An introduction to the analysis of monogamy in marriage

There is a substantial empirical literature supporting this assumption. Also prophets have in front of their eyes monogamous marriage as an image of the relationship of God and Israel.

An introduction to the analysis of monogamy in marriage

Our approach considers how specific marriage systems might be favoured by cultural group selection because of how they harness aspects of our evolved psychology. Finally, market clearance implies that all women are married in equilibrium. We pursue this hypothesis as follows. Existing studies answering these questions commonly focus on changes in the demand for females. He could offer a higher income transfer to his wife or a higher amount of bequest to her son than she would receive in a monogamous marriage. Like many mammals, human females invest more heavily in their offspring than males. Here, pursuing safe, long-term strategies like pair-bonding is favoured—that is, men will be more risk-averse and more patient. In order "to build a house" a man was supposed to marry one woman and if she did not provide him with offspring, he could take a second wife. Socially imposed monogamy covers situations in which norms or laws regulate spousal number along with inheritance and divorce rights , including circumstances in which a noble class forcibly imposes monogamous marriage on commoners while retaining polygyny for themselves see the electronic supplementary material. Polygamy is viewed as inconsistent with the Article as it gives men the right of multiple wives, but not to women. However, each parent gets utility from the total bequest left to sons only. This galvanizing effect of some marriage systems is thrown into stark relief by the existence of alternative systems like those possessed by i the Na in China, whose norms suppress long-term pair-bonding and operate without either marriage or paternal investment [ 21 ] or ii various South American societies, whose norms allow the spreading of perceived paternity, and paternal investment, across two or more fathers [ 22 ]. For example, among tropical African foragers, the rates of polygyny range from 3 to 20 per cent [ 29 ]. Abstract The anthropological record indicates that approximately 85 per cent of human societies have permitted men to have more than one wife polygynous marriage , and both empirical and evolutionary considerations suggest that large absolute differences in wealth should favour more polygynous marriages. This implies that under conditions in which men vary substantially in status, polygynous pair-bonding is a likely outcome of both male and female mating choices.

The Book of Tobias speaks solely of monogamous marriages. This is referred to as the mystery of monogamy Gould et al. Polygynously mated women face neither maternal uncertainty nor usually competition for their mate's essentially unlimited sperm.

Consequently, in an economy with a sufficiently high human capital level men find it optimal to marry monogamously instead of bearing the high cost of polygynous mating, which gives rise to monogamy even in the presence of high income inequality.

Our approach considers how specific marriage systems might be favoured by cultural group selection because of how they harness aspects of our evolved psychology.

For established evolutionary reasons, male and female mating psychologies differ in important ways.

monogamy and civilization

Humans, like all primates, possess an evolved psychology that influences our choices regarding mates, mating, reproduction and parental investment. Marriage is not restricted to monogamy. Our approach predicts that increasing the extent and intensity of polygynous marriage increases male intrasexual competition.

In other cases, the available evidence provides only qualified support, basic consistency or prima-facie plausibility.

Monogamy vs polygamy

Roland de Vaux states that "it is clear that the most common form of marriage in Israel was monogamy". Polyandrous men face paternity uncertainty—they are rather uncertain about which children are theirs—and must compete for their mate's limited reproductive capacities gestation, lactation, etc. In the patriarchal society of Mesopotamia the nuclear family was called a "house". This increase in polygynous marriage would have led to predictable effects see below. Marriage systems found throughout the anthropological record reflect and amplify aspects of our mating psychology. Researchers from biology to history have long noted the puzzle of monogamous marriage, and suggested that such norms spread because of their group-beneficial effects [ 6 , 10 ]. Therefore, inequality in economic resources translates into inequality in the number of wives in the competitive marriage market of this economy. Rates of extrapair paternity have not been extensively studied in people. Consequently, as the level of human capital increases, a man who tries to convince a woman to participate in polygynous mating needs to increase the amount of economic resources to her or to increase the amount of the bequest left to her son. Yet, monogamous marriage has spread across Europe, and more recently across the globe, even as absolute wealth differences have expanded. Like many mammals, human females invest more heavily in their offspring than males. Book of Wisdom , which provides a picture of the society, Sirach , Proverbs , Qohelet portray a woman in a strictly monogamous family cf.

This may suggest that some men abandoned first wives of a low social status and married women of higher status in order to further their careers although even then they lived with only one wife. Inter-group competition need not result in violent conflict as such processes can produce a differential diffusion of beliefs, norms and institutions from more successful to less successful societies [ 89 ].

Monogamy marriage

Given its historical rarity and apparent ill-fit with much of our evolved psychology, why has this marriage package spread so successfully? Many tomb reliefs testify to monogamous character of Egyptian marriages, officials are usually accompanied by a supportive wife. However, since the analysis focuses on polygyny and monogamy, I specify the utility functions so that staying single and polyandrous mating are not possible in equilibrium. The difference can be interpreted as the cost of polygynous mating for men. But there is little doubt that particular marriage systems shape and influence the resultant mating patterns, as well as parental investment. As with other norm violations like theft and lying, this never quite works out, as our evolved mating psychology gives rise to broad societal-level patterns of infidelity, divorce, prostitution, etc. I show that the virtual disappearance of polygyny and the presence of the quantity-quality trade-off for children arise from the increasing cost of polygyny that occurs with the spread of human capital. Yet, does it mean that women played no role in the virtual disappearance of polygyny?

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The puzzle of monogamous marriage