What is monogamy

What is monogamy: mean, marriage, in sociology, in biology, in hindu Law. Various forms of marriages get recognized across the world. Such marriages are polygamy, monogamy, polyandry, and polyamory.

What is monogamy: mean, marriage, in sociology, in biology, in hindu Law
What is monogamy: mean, marriage, in sociology, in biology, in hindu Law

Among these marriages, monogamy gets highly reckoned across countries and many societies. But what does monogamy mean, and what are monogamy marriages? 

Let’s dig out the meaning of monogamy in several aspects.

What does monogamy mean:

Monogamy originated from the Greek word ‘Monogamie’ a combination of monos meaning single and gamos meaning marriage or union. These words together mean to marry one person at a time.

Monogamy is based on the concept of dyadic and long-term relationships. In a monogynous relationship, a man or woman engages in sexual relations with only one partner at a time, unlike a non-monogamous relationship where a person keeps multiple spouses at a time. Monogamous relations are highly encouraged in almost every region of the world. 

Thus, monogamy is universally defined as a romantic relationship in which one person engages with only one person for a while. Marrying more than one person at a time is called polygamy. 

A monogamous relationship includes a sexual and emotional relationship between two people exclusively but sometimes maybe, exclusively sexual or only emotional. Monogamy is rare in most animals, confirmed by many biologists. 

What is monogamy marriage:

A monogamous relationship exists with or without marriages. There are different forms of marriages reckoned across countries like polygamy, monogamy, polyandry, and others.

Among these types, monogamy marriages get widely considered in most countries. In the United States, all 50 states reckoned only monogamous marriages lawfully. Engaging in relationships outside marriage or keeping several spouses at a time is forbidden in most societies.

A monogamy marriage means the practice of marrying only one person at a time or marrying between two people only. In simple words, monogamous marriage means a person engaging in a marital relationship with one person at a time. 

Although lifelong marriages rarely get found in the modern world, people urge to find a mate and spend their entire life with that person.

Monogamy Marriages get categorised into two types mainly:

  1. Classical monogamy: classical monogamy is a marital relationship between two who marry as virgins remain sexually exclusive to their spouse for their entire lives. Even after the death of their partner, they become celibate to remain sexually exclusive; with their partner.
  2. Serial monogamy: serial monogamy is marriage with only one other person at a time. This concept is against bigamy or polygamy, in which a person keeps multiple spouses at a time. Thus, serial monogamy is marriage between two persons for a while. These types of marriages usually do not last for the rest of their life, and couples get married again after their former marriage ends. Boredom, queries, non-compatibility, or death of a spouse may lead to a second marriage.

A monogamy marriage is the most preferable type of marriage, unlike polygamy and bigamy marriages. A person in monogamous marriage develops a sense of trust, security, love, and emotional intimacy with their partner, which are essential ingredients of successful marriage life. But as time passes, some marriages experience boredom and lose excitement along the way. Often these symptoms lead to cheating, adultery, and breakups. 

However monogamous marriages are highly regarded across countries and in most societies.

What does monogamy mean in sociology:

In sociology, monogamy is a normative, institution, and compulsory relationship; based on social expectations. Even beyond state-sanctioned marriages, marriages are expected to be monogamous. From the Sociological perceptive, marriages are expected to last for a long time, remain sexually exclusive, and maintain the primacy of couplets.

Although many cultures allow keeping multiple spouses at a time, monogamy marriages are considered a standard form of marriage in most societies. Polygamy and other forms of marriage get highly condemned in most; societies. 

However, in sociology or social anthropology, monogamy signifies a marital relationship between two persons or the practice of getting married to only one person at a time. Monogamy is far different from polygamy and other marriages, which allow keeping several spouses at a time.

Such marriages are allowed in many cultures but highly condemned in societies. In sociological perceptions of monogamy, marriages build trust and faith, promote love and affection between couples, contribute to family peace and foster family relationships.

