Monogamy /Gr. μονός+γάμος (monos+gamos) - one+marriage/ a form of marriage in which an individual has only one spouse at any one time.[1] In current usage monogamy often refers to having one sexual partner irrespective of marriage or reproduction. The term is applied also to the social behavior of some animals, referring to the state of having only one mate at any one time.



The word monogamy comes from the Greek words "μονός", monos which means one or alone, and "γάμος", gamos which means marriage.[1]

The notion and aspects of monogamy

Traditionally there are two meanings of monogamy: one is applied to marriage of human beings described specifically by Aristotelianism and Thomism as rational animals (in Latin: animal rationale). The other relates to relationships between non-human animals.

Among human beings monogamy has two aspects:

  1. principle of marrying only once in a lifetime, opposed to digamy,
  2. marriage with only one person at a time, opposed to bigamy or polygamy[1]

Monogamy, as applied to human marriage, is explored by human sciences or humanities which assume as a principle that capacities or attributes associated with personhood substantially distinguish human beings from the rest of the animal world.[2] Karol Wojtyła in his book Love and Responsibility postulated that monogamy, as an institutional union of two persons being in love for one another, is an embodiment of ethical personalistic norm. That norm requires treating a person in a manner appropriate to his or her essential nature. Only monogamous marriage can create adequate context to fulfill it - i.e. to make possible truly human love between two persons.[3]

Human monogamy's legal aspects are taught at faculties of law. There are also philosophical aspects, the field of interest of e.g. philosophical anthropology and philosophy of religion, as well as theological ones.

The second meaning of monogamy, relating to non-rational animals is a field of interest for zoology[1] and other like disciplines.

There are some modern groups of researchers, mostly in the stream of evolution biology, who regard human beings purely as a result of evolution of matter. They approach human monogamy as something basically not different to any other animal monogamy, e.g. of other primates. They postulate the following four aspects:

  • Social monogamy refers to two persons/creatures who live together, have sex with each other, and cooperate in acquiring basic resources such as food, clothes, and money.
  • Sexual monogamy refers to two persons/creatures who remain sexually exclusive with each other and have no outside sex partners.
  • Genetic monogamy refers to two partners that only have offspring with each other.
  • Marital monogamy refers to marriages of only two people.

Varieties of monogamy in biology

Recent discoveries have led biologists to talk about the three varieties of monogamy: social monogamy, sexual monogamy, and genetic monogamy. The distinction between these three are important to the modern understanding of monogamy.

Monogamous pairs of animals are not always sexually exclusive. Many animals that form pairs to mate and raise offspring regularly engage in sexual activities with partners other than their primary mate. This is called extra-pair copulation Ågren, G., Zhou, Q., Zhong, W. (1989). "Ecology and social behaviour of Mongolian gerbils Meriones unguiculatus, at Xilfudjeudeyjxidiuhot, Inner Mongolia, China". Animal Behaviour 37: 11–27. doi:10.1016/0003-3472(89)90002-X. </ref>[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17] Sometimes these extra-pair sexual activities lead to offspring. Genetic tests frequently show that some of the offspring raised by a monogamous pair come from the female mating with an extra-pair male partner.[16][17][18][19] These discoveries have led biologists to adopt new ways of talking about monogamy:

"Social monogamy refers to a male and female's social living arrangement (e.g., shared use of a territory, behaviour indicative of a social pair, and/or proximity between a male and female) without inferring any sexual interactions or reproductive patterns. In humans, social monogamy equals monogamous marriage. Sexual monogamy is defined as an exclusive sexual relationship between a female and a male based on observations of sexual interactions. Finally, the term genetic monogamy is used when DNA analyses can confirm that a female-male pair reproduce exclusively with each other. A combination of terms indicates examples where levels of relationships coincide, e.g., sociosexual and sociogenetic monogamy describe corresponding social and sexual, and social and genetic monogamous relationships, respectively." (Reichard, 2003, page 4)[20]

Whatever makes a pair of animals socially monogamous does not necessarily make them sexually or genetically monogamous. Social monogamy, sexual monogamy, and genetic monogamy can occur in different combinations.

