Laura Betzig argues that in the six large, highly stratified early states, commoners were generally monogamous but that elites practiced de facto polygyny. In the Middle Ages, this polygynous trend began to decline. The best hunters in a given tribe would typically have two or three wives since the best hunters brought back the most meat and would have extra to support more than one wife. Also prophets have in front of their eyes monogamous marriage as an image of the relationship of God and Israel.
Ammi, an amora states: This may suggest that some men abandoned first wives of a low social status and married women of higher status in order to further their careers although even then they lived with only one wife.
In any species, there are three main aspects that combine to promote a monogamous mating system: This occurred in ancient civilizations, such as those in Egypt, China, and the Middle East, and spread to other civilizations, which included Western Europe. The amount of extramarital sex by women is described as "universal" in 6 cultures, "moderate" in 23 cultures, "occasional" in 9 cultures, and "uncommon" in 15 cultures.
This practice of polygyny became even more exaggerated once agriculture became popular and men had access to significantly more food resources and actually owned land. In Israel's pre-Christian era, an essentially monogamous ethos underlay the Jewish creation story Gn 2 and the last chapter of Proverbs.
During this time period, the men with the highest status or the most property and resources would typically have hundreds or even thousands of wives, while lower class men would commonly not reproduce at all. Low, culture would appear to have a much larger impact on monogamy in humans than the biological forces that are important for non-human animals. This may suggest that some men abandoned first wives of a low social status and married women of higher status in order to further their careers although even then they lived with only one wife. The Instruction of Ankhsheshonq suggests that it is wrong to abandon a wife because of her barrenness.
The median rate of extrapair paternity was 1. The widespread acceptance of monogamy in a moral sense came later and is typically associated with democratic societies that strive for social equality. Murdock, of 1, societies from around the world noted, were monogamous; had occasional polygyny; had more frequent polygyny; and 4 had polyandry. A review paper, surveying 67 other studies, reported rates of extrapair paternity, in different societies, ranging from 0.
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It is the only legal form of marriage in the United States, and we may take it for granted as the standard mating system. Instruction of Ptahhotep or Instruction of Any , support fidelity to monogamous marriage life, calling the wife a Lady of the house.
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Paleoanthropological estimates of the time frame for the evolution of monogamy are primarily based on the level of sexual dimorphism seen in the fossil record because, in general, the reduced male-male competition seen in monogamous mating results in reduced sexual dimorphism. In order "to build a house" a man was supposed to marry one woman and if she did not provide him with offspring, he could take a second wife.