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Re: [evol-psych] Article: Building Better Husbands

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  • commons@tiac.net
    I thought marriage was the rule in almost all societies including non-christian. My best, Michael Lamport Commons, Ph.D. Assistant Clinical Professor Program
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 28, 2004
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      I thought marriage was the rule in almost all societies including
      non-christian.

      My best,

      Michael Lamport Commons, Ph.D.
      Assistant Clinical Professor

      Program in Psychiatry and the Law
      Department of Psychiatry
      Harvard Medical School
      Massachusetts Mental Health Center
      234 Huron Avenue
      Cambridge, MA 02138-1328

      Telephone (617) 497-5270
      Facsimile (617) 491-5270

      Commons@...
      http://dareassociation.org/
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Robert Karl Stonjek" <stonjek@...>
      To: "A Group Evolutionary Psychology"
      <evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 9:18 PM
      Subject: [evol-psych] Article: Building Better Husbands


      > Note: U.S. population currently 270 million.
      > townhall.com
      >
      > Building Better Husbands
      > Chuck Colson
      <Snip>
    • Henry Harpending
      ... It is if you are careful and inclusive about defining marriage . This article is really about male willingness to be monogamous and invest in offspring,
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 29, 2004
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        On Wed, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:45:47PM -0400, commons@... wrote:
        >I thought marriage was the rule in almost all societies including
        >non-christian.


        It is if you are careful and inclusive about defining "marriage". This
        article is really about male willingness to be monogamous and invest in
        offspring, and this is not at all the rule in all societies. The idea that
        Christianity _causes_ males to act this way is pretty strange.

        Henry Harpending
      • David Ewing
        ... I m not a Christian, but I don t find it strange at all. Christians make public promises to be faithful to each other. If they stick to their word, they
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 30, 2004
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          --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, Henry Harpending
          <harpend@h...> wrote:
          > On Wed, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:45:47PM -0400, commons@t... wrote:
          > >I thought marriage was the rule in almost all societies including
          > >non-christian.
          >
          >
          > It is if you are careful and inclusive about defining "marriage".
          > This article is really about male willingness to be monogamous and
          > invest in offspring, and this is not at all the rule in all
          > societies. The idea that Christianity _causes_ males to act this
          > way is pretty strange.
          >
          > Henry Harpending

          I'm not a Christian, but I don't find it strange at all. Christians
          make public promises to be faithful to each other. If they stick to
          their word, they will be monogamous till death parts them.

          I would expect marriager breakdown to be much lower in Christians
          than in society as a whole, but I don't know of any figures that test
          this hypothesis one way or another.

          Have a grand day!

          David Ewing
        • Steven D'Aprano
          ... To say that being Christianity _causes_ males to be monogamous is like saying going to the Olympics causes athletics . Firstly, Christianity is neither
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 31, 2004
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            On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 09:44 pm, David Ewing wrote:

            > --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, Henry Harpending
            >
            > <harpend@h...> wrote:
            > > On Wed, Jul 28, 2004 at 09:45:47PM -0400, commons@t... wrote:
            > > >I thought marriage was the rule in almost all societies including
            > > >non-christian.
            > >
            > > It is if you are careful and inclusive about defining "marriage".
            > > This article is really about male willingness to be monogamous and
            > > invest in offspring, and this is not at all the rule in all
            > > societies. The idea that Christianity _causes_ males to act this
            > > way is pretty strange.
            > >
            > > Henry Harpending
            >
            > I'm not a Christian, but I don't find it strange at all. Christians
            > make public promises to be faithful to each other. If they stick to
            > their word, they will be monogamous till death parts them.

            To say that being Christianity _causes_ males to be monogamous is like
            saying "going to the Olympics causes athletics".

            Firstly, Christianity is neither the only nor the first social or
            religious movement that demanded monogamy. Giving the credit to
            Christianity is rather like giving the credit for the mass production
            of motor cars to the Korean company Hyundai.

            Secondly, one of the attractions for those who prefer monogamy is that
            Christianity generally prescribes monagomy. Polygamy makes it very
            difficult for low-status males to find mates, while monogamy maximises
            the number of available women. So rather than Christianity enforcing
            monogamy on unwilling males, it is more likely that males wanting
            monogamy demand Christianity support them.

            Compare the difficulty with with the Roman Catholic Chuch has with its
            priests breaking their vows of celebacy and (to close the notorious
            loophole) chastity, with the widespread (albeit not perfect) practice
            of remaining faithful within a monogamous relationship. Even the most
            religious of men find it difficult to keep their vow of chastity, while
            even the least religious can keep their vow of faithfulness.

            Thirdly, Christianity is at least partly subject to social pressure.
            Consider how most of the mainstream Christian sects have changed their
            attitudes towards divorce. If men wanted to be polygamous, either
            Christianity would adapt to allow it or men would find a way to ignore
            the prohibition.

            (Which of course the rich and powerful have always done.)

            And fourthly, I believe that a significant minority of Mormons would
            dispute the claim that Christianity demands monogamy.

            Monogamy and polygamy are best considered to be *economic* issues rather
            than moral. It is my understanding that the Koran allows men to have as
            many wives as he can support. Likewise Mormons and ancient Judaism.



            --
            Steven D'Aprano
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