Darwin was a 30 year old Victorian virgin who imagined that human sex took place in ways that conformed with the social mores of his time. As someone who was in a monogamous marriage for 20+ years and who is now (with that same man) in a variety of polyamorous relationships, I can tell you from experience that jealousy and the desire to "drive others off from your cow" is a learned, societal one. It's a scarcity mindset that comes out of the patriarchal system, which you have correctly identified entails much more than a power imbalance between men and women.

As I touched on, many modern cultures who have social monogamy do not subscribe to sexual monogamy. Here's more about that:

A more apt term for patriarchy coined by systems scientist Riane Eisler is domination system (as distinct from partnership system, which is what egalitarian societies lean towards). This reflects the hierarchy of power that is maintained through fear and coercion, as well as a sense of obligation to the system - much like a feudal one. Although, creating a system that controls and polices female sexuality is central to creating a dominance hierarchy, it isn't the only feature of it - something that I've written perhaps 20 stories about.


Written by

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store