When applying these terms to people, it's important to remember that social monogamy does not always involve marriage. A married couple is almost always a socially monogamous couple. But couples who choose to cohabit without getting married can also be socially monogamous.

Serial monogamy

Serial monogamy is described as a societal mating practice in which individuals engage in sequential monogamous pairings,[21] or in terms of humans, when men or women marry another partner sequentially.[22] However, one does not need to marry in order to be considered as practicing serial monogamy, as it can also be defined multiple pair-bonding, or having more than one sequential mate. When one individual is married and still has extramarital affairs, they would be considered as practicing serial polygamy, as this is no longer socially accepted in monogamous societies. This form of serial polygamy can exist as both polyandry and polygyny.

One theory of this is that it pacifies the elite men and equalizes reproductive success. This is also called the Male Compromise Theory.[23] Such serial monogamy may effectively resemble polygyny in its reproductive consequences because some men are able to utilize more than one woman’s reproductive lifespan through repeated marriages.[24]

Reproductive Success

Evolutionary theory predicts that males seek more sexual partners than females because of their higher fitness benefits from such a reproductive strategy.[24] From an evolutionary standpoint, males developed many behavior strategies that allow them to acquire more sexual partners because of the observed reproductive success.[24] Therefore, in order to monopolize more than one female’s reproductive life span without being considered polygamous and thus breaking social norms of a monogamous society, males try to remarry women younger than themselves. A study done in 1994 found a significant difference between ages of remarried men and women because the men have a longer reproductive window.[25][26]

Break up

Serial monogamy has always been closely linked to divorce practices. Whenever procedures for obtaining divorce have been simple and easy, serial monogamy has been found.[27] As divorce has continued to become more accessible, more individuals have availed themselves of it, and many go on to remarry.[28] Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why less is more, further suggests that Western culture's inundation of choice has devalued relationships based on lifetime commitments and singularity of choice. It has been suggested, however, that high mortality rates in centuries past accomplished much the same result as divorce, enabling remarriage (of one spouse) and thus serial monogamy.[29][30][31]

Non-Human Animals

Mating system

Monogamy is one of several mating systems observed in other animals. The amount of social monogamy in animals varies across taxa, with over 90% of birds engaging in social monogamy while only 7% of mammals were known to do the same. With birds, the locomotion method means the sharing of genetic material with non-local sources is far less difficult, and reproduction is far more successful when both the male and the female contribute food resources to the offspring. The incidence of sexual monogamy appears quite rare in other parts of the animal kingdom. It is becoming clear that even animals that are socially monogamous engage in extra-pair copulations. An example of this was seen when scientists studied red winged blackbirds. These birds are known for remaining in monogamous relationships during the course of mating season. During the course of the study, the researchers gave a few select males vasectomies just before mating season. The male birds behaved like they do every season, establishing territory, finding a mate, and attempting to make baby birds. Surprisingly, the female birds whose partners were surgically altered still became pregnant, indicating the willingness to go outside of the social monogamy for breeding purposes. These babies eventually hatched and were cared for by their sterile adopted fathers.[32] with [1]

Evolution in animals

Socially monogamous species are scattered throughout the animal kingdom: A few insects, a few fish, a large number of birds, and a few mammals are socially monogamous. There is even a parasitic worm, Schistosoma mansoni, that in its female male pairings in the human body is monogamous.[33] The diversity of these species with social monogamy suggests that it is not inherited from a common ancestor but instead evolved independently in many different species.

The occurrence of social monogamy in vertebrates is directly related to the presence or absence of estrus (oestrus) ; the trait in which the female is sexually excited during ovulation. Estrus is a trait confined to placental mammals ; eutherians. This explains why social monogamy is so rare in these mammals since the estrus female will, generally, mate with any proximate male. Birds, which are notable for a high incidence of social monogamy, do not have the trait of estrus.

