Hey, didja know GoodinBed did a survey on monogamy? I was chomping at the bit to see the results, so Ian K emailed them to me.
Because on the one hand, 70% of respondents agreed that “Forming monogamous relationships is part of human nature.” And 66% disagreed that “Monogamy feels unnatural to me because desiring multiple partners is part of human nature.” And 59% disagreed that “Monogamy blocks natural drives.”
So, like between 60-75% of people think monogamy is basically natural. It’s part of human nature.
At the same time, when asked “To what extent do you believe monogamy is a choice?” just 6% said “Not much” or “Not at all” with an overwheming 80% respoding “VERY MUCH”
So which is it, a choice or part of our nature? If it’s our nature, why must we choose it? Well, only if non-monogamy is ALSO part of our nature. Which is just about right.
(Though for the record, monogamy DOES block natural motivations and desiring people IS part of a human nature not nullified by any commitment to monogamy. So 2⁄3 of people are wrong, but for the right reasons… if that makes sense.)
So. Both monogamy and non-monogamy are natural, and both are choices. Which you choose is CONTEXT DEPENDENT.
The context of modern industrialized western life seem to favor about an even split between the two (if we count serial monogamy as monogamy):
“Have you had a partner engage in infidelity on you (i.e., engaged in sexual or emotional interactions with someone other than you that could jeopardize, or hurt, your relationship)?” 48% say yes, 12% don’t know.
“Have you engaged in infidelity?” 42% say yes, and 52% of that group say their partner never found out about it.
(Uh, PS – you can also find my Orgasm and Fellatio guides over there at GiB. End plug.)