Promiscuity As A Cultural Norm

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The Norm of Promiscuity Human beings commonly accept the notion that when in a relationship, both people should be faithful. Monogamy can be defined as “the state or practice of having only one sexual partner during a period of time” (Merriam-Webster.com. n.d.). Promiscuity is on the complete opposite spectrum of monogamy. Promiscuity can be defined as having more than one sexual partner at one time. People like to believe that humans are among the few creatures to remain monogamous in a life time. This idea of monogamy between two people, however, is not the human norm (Small, 1995, p. 19). Promiscuity can be seen in everyday life through promoting reproductive fitness, complicating the human pair-bond, and through examining primate behavior. Reproductive fitness can be defined by the number of times healthy offspring is successfully produced from an individual (Birkhead, 2007, p. 13). In this sense, the more children that can continue to pass on genes, the more reproductively fit a person is. Having sexual encounters with multiple partners will increase the probability of coitus that will lead to pregnancy. Men are physically able to have more children than woman are because sperm production never stops. Women, however, are much more restricted with the number of children they can produce. The only factor limiting how many children a man conceives is solely based on how many mates are available to him (Birkhead, 2007, p. 13). This suggests that as long as there are a variety of women willing to reproduce with him, he will be able to conceive as much as he wants. This directly shows how promiscuity is a cultural norm in human society. Men have this advantage of passing down their gene pool to any woman who is willing to engage i... ... middle of paper ... ...sexual selection. San Diego: Academic Press. Birkhead, T. (2007). Promiscuity. Daedalus, 136(2), 13. Drea, C. (2005). Bateman Revisited: The Reproductive Tactics of Female Primates. Oxford Journals, 45(5). Retrieved November 13, 2013, from http://icb.oxfordjournals.org/content/45/5/915.full Goodall, J. (Performer) (2002). Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees [Theater]. Larsen, C. S. (2011). Our Origins: Discovering Physical Anthropology (2 ed. ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Company. Monogamy. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved November 20, 2013, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/monogamy O'Neil, D. (2000). Social Structure. Informally published manuscript, Palomar, San Marcos, CA, Retrieved from http://anthro.palomar.edu/behavior/behave_2.htm Small, M. F. (1995). What's Love Got to Do With It?: The Evolution of Human Mating. New York: Anchor Books.
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