Watching the news on TV or reading it from the papers in any given day, you would inevitably find a story about the extramarital affairs of this and that politician or celebrity.
Extramarital affairs are like traffic on rush hours – you can’t escape not seeing or not being with people who are doing it.
Indeed, faithful husbands and wives have become rarities. Their pictures and other mementoes could be displayed in a museum someday, with a caption that reads: “This is how mankind used to be.”
The scientists say this is not really something outa-this-world. They say only 3 percent to 5 percent of the roughly 5,000 species of mammals (including humans) are known to form lifelong, monogamous bonds.
Social monogamy is a term referring to creatures that pair up to mate and raise offspring but still have flings. Sexually monogamous pairs mate with only with one partner. So a cheating husband who detours for a romantic romp yet returns home in time to tuck in the kids at night is still considered socially monogamous.
Psychologists suggest that men are more likely to have extramarital sex, partially due to the male urge to “spread their genes.” Both males and females, these scientists say, try to up their evolutionary progress by seeking out high-quality mates, albeit in different ways.
The committed partnership between a man and a woman evolved, some say, for the well-being of children. This is what makes the human species unique since the fathers of other animals don’t really invest much for their offsprings or take care of them like human fathers do.
“The human species has evolved to make commitments between males and females in regards to raising their offspring, so this is a bond,” said Jane Lancaster, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of New Mexico.
Whether or not the married or otherwise committed individuals stray for sex depends on the costs and benefits.
“There is plenty of evidence that males have less to lose than females by having extramarital sex,” Lancaster said. “Having less to lose, it’s easier for them to do it.”
Women, however, could lose “dad’s” resources when it comes to raising their kids. “For women, the well-being of their children is not improved by promiscuity,” Lancaster said.
Some scientists say humans are by nature polygamous. “I don’t think we are a monogamous animal,” said Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle.
“A really monogamous animal is a goose – which never mates again even if its mate is killed,” he added.
She added, “Monogamy is invented for order and investment – but not necessarily because it’s ‘natural.'”
I don’t see much of people quack-quacking like geese around. For this reason, geese definitely deserve more respect than the vultures around us.