Social Structure Or Natural Phenomenon? Essay

1389 Words Nov 18th, 2015 6 Pages
Social Structure or Natural Phenomenon?:
Comparisons of Monogamous and Non-Monogamous Relationships Throughout popular culture and media, monogamy is overrun by a number of contradictions. Western cultures typically view monogamy as natural and consistent (Conley, Ziegler, Moors, Matsick, & Valentine, 2012). However, when examining the history of monogamy, it is clear that it is a relatively recent social construct. When examining cultures from around the world, monogamy is not as pervasive as we tend to think (Ryan & Jetha, 2010). The Bible is often said to be in support of monogamy, and deviance from this is often viewed as sinful. Yet in many instances, the Bible actually promotes non-monogamy: for example, Abraham and David’s multiple wives. Despite high levels of support for monogamous romantic relationships, high rates of cheating and divorce in Western societies dispute previous assumptions about its widespread acceptance.
Monogamous Relationships Although the majority of Western cultures endorse monogamy as the most acceptable type of relationship, definitions of monogamy are not always consistent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2009) describes monogamy as an agreement between two individuals to only be sexually active with one another. This definition however, only refers to the idea of sexual monogamy and not romantic monogamy. When referring to monogamy in the animal kingdom, sexual monogamy is defined as having only one sexual partner…

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