The reality is that evolution has been unkind to our species. Unlike some group primates like gorillas, we're not monogamous. Unlike bonobos, we're not completely promiscuous either. We're stuck in the uncomfortable middle, which is why sexuality is such a problem for us. Physiologically we can see the issue clearly: in monogamous species males have small testes relative to body mass; in promiscuous species males have huge testes relative to body mass (because of sperm competition). We humans? Testes in the mid-size range. Likewise our evolved behaviors: mate-guarding, but also lots of mate-deceiving. Other markers: in monogamous species the males are usually much larger than females whereas in promiscuous species males and females are pretty much the same size. Humans? Males on average are 20% larger than females. As sexual competition can be highly destructive, societies always attempt to minimize conflict by instituting rules. Powerful men create harems (either overtly or covertly) or get to marry multiple wives. Or, conversely, no one is allowed more than a single partner. Likewise stories are brought into play, and the USA has long promoted a Disney version of life in which happy-ever-after-as-they-walk-out-of-shot-in-time-for-the-closing-credits is the desired ending. As reality is utterly different, people feel confused. Thankfully, due to the Internet, some people are realizing more flexible sexual patterns are usually a far better way to resolve our in-between natures. But if you don't approve of that sort of thing, become a Catholic priest and bugger small boys. So much more ethical...

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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