Where humans lay on the monogamy to harem scale

In the animal kingdom, there are two extremes.
One side: Animals like walruses, they have harems of up to 50 females.
Other side: Animals like red foxes, they mate for life and share all the child rearing responsibilities.

The interesting part comes when we find out that we can actually predict where a species will fall on this scale simply by the ratio of size between the male and female members. Walrus males are almost two times the size of their female counterparts. Red foxes on the other hand, are barely indistinguishable from male to female.

Now for the fun part. Where do humans lay? Our females are on average 80% of a male’s size. So. Does this mean I’m all for poligamy… not necessarily.
I think one of the most beautiful relationship possibilities humans have are those last last lifetimes and deepen as they age.  But this fact which I’ve outlined above, is something that needs to be recognized and dealt with in certain ways.

Brain plasticity concepts teach us that neural tracts that fire often together eventually wire themselves more and more as one. So what? Well that means if you want to be with one person your whole life (and continuously be excited by them) because you think that’s a beautiful way to raise a family, well then you may need to galvanize your pleasure centers by doing endorphin releasing activities with your spouse in tow. Bungy jumping? Sky diving? Go karting? Extreme sports? Trying new foods? Travelling to unexplored cities? Do whatever increases emotional excitement for you.

The science portion of this material comes mainly from Jared Diamond’s book, “Why Sex is Fun” and “The Brain that Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge.


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