‘Monogamy’, an undefined term…

‘Monogamy’ is a term that is debated on a daily basis. There is no solid definition, but if one had to be placed on the table it would be a “prolonged association and essentially exclusive mating relationship between one male and one female” as stressed by ‘Wittenberger and Tilson, 1980’. Then again what determines whether you as an individual is being monogamous? Practice varies from theory; therefore other concepts have to be introduced in order to produce a functional definition that may be applicable in society. Looking at a social context each individual would have to express a great mutual liking, as well a close relationship. Do these factors still suffice for a better understanding?

In this article, Agustin Fuentes points out that the “elements included in the primate monogamy package are: sexual monomorphism in size […] genetic relatedness to offspring (both parents are biological parents), and repulsion of same sex intruders.” It is evident that there are some social limitations, whether that is restrictions in conversing with specific individuals let alone same sex, or keeping a secure distance as to not draw undesired attention. In practicality we all live off instinct, but when we impose all these barriers how would that influence our behavior? One would have to limit his mindset and views to none other than his or her partner as well as reforming to a new lifestyle. The elements of culture infused in the comment by Fuentes, displays the duty to procreate, which is a subset of marriage itself. Therefore anthropologists believe that for a successful marriage to partake, one would have to abide extensively by the ‘laws’ of monogamy.