When it comes to monogamy, many women ask themselves, are they a Charlotte or a Samantha? Do they feel inclined to be with just one person or not? It's always been a hotly debated topic if monogamy or polygamy was the natural state for humans. Now, according to a new scientific study, apparently it’s natural either way.
The study suggests that people are split up into two groups: those looking for love and a long-term commitment, and those who just seek more casual encounters. Men and women fit into each category, although researchers found there were more men in the casual encounters group.
This could explain why there are variations in the way people in different cultures behave sexually. Some people stay with that one person for life, while others may have numerous partners in a week. Then there’s other cultural differences such as unique romance situations, like men who have many wives or a woman who marries two brothers. But although there can be vast extremities, scientists believe that most fit somewhere in the middle.
In order to find out if monogamy and polygamy were both natural for humans, scientists had to analyze data from 600 British and American men and women. They examined how people engaged in casual sex, short-term affairs and faithfulness. In all, there were really two groups formed: monogamists and polygamists.
"When we looked at the data, it has this very weird shape," said Rafael Wlodarski, an experimental psychologist at the University of Oxford in England. "Rather than it being a whole gamut of mating strategies, there seems to be two potential phenotypes within males and within females."
The researchers figured that cultural variables might come into play, such as upbringing or the availability of birth control but Wlodarski thinks it would be interesting to see what could found within different cultural groups.
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