Psychology of monogamy


Bronze sculpture of an elderly Kashubian married couple. Their relationship went through a test of his temporary work emigration to the USA. Kaszubski square, Gdynia, Poland.[34] Monogamous marriage and family is the last shelter of friendship in the modern individualistic culture. The percentage of people who confide only in family increased in the USA from 57% to 80%, and the number who depend totally on a spouse is up from 5% to 9%.[35]

Evolution of monogamy in humans

For this section, having a clear understanding of the nomenclature of monogamy is extremely important because different scientists use the term monogamy when referring to different male-female relationships. Biologists, biological anthropologist, and behavioral ecologists often use the term monogamy in the sense of sexual, if not genetic, monogamy as defined above in section 2 Aspects of Monogamy.[36] However, to clarify the difference, sexual monogamy simply means an individual has only one mating partner throughout their lifetime while genetic monogamy is only used to describe sexually monogamous relationships with genetic evidence of paternity (since maternity is always certain genetic evidence is unnecessary).[37] On the other hand, cultural/social anthropologists and other social scientists use the term monogamy when referring to social monogamy, once again as defined above, which in human societies is often defined as monogamous marriage.[36][37]

Evolutionary history of monogamy

Determining when monogamy evolved in the human lineage is an extremely heated debate with differing views from within the field of paleoanthropology and from genetic studies. Ultimately, there are two prevailing views on the evolutionary history of monogamy in humans: monogamy evolved very early on in our unique lineage[38] or monogamy did not evolve until much more recently (less than 20,000 years ago).[39][40] Paleoanthropological estimates of the evolution of monogamy are primarily based on the level of sexual dimorphism seen in the fossil record because, in general, reduced male-male competition seen in monogamous mating systems result in reduced sexual dimorphism.[41] According to Reno et al., the sexual dimorphism of Australopithecus afarensis (a human ancestor approximately from 3.9–3.0 million years ago[42]) was within the modern human range, as based on dental and postcranial morphology.[38] Although very careful not to say that this indicates monogamy as the mating system of early hominids, the authors do say that the reduced levels of sexual dimorphism seen in the body size of A. afarensis “do not imply that monogamy is any less probable than polygyny”.[38] However, Gordon, Green and Richmond claim that, in examining postcranial remains, A. afarensis is more sexually dimorphic than modern humans and even chimps with levels closer to those of orangutans and gorillas.[39] Furthermore, Homo habilis (from approximately 2.3 mya[42]) is the most sexually dimorphic early hominid.[43] Plavcan and van Schaik conclude their examination of this controversy by stating that, overall, sexual dimorphism in australopithecines is not indicative of any behavioral implications or mating systems.[44] The genetic evidence for the evolution of monogamy in humans is more complex but much more straightforward. While female effective population size (the number of individuals successfully producing offspring and contributing to the gene pool), as indicated by mitochondrial-DNA evidence, increased around the time of human (not hominid) expansion out of Africa (about 80,000–100,000 years ago), male effective population size, as indicated by Y-chromosome evidence, did not increase until 18,000 years ago, which coincides with the advent of agriculture.[40]

Although, scientists discuss the evolution of monogamy in humans as if it is the prevailing mating strategy among Homo sapiens, only approximately 17.8% (100) of 563 societies sampled in Murdock’s Atlas of World Cultures has any form of monogamy.[45] Therefore, “genetic monogamy appears to be extremely rare in humans,” and “social monogamy is not common, … often reduc[ing] to serial polygyny in a biological sense”.[36] This means that monogamy is not now and probably never was the predominant mating system among the hominid lineage.[36][45][46]

Sources of monogamy


Nevertheless, monogamy, or at least social monogamy, does exist in many societies around the world[45]), and it is important to understand how these marriage systems might have evolved. In any species, there are three main aspects that combine to promote a monogamous mating system: paternal care, resource access, and mate-choice;[37] however, in humans, the main theoretical sources of monogamy are paternal care and extreme ecological stresses.[36] Paternal care should be particularly important in humans due to the extra nutritional requirement of having larger brains and the lengthier developmental period[47][48][49] Therefore, the evolution of monogamy could be a reflection of this increased need for bi-parental care.[47][48][49] Similarly, monogamy should evolve in areas of ecological stress because male reproductive success should be higher if their resources are focused on ensuring offspring survival rather than searching for other mates.[36] However, the evidence does not support these claims.[36] Due to the extreme sociality and increased intelligence of humans, H. sapiens have solved many problems that generally lead to monogamy, such as those mentioned above.[36] For example, monogamy is certainly correlated with paternal care, as shown by Marlowe,[48] but not caused by it because humans diminish the need for bi-parental care through the aide of siblings and other family members in rearing the offspring.[36] Furthermore, human intelligence and material culture allows for better adaptation to different and rougher ecological areas, thus reducing the causation and even correlation of monogamous marriage and extreme climates.[36]


