About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

How Growing STI Disease Burden Can Foster the Emergence of Socially Imposed Monogamy

by Reshma Anand on April 13, 2016 at 5:44 PM
Font : A-A+

How Growing STI Disease Burden Can Foster the Emergence of Socially Imposed Monogamy

What could be the reason behind the rise of monogamous nature among humans, which is natural to most animals?

The answer is germs, researchers said arguing that the havoc caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) convinced our ancestors it would be better to mate for life.

Advertisement


A research duo from Canada and Germany observed that STIs flourished among large groups of people living in the villages, towns and cities that arose after prehistoric hunter-gatherers settled down to farm.

Left unchecked, spreading diseases can affect individual fertility and a group's overall reproduction rate.

Falling population numbers would force a rethink of sexual behavior - which in turn gives rise to social mores.
Advertisement

The researchers developed a mathematical model of hunter-gatherer demographics and likely STI spread among them.

They used it "to show how growing STI disease burden in larger residential group sizes can foster the emergence of socially imposed monogamy in human mating."

In small groups of no more than 30 individuals, with no chance for epidemic spread, STI outbreaks are generally short-lived, the team said.

The reduced risk may explain why small groups, both among early humans and today, are often polygynous (when men have more than one partner).

Evolutionary puzzle

Socially-imposed human monogamy has long been considered an "evolutionary puzzle", according to the research duo.

It requires societies to put in place checks and structures - a police and court system, for example - to uphold societal mores.

"Yet, many larger human societies transitioned from polygyny to socially imposed monogamy beginning with the advent of agriculture and larger residential groups," said the paper.

That riddle may now be solved.

The research showed that our natural environment, with factors such as disease spread, "can strongly influence the development of social norms, and in particular our group-oriented judgements," study author Chris Bauch of the University of Waterloo in Canada told AFP.

But this did not necessarily mean that humans would become wildly promiscuous if drugs were to make STIs a thing of the past, he added.

"Modern societies are more complicated... and there is probably more than one reason that explains socially imposed monogamy," Bauch said by email.

"I think it is premature to speculate that marriage will disappear, or that polygyny will return, if we solve the problem of STIs."

The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: AFP
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Alarming Cesarean Section Trends in India - Convenience or Compulsion of Corporate Healthcare
Quiz on Low-Calorie Diet for Diabetes
World Heart Day in 2022- Use Heart for Every Heart
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Anal Warts 

Most Popular on Medindia

Accident and Trauma Care Indian Medical Journals Noscaphene (Noscapine) Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Selfie Addiction Calculator A-Z Drug Brands in India Sanatogen How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Hearing Loss Calculator
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
×

How Growing STI Disease Burden Can Foster the Emergence of Socially Imposed Monogamy Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests