So is Johanssen correct? Is expecting monogamy truly unnatural, sort of like presenting you with a buffet and telling you to just eat one food item? Or is monogamy something that should be expected, such as asking you to not eat off other customers’ plates while in a restaurant? Or is the answer somew in between?
Well, some have gotten animal about insisting that monogamy is unnatural, pointing to examples in the animal kingdom.
Writing for the Huffington Post, Beverly Golden claims that “Researchers have found that between 10% and 40% of all bird chicks were fatd by males who were not the mother’s social mate” and that “Only 3% to 5% [of mammals] are known to form lifelong bonds with one mate. Among this small group are beavers, otters, wolves and foxes.” In her piece for CNN entitled “Face it: Monogamy is unnatural,” Meghan Laslocky writes that “Marrying for love is a relatively new concept” and that increased longevity makes staying monogamous “a lot to expect of any human being-even the most honorable, ethical and moral.” She adds that some people just may not be wired biologically to be monogamous.
Plus, not all animals shun monogamy, so why not be more like a beaver?
The final answer may be that monogamy is both natural and unnatural.
Sure, marriage has its health benefits, but forcing monogamy and marriage on people who just aren’t inclined to be monogamous can be like trying to get a duck to wear a tuxedo.