Despite the human ability to avoid sexual and genetic monogamy, social monogamy still forms under many different conditions, but most of those conditions are consequences of cultural processes.[36] For example, during times of major economic / demographic transitions, investing more in a fewer offspring (social monogamy not polygyny) increases reproductive success by ensuring the offspring themselves have enough initial wealth to be successful.[36] This is seen in both England and Sweden during the industrial revolution[36] and is currently being seen in the modernization of rural Ethiopia.[50] Similarly, in modern industrialized societies, fewer yet better-invested offspring, i.e. social monogamy, can provide a reproductive advantage over social polygyny, but this still allows for serial monogamy and extra-pair copulations.[36]

L. Betzig postulated that culture/society can also be a source of social monogamy by enforcing it through rules and laws set by third-party actors, usually in order to protect the wealth or power of the elite.[36][51][52] For example, Augustus Caesar encouraged marriage and reproduction to force the aristocracy to divide their wealth and power among multiple heirs, but the aristocrats kept their socially monogamous, legitimate children to a minimum to ensure their legacy while having many extra-pair copulations.[51] Similarly - according to L. Betzig - the Christian Church enforced monogamy because wealth passed to the closest living, legitimate male relative, often resulting in the wealthy oldest brother being without a male heir.[52] Thus, the wealth and power of the family would pass to the “celibate” younger brother of the church.[52] In both of these instances, the rule-making elite used cultural processes to ensure greater reproductive fitness for themselves and their offspring, leading to a larger genetic influence in future generations.[51][52] Furthermore, the laws of the Christian Church, in particular, were important in the evolution of social monogamy in humans.[52] They allowed, even encouraged, poor men to marry and produce offspring which reduced the gap in reproductive success between the rich and poor, thus resulting in the quick spread of monogamous marriage systems in the western world.[52] According to B.S. Low, culture would appear to have a much larger impact on monogamy in humans than the biological forces that are important for non-human animals.[36].

Religious and anthropological sources

There is well known fact that contradicts L. Betzig's vision of evolution of monogamy as a result of Christian fundamentally socio-economic influence in the West. Monogamy was a widespread idea much earlier in the ancient Middle East. Already in definitely pre-Christian era of Israel's history, an ethos underlying Jewish creation story (Gn 2) and the last chapter of Proverbs was essentially monogamous.[53][54] During the Second Temple period, apart from economic situation which supported monogamy even more than in earlier period, the concept of mutual fidelity between husband and wife was quite common reason for strictly monogamous marriages. The will that the marriage remains monogamous was explicitly expressed in some marriage documents. Examples of these documents were found in Elephantine. They were similar to those found in neighbouring Assyria and Babylonia.[53] Study shows that ancient Middle East societies, though not strictly, were practically at least on commoners level monogamous[55][56]. Halakha of the Dead Sea Sect saw prohibition of polygamy as coming from Pentateuch (Damascus Document 4:20-5:5, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls). Christianity adopted a similar attitude (cf. 1 Tm 3:2,12; Tt 1:6), which was in conformity with Jesus' approach.[53]

But monogamist situation in Judaism was clearly reflected also in Mishnah and the baraitot (Yevamot 2:10 etc.). Some sages condemned marriage to two wives even for the purpose of procreation (Ketubot 62b). R. Ammi, a Palestinian amora states:

Whoever takes a second wife in addition to his first one shall divorce the first and pay her kettubah (Yevamot 65a)

Such attitude possibly was enhanced by Roman customs, which prohibited polygamy, especially after 212 CE, when all the Jews became Roman citizens.[53] In the understanding of Jesus of Nazareth the core problem was faithfulness to Torah. According to him, monogamy was a primordial will of the Creator described in Genesis, darkened by the hardness of hearts of the Israelites. As John Paul II interpreted the sayings of the founder of Christianity, Jesus restored the primordial beauty of monogamic spousal love described in the Book of Genesis 1:26-31, 2:4-25. Interpreting the dialogue with the Pharisees (Gospel of Matthew 19:3-8), the pope pointed out that at the background of Christ's vision of monogamous marriage was primordial beauty of human nature, of man and woman ready to be a beatyfying, total and personal gift to one another:

