Part 6. Humans are (Blank) -ogamous: Many Intimate Relationships

This is the sixth part on the evolution of human mating behavior, comparing evidence for promiscuity and pair-bonding in our species. Please see the Introduction here.

_______________________________________________________________

So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act.” Dr. Seuss

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Varieties of Intimate Relationships. Click for larger image. (from Informationisbeautiful.net)

David McCandless at “Information Is Beautiful” gave me permission to reproduce the above image. I though it fit well with the series I started months ago titled Humans are (blank)-ogamous, which looked at the evidence for pair-bonding and promiscuity in human evolution. In the first post of the series, I wrote:

To begin, let me say that I side with Sapolsky. Individuals may figure out what works best for themselves in terms of balancing sex, love, intimacy, and commitment, but collectively we are a tragically confused species. …

Across the spectrum of human cultures, we can find examples of heterogamy, endogamy, polyandry, polygyny, monogamy, non-monogamy, polyamory, and so on. However, these do not all occur in equal frequencies, so I don’t think we are truly “blank-ogamous.” There is also lots of room for variation within each culture. Being good Popperians committed to the principle of falsifiability, it is probably easier to say what we are not than what we are. One thing is clear: we are not simple.”

Continue reading