The change in mating systems has resulted from polygamy to monogamy. Sex differences in reproductive success decreased as laws, and religious customs changed in the last half of the 19th century, which has resulted to people becoming more monogamous ( Moorad, Promislow, Smith, & Wade, 2011).

What is ONE problem with the method used in one or more of the studies you used?

The method used in the studies is a literature review. I reviewed different scholarly articles to answer various questions. These scholarly articles have been written by authors who have researched works of various authors to come up with those articles. The article I used to come up with the mating system of the chimpanzees only took a research from one country and specifically one area and therefore could not come up with the best answer on feeding behavior as if compared to two countries of different geographical regions.

How is the media blog misleading?

The media blog, which states that human beings are meant to be promiscuous and not to be monogamous and faithful, is misleading. The blog compares human beings to chimpanzees and bonobos. It assumes that because chimpanzees and bonobos are closely related to human beings in the evolution theory, their sexual activities are similar. It is also misleading because it assumes since chimpanzees and bonobos are promiscuous, even human beings should be promiscuous. In the scholarly articles I have studied, they have stated that even high-ranking male chimpanzees and bonobos prevent the females from mating with other males present and even persuading them to go on cohorts where the males avoid other males to mate exclusively with the females chosen.

As compared to evolutionary theory the media blog is misleading because it says that the nature of human beings is to be promiscuous yet the fact that human beings are prone to infidelity does not mean that their nature is to be promiscuous. It also says that both men and women do not have differences in matters of faithfulness and monogamy while men are more prone to infidelity than women and even though both were cheating, men could produce more than one offspring in a year whereas a woman could only produce one offspring.


Archetti, M. (2013). Evolution of polygamous marriage by maximization of inclusive fitness. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 319, 134-143. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.11.017

Behringer, V., Deschner, T., Deimel, C., Stevens, J., & Hohmann, G. (2014). Age-related changes in urinary testosterone levels suggest differences in puberty onset and divergent life history strategies in bonobos and chimpanzees. Hormones and Behavior, 66(3), 525-533. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2014.07.011

Citci, S. H. (2014). The rise of monogamy. Series, 5(4), 377-397. doi:10.1007/s13209-014-0113-y

Langergraber, K. E., Mitani, J. C., Watts, D. P., & Vigilant, L. (2015, June 19). Male-female socio-spatial relationships and reproduction in wild chimpanzees. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from, J. A., Promislow, D. E...

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