Jesus avoids entangling himself in juridical or casuistic contorversies; instead, he applies twice to the "beginning". By doing so, he clearly refers to the relevant words of Genesis, which his interlocutors also know by heart. (...) it clearly leads the interlocutors to reflect about the way in which, in the mystery of creation, man was formed precisely as "male and female," in order to understand correctly the normative meaning of the words of Genesis.[57]

In view of these findings, behind monogamy there is long history of evolution of human culture directly determined by the nature of human person and inspired by the light of the divine revelation received in a religious experience. It is a question of philosophical anthropology, philosophy of religion, as much as of theology.

Incidence of monogamy in humans

Incidence of social monogamy

The United Nations World Fertility Report of 2003 reports that 89% of all people get married before age forty-nine.[58] The percent of women and men who marry before age forty-nine drops to nearly 50% in some nations and reaches 100% in other nations.[59]

Incidence of sexual monogamy

The incidence of sexual monogamy can be roughly estimated as the percentage of married people who do not engage in extramarital sex. Several studies have looked at the percentage of people who engage in extramarital sex. These studies have shown that extramarital sex varies across cultures and across genders.

The Standard Cross-Cultural Sample describes the amount of extramarital sex by men and women in over 50 pre-industrial cultures.[60][61] The amount of extramarital sex by men is described as "universal" in 6 cultures, "moderate" in 29 cultures, "occasional" in 6 cultures, and "uncommon" in 10 cultures. The amount of extramarital sex by women is described as "universal" in 6 cultures, "moderate" in 23 cultures, "occasional" in 9 cultures, and "uncommon" in 15 cultures. These findings support the claim that the amount of extramarital sex differs across cultures and across genders.

Recent surveys conducted in non-Western nations have also found cultural and gender differences in extramarital sex. A study of sexual behavior in Thailand, Tanzania and Côte d'Ivoire suggests about 16–34% of men engage in extramarital sex while a much smaller (unreported) percentage of women engage in extramarital sex.[62] Studies in Nigeria have found around 47–53% of men and to 18–36% of women engage in extramarital sex.[63][64] A 1999 survey of married and cohabiting couples in Zimbabwe reports that 38% of men and 13% of women engaged in extra-couple sexual relationships within the last 12 months.[65]

The issue of extramarital sex has been examined frequently in the United States. Many surveys asking about extramarital sex in the United States have relied on convenience samples. A convenience sample means surveys are given to whoever happens to be easily available (e.g., volunteer college students or volunteer magazine readers). Convenience samples do not accurately reflect the population of the United States as a whole, which can cause serious biases in survey results. It should not be surprising, therefore, that surveys of extramarital sex in the United States have produced widely differing results. These studies report that about 12–26% of married women and 15–43% of married men engage in extramarital sex.[66][67][68] The only way to get scientifically reliable estimates of extramarital sex is to use nationally representative samples. Three studies have used nationally representative samples. These studies have found that about 10–15% of women and 20–25% of men engage in extramarital sex.[69][70][71]

A majority of married people remain sexually monogamous during their marriages. The number of married partners who engage in extramarital sex never exceeds 50% in studies using large or nationally representative samples. Yet, the incidence of sexual monogamy varies across cultures. People in some cultures are more sexually monogamous than people in other cultures. Women also appear to be more sexually monogamous than men.[citation needed]

In the U.S., some studies have found that the majority of gay male couples are not monogamous. Research by Colleen Hoffon of 566 gay male couples from the San Francisco Bay Area found that only 45% had monogamous relationships. That study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.[72] However, the Human Rights Campaign has stated, based on a Rockway Institute report, that "GLBT young people... want to spend their adult life in a long-term relationship raising children." Specifically, over 80% of the lesbians and homosexuals surveyed expected to be in a monogamous relationship after age 30.[73]

