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11-Jun-2020 05:02

‘Many creatures who have long been thought to be monogamous, like swans, are in fact biologically inclined to be pair-bonded – but sexual monogamy is not usually part of of that bond.‘This does not mean, of course, that monogamy is not a good choice for many humans – it obviously is, for a great many people.So many Hollywood stories rely on the search for ‘the one’ – that single person we can grow old with.But marriage is decreasing in popularity, divorce is becoming more common and having a lifelong relationship with one person is no longer the norm (if ever it was).But I don’t think that humans raised in a culture which values all consensual choices equally would tend toward lifelong monogamy.’ And humans are relatively new to this monogamy lark: ‘Only 17% of human cultures are strictly monogamous,’ Bernard Chapais, of the University of Montreal, wrote in Evolutionary Anthropology.‘The vast majority of human societies embrace a mix of marriage types, with some people practicing monogamy and others polygamy.’ Research on the popularity of polyamorous relationships is thin on the ground but a study in 2016 showed that one in five people in the US reported being involved in consensual non-monogamy (CNM) at some point in their lifetime.It’s not just about casual relationships or sleeping with someone else behind your partner’s back.

There is also the incorrect view that it is illegal, linked to bigamy laws only allowing legal marriage to one person.

At the same time, we’re hearing about ethical non-monogamy and polyamory – literally meaning many loves.