Our Current Model:
It is often assumed that monogamy comes naturally to us. Mainstream science – as well as religious and cultural institutions – have maintained that men and women evolved in family-units in which a man’s possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman’s fertility and fidelity.
Marriage between man and woman is essential to [God's] eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. … By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families…and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.
We are taught that the ideal for human relationships is that you will have relations with only one person and he or she will only have relations with you — total chastity of men and women before marriage and total fidelity in marriage. Thus, promiscuity and its associated temptations are of the devil – and one, true monogamous love is ordained of God. However, it doesn’t take a genius to see that humans have had a historically tough time fitting this mold — which in turn, in the minds of Creedal Christians, only strengths the claim that God ordained it that way – the natural man being an enemy to God, etc.
The basic narrative for the history of ancient humans is that women sought a stable man to stick around to help raise the kids and bring home food – yet wanted to sleep with the sexy rebel because of his genes. While men sought to impregnate as many women as possible while keeping their women monogamous so they wouldn’t have to spend resources to raise someone else’s kids. And thus, we are taught that we are the products of these horribly conflicted ancestors. However, this narrative presupposes that every ancient culture centered around assigning men and women to each other thru marriage, granting exclusive rights of property to individuals, associating sex with paternity, and men providing only for their offspring. However, when hunter/gatherer communities are studied, it is found that they share all duties communally, as a tribe/family. Ideas of, “I’m not raising that other man’s kid,” developed later as a function of the agrarian concept of converting labor into personal property. Marriage may have existed as a social arrangement among many hunter/gatherer communities, but it was one in which sexuality was less well-defined.
Our Tribal Past:
Human society developed in egalitarian tribes that shared food, childcare, and often – sexual partners. In these small, intimate family groups, the most mature individuals would have had several ongoing sexual relationships at any given time. Here the extended family, which was often the entire community, is where children were raised. We are the descendants of these multimale-multifemale tribal groups and, even though we’ve constructed a radically different society from our hunter/gatherer ancestors, the behavioral and psychological traits from the past still manifest themselves today. This is why we see:
- Sexual passion that tends to fade even as love deepens
- Many middle-aged men risking everything for transient affairs with younger women
- Homosexuality persisting in the face of standard evolutionary logic and scriptural condemnation
Monogamous animals, by definition, don’t have to compete for reproduction and, as a result, are characterized by a low-level of sexual activity. However, humans sit atop a very short list of animals that engage in sex for pleasure. No animal spends more of its allotted time on Earth focused on sexual matters than we do. In fact, the animal world is filled with species that confine their sexual behavior to just a few periods of the year, only during times when conception is highly probable. Also considering that males have a very large genitalia to body size ratio and that females can experience multiple orgasms indicate that we are designed to engage in concurrent sexual relationshps within a group/tribal setting.
If, as the current narrative says, men are inclined to be promiscuous and women are not, then our behavior should match that of gorillas – which fight over the exclusive rights to have sex with all the women in the group. However, biologically, it seems that humans are designed to use a woman’s body as the battleground. In other words, unlike gorillas, who have developed to physically compete for mates, human sperm is made to race against sperm from other men — and the human vagina is the formidable racetrack able to sort out the hardiest genes.
The leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints used to recognize the dangers that a monogamous, family-unit system represents:
Monogamy…is no part of the economy of heaven among men. Such a system was commenced by the founders of the Roman empire. … Rome became the mistress of the world, and introduced this order of monogamy wherever her sway was acknowledged. Thus this monogamic order of marriage, so esteemed by modern Christians as a holy sacrament and divine institution, is nothing but a system established by a set of robbers. … Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the Lord’s servants have always practised it. ‘And is that religion popular in heaven?’ It is the only popular religion there…
Monogamy has been used as a means of controlling women in societies since the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago and sedentary societies have greatly influenced the structure of human mating. Sadly, one of the legacies of agriculture and industrialization has been STDs, lower testosterone and sperm counts, and sexual repression. In fact, it was the high-grain, vegetarian diet pushers like Kellogg and Graham – whose diet-plan itself lowers libido – who were also advocates for strict sexual repression and genital mutilation.
The paradox of monogamous marriage is that we do enjoy intense pair-bondings with other people – bonds that intensify with time. But, at the same time, spark of new relationships is deeply satisfying as well, and new partners has been the tried and true method to boost lowering testosterone levels in middle-aged men for thousands of years.
They Will Have All Things in Common:
The difficult fact to face is we have hunter/gatherer sexual desires in a world where children are not raised in a tribe, where sexually-expressive women are looked down upon, STDs are a real risk, and monogamy is considered culturally and spiritually superior. Our current model is bad. We cannot continue on with: A man eating food laced with chemicals and hormones, taking medicines that lower testosterone and deform sperm while being hooked to watching internet porn and professional sports all day, and a woman with a frustratingly repressed libido struggling to juggle a career and children – trying to form an isolated family-unit. It has driven our society to a point where more than half of all marriages end in divorce. When Jesus says that:
For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage,
He is indicating that our current model of assigning men and women to relationships of ownership and exclusivity will have an end with this world. In the celestial state, all things are held in common and all of the Gods are unified. If Father kept His wives locked away in a harem, then He would be exercising unrighteous dominion – restricting both His wives and His other children from demonstrating their love one for another.
Next article by Justin: Connecting with Pixels