Science Says Monogamy Not Natural — I Agree?

In a new article for CNN, Meghan Laslocky strives to show that monogamy is “unnatural”. Throughout her piece (which is a smaller subsection of a book that she has written) she makes some pretty profound and interesting conclusions.

The most important one of these conclusions being that monogamy among humans is not natural.

Her strongest piece of evidence being our biological “wiring” – scientific studies have shown that some of us are biologically more predisposed to monogamy than others. This is not unique in the world as we are beginning to learn that many of our “predispositions” are actually biologically influenced.

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For example, we have found in recent years that murderers, rapists, and other violent offenders are often genetically predisposed to commit violent behaviors. (Interestingly, some of the same studies show that getting married–or choosing monogamy–reduce risk of criminal behavior.) We have even begun debating if criminals’ genetic predispositions should be taken into account when being sentenced.

Other examples of genetic predisposition exist among gamblers, alcoholics and addicts in general.

Of course what our media and secular science often try to do with arguments like “monogamy is not natural” is attempt to refute Christianity because of nature. What they don’t seem to understand is that orthodox Christian teaching says that nature is “fallen”. What was “supposed” to be natural became unnatural when sin entered the world and destroyed the perfection that God had created.

As Christians this means that we expect to find a broken natural system.

The evidence that some people are more genetically predisposed to certain things that we would see in a negative light only gives credence to the idea that things are not as they should be.

The simple fact that the “wiring” in our brain could make us more susceptible to marital infidelity does not mean that we were not created for fidelity, but that the world through sin has become broken and our now “natural” predilection would have been unnatural at our creation.

Consider this: when an alcoholic seeks help for their addiction we send them to “treatment” for recovery. In fact, our medical community (and our culture) now commonly see addiction as a sickness to be cured or, at the very least, treated. The reason we see addiction as a sickness is because while some of us are predisposed to it, addiction hurts society. Our predisposition for addiction is a genetic flaw, something that needs to be overcome even if it means intense medical and psychological intervention.

Similarly, within our society some people are predisposed to violence. When a sociopath, psychopath, or any other person who may fit in this category commits a crime or series of crimes we do not absolve them based on their condition. Perhaps our judgment of them is different, perhaps their punishment is tailored to meet their condition, but they are still judged for their crimes and some action is taken to solve the problems presented by their genetic predisposition.

monogamyfront.jpg old schoolThus, I think the answer presents itself quite well. We have copious amounts of data from myriad studies showing that children, adults and society in general are better off when families are healthy, happy, and whole. America has faced an epidemic of single parent homes over the last fifty years, and things are just getting worse. Single family homes lead to increased rates of crime, mental health issues and poverty.

In response to Ms. Laslocky, I would have to say that while it may not seem biologically natural for all humans to remain monogamous, the evidence would seem to indicate that we are better served going against our natural inclinations in this case.

Just as we treat violence and addiction as being contrary to society’s best interests, it behooves us to do the same with monogamy. Our natural state may be one of sin and corruption, but just because this is the case it does not mean we do not fight against it.

In the Bible, Galatians 5:16-21 says:

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.(Emphasis mine)

Our human bodies want what is “natural”, but what is natural is sin.

If sin had never entered the world, then our natures would be different. Thanks, science, for showing us once again that what the Bible teaches is true.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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