Generally monogamous marriages last for a long time, whereas a few end after a while. There are two types of monogamy marriages in sociology:

  1. Serial monogamy
  2. Straight(classical) monogamy

Serial monogamy means one individual marrying one partner at a time. Such marriages do not allow a person to keep multiple spouses or marry more than once at a time. However, in this marriage, the individual gets married again after the death of the former spouse or divorce finalisation.

Such relationships do not last for the entire life, and the person engaged in a marital bond remarries with another person after the death or divorcé from the first partner. But they are not allowed to marry again while their former marriage is still valid.

These marriages generally end because of increasing caresses between couples, non-compatibility, boredom, and unsatisfied sexual desires.

The other type of monogamous marriage is straight or classical monogamous marriage. In these types of marriages, a male or female devotes themselves to one partner for their entire life. Even after their partner dies, the living spouse does not get married to any other person till their last breath.

The concept of remarrying after the death of a partner is not allowed in straight monogamy marriages. They are bound to serve and love their partner for the rest of their life.

These two types of monogamous marriages are considered ideal forms of marriage in sociology.

What does monogamy mean In biology:

Monogamy in biology gets defined as a mating system in which one male mates with one female at a time. These relationships may last for a breeding period or a while.

Many biologists have different theories and gave three types of monogamy mainly; social monogamy, sexual monogamy, and genetic monogamy. Each monogamy is essential for understanding the modern concept of monogamy.

  • Social monogamy: refers to social living arrangements of a male and female, such as a shared household, behavior indicative of a social pair, and proximity without assuming any sexual intercourse or reproductive patterns. 
  • Sexual monogamy: is an exclusive sexual relationship between two persons.  
  • Genetic monogamy: it gets used for DNA analyses to confirm that a pair bond reproduces exclusively with each other.

These three types of monogamy can form in different combinations in varied species. 

Many biologists found that animals do not always indulge in an exclusive sexual relationship; they are not exclusively monogamous. Many animals that form a pair bond and reproduce regularly indulge in sexual interaction outside the pair bond with other mates.

This sexual interaction with other mates sometimes leads to offspring, confirmed by genetic tests. Biologists have discovered that less than 10% of animals are sexually monogamous, whereas 90% of animals are socially monogamous, birds mostly.

Biologists described humans as socially monogamous with or without marriage. A man and woman forming a pair bond sometimes engage in sexual relations with other mates. Thus, humans also do not engage in exclusive sexual relationships with one person for their entire life.

These pair bonds rarely survive to the end. Humans are generally not exclusively sexual with one person for the rest life. They were allowed to engage in sexual relationships or extramarital affairs with another person while being married. This nature highly resembles them; 90% social monogamous animals.

What does monogamy mean in Hindu Law:

Monogamy is highly encouraged and praised under; contemporary Hindu law. Monogamy is a form of marriage in which one person is allowed to get married to only one partner at a time. 

These types of marriages get reckoned as ideal marriages in Hinduism. 

Many instances show the practice of polygamy in ancient Hinduism. In many Vedic Puranas, many Hindu Gods depict as polygamous. Lord Krishna had 16108 wives as per Vishnu Purana book 5.28.1-5, Vasudeva has 14 wives depicted in Brahma Purana 112.35, and even lord Ganesha had two wives; siddhi and buddhi. These instances in Vedic Purana clarify that polygamy gets practiced in the Vedic period.

In another Hindu law book, Baudhayana Dharmashastra, the Brâhmanas, Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas were allowed to keep up to 4 wives, whereas Sudras were to be monogamous. 

In Yajnavalkya Smriti, men were allowed to remarry if their wife; drinks alcohol, is cantankerous, barren, wastes money, is quarrelsome, begets only female children, or is hostile to men. In such circumstances, men were allowed to keep multiple wives at a time.

However, Manusmriti gets reckoned as a law of conduct for Hindu states that; let mutual fidelity continue till death. These sentences clearly state that two persons must remain in their marital fidelity till death. 

Thus, monogamy was neither prescribed as a rule nor debarred completely in ancient Hindu law. However, Contemporary Hindu law condemns practicing polygamy and encourages monogamy as the standard form of marriage.

Read also: Monogamy vs polygamy; What is adultery

External resource: Wikipedia

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