Monogamous marriage is merely a local institution and for millions the idea of only one wife is as strange as a lion without his pride or a queen bee without her hive …

There is no biological, genetic or physiological reason why man should have only one mate. The reason he does is purely cultural.

Throughout the world – from southern Africa to northern India – there are still people to whom the word “marriage” traditionally implies polygamy. These are not freak societies taking a wild detour from the norm of human behavior, nor simply uneducated peoples who cannot be expected to know better. They have an age-old and weighty history of civilization behind them. In the eyes of the Moslem or the Hindu, polygamy is the norm and we are the freaks.

A Westerner would find it hard to reconcile the rivalry and inbuilt possessiveness of his monogamous experience with a life of peaceful polygamy … To people of monogamous Western background, polygamy seems an extraordinary aberration from the natural state of things. But man is a creature of his environment, and were the circumstances of our lives to depend upon it, polygamy might simply become the rule in our society, as it has in many others, and what we now see as emotional prohibitions would evaporate.

Understanding Human Behavior
Human Relationships: Man & His Women;
Vol. 4, pp. 470-472

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