By Korin Miller
What – is romance dead? New research reveals the real reason humans are monogamous, and it’s not because he’s just that into you…
It’s nice to think that monogamy is something that came about because people were just that into each other, but new research is here to crush that dream.
Playing It Safe
A Canadian study found that prehistoric humans may have started favouring monogamy (and looking down at polygamy) thanks to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and peer pressure. Clearly, the stuff of prehistoric romance.
For their research, scientists used computer-modelling techniques to simulate the evolution of different mating behaviours in human populations based on demographics and disease transmission. They discovered that, as hunter-gatherers started settling in one place and living in larger populations, STIs like gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia were more likely to spread. The price of civilisation is high.
READ MORE: “I cheated on my husband. This is why I did it.”
When the STIs infiltrated the population, it decreased fertility rates among men with multiple sex partners. Unfortunately, there was no medication to come to the rescue back in the day. Since dudes weren’t down with making fewer babies, they changed their mating behaviour to allow them to produce more offspring and act in a way that was better for the group. Talk about taking one for the team!
Survival Of The Monogamous
Groups that practised monogamy ended up becoming bigger than those that didn’t and, since there’s power in numbers, they could overpower those that were still polygamous. And there you have it.
READ MORE: Open relationships are more common than ever. Here’s why…
Researchers point out that this probably isn’t the only reason we shifted towards a more monogamous society, since, hello, female choice also played a role, but it’s an interesting model.
So next time you get misty-eyed over a friend’s wedding, just know what’s really behind the union: the deep-seeded fear of STIs.
Did you know there’s a condom that detects STIs while you’re having sex!? Here’s the low-down.