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The importance of monogamy and staying monogamous

Does monogamy really produce better health outcomes? Miriam Grossman, author of the book Unprotected: The only people who are completely safe are those who, along with their spouses, waited for marriage, and once married, remain faithful. However, new research calls into question whether monogamy is effective in actual practice. For example, a 2015 study found that monogamy rates among couples surveyed, much like abstinence before marriage, was low, and therefore, the vast majority of couples ended up being unfaithful to each other at some point.

While this data is intriguing, there is, however, a major problem with the premise of this study in that it uses circular reasoning to achieve its conclusion. Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy wherein the person reasoning begins with what they are trying to end with. Can you see the bad logic in this argument?

  1. Many cultures have passed laws making social monogamy the only legal form of marriage.
  2. Department of Justice, 1992. Thus, abortion is a common choice.
  3. Prostitutes are victims of the system that reduces them to sexual objects, many of whom become trapped in the sex slave trade. Cudds May 2, 2010 at 7.
  4. So is monogamy among human beings. Satisfaction The events of falling in love and getting married raise people's feelings of happiness and satisfaction to unusually high levels.
  5. But I do think that women tend to take more responsibility for such things and to blame themselves when things go wrong.

In reality, the difficulty lies in the character, commitment level, and communication between the partners in the relationship, or a mix of all of these. To make a sound comparison on monogamous couples versus those in an open relationship, one would have to dig a bit deeper and analyze more thoroughly why these couples are not remaining faithful.

For example, perhaps the unsuccessful monogamous couples are bad communicators or have a difficulty working through conflict. Maybe these couples have higher stress levels, more children that compete for their time, or work longer hours at the job that cause them to be away from their spouses, which may have a deleterious affect on their relationships.

If a large amount of monogamous couples are not successful in remaining faithful to one another, there has to be legitimate reasons why this is occurring; and if we study bad marriages, we can surely find those reasons. But what would happen if we looked in the scientific peer-reviewed literature for the characteristics of good marriages and the positive outcomes that result? What I would wager to say, and what research confirms, is that good marriages contribute to a better overall sense of well-being for each spouse.

Marriage contributes to overall well-being and better mental health So what makes a marriage good? That question would take a long time to dissect, and may vary from couple to couple.

How Oxytocin Makes Men (Almost) Monogamous

However, research does tell us that individuals who are married, especially men, rely heavily on the emotional and psychological support that a spouse provides for their well-being. In fact, one study found that divorced men and women are more than twice as likely to commit suicide as those who keep their wedding vows. According to research by sociologist Paul Amato: Research also shows that widowers, especially men, are much more likely to take their own lives than married persons.

The rate for a widowed African-American man is about eight times higher, while white women whose husbands have died were about four times more likely to take their own life in this study. In another study on marriage and well-being, married persons were found to have the highest level of well-being, followed by, in order: Even after controlling for relationship happiness, married individuals continued to have the highest level of subjective well-being.

One rather obvious component of marriage that contributes to better mental health is the emotional stability that a long-term relationship offers. When spouses are married for ten, twenty, or even thirty-plus years, the relationship produces a sense of the importance of monogamy and staying monogamous, that in turn, leads to emotional intimacy that is both comforting and reassuring in hard times.

In fact, a 2005 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that: Spouses the importance of monogamy and staying monogamous help in these times of crisis in a way that friend or lover cannot, precisely because of what marriage means: Longitudinal research following married couples for many years has found that when individuals marry, their mental health improves over multiple dimensions, including general happiness and self-esteem, as well as a lack of hostility and improved relationships with others outside of their marital relationship among other variables.

Although increased psychological and emotional health is a worthwhile endeavor, there also seems to be another dynamic within marriage that creates an interesting phenomenon: Sociologists who study individuals who have multiple social roles have noticed that married men who held jobs and had families with children experienced less distress than those who did not — in fact, one study even found that men who were husbands and fathers but were not employed still fared better than their counterparts without marriages and families.

Similarly, women that were employed, married, and bore children experienced less distress than those who were single, childless, and unemployed — and much like the men, even if they did not hold a job, they still experienced more meaning and purpose in their lives.

The accountability of a marriage and family comes with a deep sense of importance, responsibility, and duty — and out of that sense of accountability comes sanctification and transformation, not only for parents, but also, for their children and future generations to come. Rob Rienow, author of Visionary Parenting, sums it up very nicely: Stop and consider for a moment something that your parents did or do not do that shaped and influenced your life for the better. This may be more difficult, but now think back to the home where you were raised to an experience that shaped your heart for the worse.

Does monogamy really produce better health outcomes?

No one can compete with the power of a parent to shape the heart of a child! We all still bear the blessings and the curses of the homes were raised in.

  1. STDs can affect more than one generation, since many diseases can be transferred at birth.
  2. To make a sound comparison on monogamous couples versus those in an open relationship, one would have to dig a bit deeper and analyze more thoroughly why these couples are not remaining faithful. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.
  3. For our part, to stay together for the longest possible time is a poor goal for marriage. This is an excerpt from chapter 3 of The Meaning of Sex.

God has given parents and grandparents incomparable power and influence over the hearts of their children and grandchildren. This is an excerpt from chapter 3 of The Meaning of Sex: A New Christian Ethos January, 2018.