Incidence of genetic monogamy

The incidence of genetic monogamy may be estimated from rates of extrapair paternity. Unfortunately, rates of extrapair paternity have not been extensively studied in people. Many reports of extrapair paternity are little more than quotes based on hearsay, anecdotes, and unpublished findings.[74] Simmons, Firman, Rhodes, and Peters reviewed 11 published studies of extra-pair paternity from various locations in the United States, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and among the Yanomamo Indians of South America.[75] The rates of exptrapair paternity ranged from 0.03% to 11.8% although most of the locations had low percentages of extrapair paternity. The median rate of extrapair paternity was 1.8%. A separate review of 17 studies by Bellis, Hughes, Hughes, and Ashton found slightly higher rates of extrapair paternity.[76] The rates varied from 0.8% to 30% in these studies, with a median rate of 3.7% extrapair paternity. A range of 1.8% to 3.7% extrapair paternity implies a range of 96% to 98% genetic monogamy. Although the incidence of genetic monogamy may vary from 70% to 99% in different cultures or social environments, a large percentage of couples remain genetically monogamous during their relationships. A review paper surveying 67 other studies of nonpaternity reporting rates of nonpaternity in different societies ranging from 0.4% to over 50% was recently published by Kermyt G. Anderson.[77]

Pedigree errors are a well-known source of error in medical studies. When attempts are made to try to study medical afflictions and their genetic components, it becomes very important to understand nonpaternity rates and pedigree errors. There are numerous software packages and procedures that exist for correcting research data for pedigree errors.[78][79][80]

Monogamy in ancient societies

Monogamy, as the studies of private life in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Assyria and Israel give evidence, was a basic family model in the civilisations of the ancient Middle East.[81]

Ancient Mesopotamia and Assyria

Both the Babylonian and Assyrian families were monogamous in principle. In the patriarchal society of Mesopotamia the nuclear family was called a "house". In order "to build a house" a man was supposed to marry one woman and if she did not provide him with offspring, he could take a second wife. Code of Hammurabi states that he loses his right to do so, if the wife herself gives him a slave as concubine.[82] According to Old Assyrian texts, he could be obliged to wait for two or three years before he was allowed to take another wife. The position of the second wife was that of a "slave girl" in respect to the first wife, as many marriage contracts explicitly state.[56]

Ancient Egypt

Monogamy is believed to be basic family model also in ancient Egypt.[55] Although an Egyptian man was free to marry several women at a time, and some wealthy men from Old and Middle Kingdoms did have more than one wife, but monogamy was the norm. There may have been some exceptions e.g. a Nineteenth Dynasty official stated as proof of his love to his deceased wife that he had stayed married to her since their youth, even after he had become very successful (P. Leiden I 371). This may suggest that some men abandoned first wives of a low social status and married women of higher status in order to further their careers. But even then they lived with only one wife. An Egyptian women were allowed by law not to tolerate her husband taking a second wife, as they had right to ask for a divorce. Many tomb reliefs testify to monogamous character of Egyptian marriages, officials are usually accompanied by a supportive wife. "His wife X, his beloved"' is the standard phrase identifying wives in tomb inscriptions. The instruction texts belonging to wisdom literature, e.g. Instruction of Ptahhotep or Instruction of Any, support fidelity to monogamous marriage life, calling wife a Lady of the house. Instruction of Ankhsheshonq suggests that it is wrong to abandon wife because of her barrenness.[83]

Ancient Israel

Traditional Jewish biblical story of the origins of man presents the first human beings in a monogamous marriage (Gn 2:21-24). The patriarchs of Seth's line followed the same pattern (e.g. Noah in Gn 7:7). Monogamy was abandoned for the first time in the reprobate line of Cain, when Lamech took two wives (Gn 4:19).

The patriarchs followed the customs of the time, cf. e.g. the Code of Hammurabi (ca 1700 B.C.). Abraham took a concubine because of Sarah's barrenness. Monogamy among patriarchs can be described as relative - there was never more than one lawful, wedded wife. The restrictions were not always observed as in the case of Jacob and Esau.

