Serial monogamy is a situation whereby an individual successively moves from one romantic or sexual relationship to another. Such a relationship surely lasts a long duration but eventually ends due to various reasons. In most cases, such relationships do not materialize to strong marriages due to selfish interests of both or one of the parties. Relationships usually stem from a meeting of common ideas and a shared sense of attraction between a man and a woman.
However, most relationships (especially those centered on sex) primarily rely on physical satisfaction to keep them going. Furthermore, it is a part of the human anatomy to experience something new other than what one is accustomed to. This leads to either of the partners opting out of the relationship due to boredom or in search of greener pastures. Serial monogamy is different from polygamy due to the fact that the individual is attached to a single partner at any one particular time.
However, most individuals allow their selfish or individualistic needs to take precedence over the common good of the relationship. This results in major disagreements and eventually nasty break-ups (Kottak, 274).
The succession that comprises serial and monogamous lifestyles is a sufficient indicator of the fact that the aim is personal gratification. This is especially because a serious relationship should be able to withstand the tests that come, with a higher goal of procreating and raising children. This is especially as a result of the emphasis that culture places on individualism. From an early, age people are taught to look out for their best interests. As such, they make decisions based on how suitable or applicable these decisions will be in their favor. The same kind of mentality is applied when they are in the relationship. Hardships present an opportunity for them to jump out of one relationship and into another.
Polygamy is the result of cultural emphasis on social responsibility. This may or may not be the case based on how one views this scenario. Polygamy may be a consequence of past habits. This is especially applicable for persons who accustomed themselves to having multiple sexual partners from when they were young. These sexual habits are hard to change and hence it becomes inevitable for one to have multiple partners even when married. Others develop high testosterone levels due to these habits (Podolefsky and Lacy, 611).
Some people may be polygamous due to the social expectations that society places on them. This may arise whereby they may be expected to get children of a certain gender. Generally, males are preferred over females. Hence a man whose wife has not managed to give birth to male children may cause such a man to look for an alternative through a second wife or even concubine. This is because of the esteem that society places on having a son. Sons are considered legitimate heirs and they are also the custodians of the family name. Similarly, men may have numerous wives as a show of their manhood and sexual prowess.
Society usually views polygamous men as wealthy, competent and full of virility, especially if one sires many children with different women. Men also tend to influence one another. Today’s society is such that it has become a norm to have a lady on the side, other than the legally identified wife. Actually men with concubines are considered heroes by their colleagues and most men are not satisfied by just one woman (Haviland, 451).
Kottak, Conrad P. Mirror for Humanity: A Concise Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. New
York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.
Podolefsky, Aaron, Peter J. Brown, and Scott M. Lacy. Applying Cultural Anthropology: An
Introductory Reader. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011. Print.
Haviland, William A. Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge. Belmont, CA:
/Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2014. Print.