Social-Scientists in the United States present boatloads of research on ways to keep alive the elusive spark in romantic relationships, nevertheless, we live in the country with the highest divorce-rates in the world. Meredith Small, an anthropologist from Cornell University and author of What’s Love Got to do With it?, presents a number of well-researched theories as to why so many romantic relationships may not withstand the test of time. Romantic relationships are tricky for everyone, but that hasn’t stopped us from trying. Sandra Loh for example, an American author for Boston’s popular magazine The Atlantic, has found herself in the midst of a divorce. As a self-proclaimed monogamist, Loh’s writes about her married life and how it came unhinged. Small’s theories give supportive evidence to Loh’s case and the growing number of marriages ending in divorce.
The Sexual Animal
Human-beings over millions of years, thanks to the process of evolution, have evolved into mammals that dine with silverware, drink from glasses, settle in homes, live in cohabitation, and participate in parenting as a unit. These tasks may not sound like accomplishments, but millions of years ago the name of the game was simply survive. Survival did not include proper etiquette or pleasantries, the day-to-day struggle of eating and staying alive was absolute. Small’s first theory: Adapt or Die. (22-30)
Human beings reproductive success depends on one’s ability to further his/her genes into the next generation. For the male species this theory transfers into impregnating as many females as possible, as the female may only bare one child per year. (Small, 38) For the Female species this theory transfers differently. In order for a female pass on her genes...
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...upport for Marx’s “matching hypothesis.”
In sum: human-beings were formerly primates trying to survive on instincts, protecting their genes to successfully reach the next generation. In hopes of protecting their genes females lured males into single-partner relationships, giving birth to Western society’s dominate relationship form, monogamy. The increasing divorce-rates and dysfunctional relationships in Western societies have lead to the belief that monogamy is an outdated system. Therefore, although we need to form relationships and receive love, the notion of extended versus lifetime monogamy could be better suited for men and women in America.
Loh, Sandra Tsing. “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” The Atlantic Aug. 2009. The Atlantic. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
Small, Meredith. What’s Love Got to Do With it? . Random House: Anchor Books, 1996. Print.