Researchers discover reasons for the global rise of monogamous cultures

Institutions, Organizations & Growth News 26.01.2012

A team of researchers, led by CIFAR’s Joseph Henrich, conducted a comprehensive study to explore why monogamous marriage had become the dominant cultural institution in developed nations. Most human societies have practiced polygamy in the past, and some still do.

The team discovered that monogamous culture has become a standard in many parts of the world because it leads to less social problems and greater net benefits for societies. Monogamy reduces the number of unmarried men competing for unmarried women, and in turn reduces social problems like crime, violence, poverty and gender inequality. The research team found that monogamous cultures make greater efforts toward achieving gender equality, and increasing long-term planning, and saving and child investments.

The study, titled “The puzzle of monogamous marriage” was published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Related Ideas

Institutions, Organizations & Growth | Video

Creative Destruction Drives Innovation

Continued innovation requires societies to prevent new ideas from being blocked, even when old ideas are still profitable. Economist Professor...

Institutions, Organizations & Growth | Feature

The secret of our success

In 1845, Sir John Franklin set off with two fully equipped ships in search of the Northwest Passage. Three years...

Institutions, Organizations & Growth | News

Food aversions and taboos protect pregnant women

Sit down with a group of pregnant women and it’s just a matter of time before the conversation turns to...

Institutions, Organizations & Growth | Event Series

David Dodge CIFAR Lecture Series: Phishing For Phools

To honour David Dodge’s extraordinary contributions to Canada and his visionary leadership as Chair of CIFAR’s Board of Directors, a...

Institutions, Organizations & Growth | News

The “Big Man” theory of power

There’s a deeply entrenched caricature of the African dictator: an egomaniacal bully who imposes his ethnic interests on everyone else....