Under Judges and the monarchy, old restrictions went into disuse, especially among royalty, though the Books of Samuel and Kings, which cover entire period of monarchy, do not record a single case of bigamy among commoners - except Samuel's father. The wisdom books eg. Book of Wisdom, which provides a picture of the society, Sirach, Proverbs, Qohelet portray a woman in a strictly monogamous family (cf. Pr 5:15-19; Qo 9:9; Si 26:1-4 and eulogy of perfect wife, Proverbs 31:10-31). The Book of Tobias speaks solely of monogamous marriages. Also prophets have in front of their eyes monogamous marriage as an image of the relationship of God and Israel. (Cf. Ho 2:4f; Jer 2:2; Is 50:1; 54:6-7; 62:4-5; Ez 16). As a conclusion Roland de Vaux states, that it is clear that the most common form of marriage in Israel was monogamy.[84][54]

See also


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Further reading

  • Barash, David P., and Lipton, Judith Eve. The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People. New York: W. H. Freeman and Co./Henry Hold and Co., 2001. ISBN 0805071369.
  • Lehrman, Sally. "The Virtues of Promiscuity". July 22, 2002. AlterNet. Accessed 21 July 2008. On studies showing social and genetic benefits of promiscuity.
  • Reichard, Ulrich H., and Christophe Boesch (eds.). Monogamy: Mating Strategies and Partnerships in Birds, Humans and Other Mammals. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0521819733, ISBN 0521525772.
  • Burnham, Phelan, Terry, Jay (2000). Mean Genes: from Sex to Money to Food, Taming Our Primal Instincts (First ed.). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge, MA: Perseus Pub.. ISBN 0-14-200007-8. 
  • Lathrop GM, Huntsman JW, Hooper AB, Ward RH (1983). "Evaluating pedigree data. II. Identifying the cause of error in families with inconsistencies". Hum. Hered. 33 (6): 377–89. PMID 6585347. 
  • Roth Martha T., Age at Marriage and the Household: A Study of the Neo-Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian Forms, “Comparative Studies in Society and History” 29 (1987), and Babylonian Marriage Agreements 7th–3rd Centuries BC (1989)

External links

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  • MONOGAMY — MONOGAMY, the custom and social or religious institution, often sanctioned by law, according to which a person can be married to only one single mate at a time. The discussion in this article is restricted to polygamy and monogamy in Jewish… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Monogamy — Mo*nog a*my, n. [L. monogamia, Gr. ?: cf. F. monogamie.] 1. Single marriage; marriage with but one person, husband or wife, at the same time; opposed to {polygamy}. Also, one marriage only during life; opposed to {deuterogamy}. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • monogamy — monogamy. См. моногамия. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • monogamy — n. A law or custom permitting a person to be married to only one spouse. Webster s New World Law Dictionary. Susan Ellis Wild. 2000 …   Law dictionary

  • monogamy — (n.) 1610s, from Fr. monogamie, from L.L. monogamia, from Gk. monogamia, from monogamos marrying only once, from monos single, alone (see MONO (Cf. mono )) + gamos marriage (see GAMETE (Cf. gamete)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • monogamy — ► NOUN ▪ the state of having only one husband, wife, or sexual partner at any one time. DERIVATIVES monogamist noun monogamous adjective. ORIGIN from Greek monos single + gamos marriage …   English terms dictionary

  • monogamy — [mə näg′ə mē] n. [Fr monogamie < LL(Ec) monogamia < Gr: see MONO & GAMY] 1. the practice or state of being married to only one person at a time 2. Rare the practice of marrying only once during life 3. Zool. the practice of having only one… …   English World dictionary

  • monogamy — [[t]mənɒ̱gəmi[/t]] 1) N UNCOUNT Monogamy is used to refer to the state or custom of having a sexual relationship with only one partner. People still opt for monogamy and marriage. 2) N UNCOUNT Monogamy is the state or custom of being married to… …   English dictionary

  • monogamy — /meuh nog euh mee/, n. 1. marriage with only one person at a time. Cf. bigamy, polygamy. 2. Zool. the practice of having only one mate. 3. the practice of marrying only once during life. Cf. digamy. [1605 15; < LL monogamia < Gk monogamía. See… …   Universalium

  • monogamy — n. to practice monogamy * * * [mə nɒgəmɪ] to practice monogamy …   Combinatory dictionary