Is Monogamy Unnatural?

The moral decay continues in our Western culture! As shown again with the recent Supreme Court decisions regarding same-sex “marriage,” there has been a rise in the number of people promoting polygamous lifestyles and behavior.

Recently, CNN featured an opinion column by journalist and author Meghan Laslocky titled “Face it: Monogamy is unnatural.” In the column, Laslocky asserts that “monogamy is not natural for many, or probably even most, humans.” She continues as follows:

With people living longer than ever before, a greater tolerance toward the human impulse to experience sexual variety is needed. Whether a person succeeds at being sexually monogamous depends as much on biology as environment.

Because she believes in evolution, she uses that belief as the foundation for her ideas. But, a false foundation results in false beliefs. Laslocky writes the following:

Biologically, we humans are animals. So it makes sense to look to the animal kingdom for clues as to what we are built for. Let’s start with birds. For some time, bird species such as lovebirds and penguins were celebrated among humans for their seemingly monogamous ways. About 90% of birds were thought to be strictly monogamous.”

Laslocky appeals to genetic studies of birds by saying, “Analysis of avian DNA indicates  that many nestlings’ fathers are not their biological fathers.” She then considers the prevalence of monogamy among mammals and  makes the following observation:

Only 3% to 5% of all the mammal species on Earth “practice any form of monogamy.” In fact, no mammal has been proven to be truly monogamous.

So monogamy evidently does not characterize the animal kingdom. That shouldn’t surprise us—after all, these are just animals programmed to live and reproduce after their kind. We should expect them to act according to God’s design and plan for them.

Now, Laslocky is arguing for more freedom in the area of sexuality for humans. How does she prove her ideas? Basically, she claims that humans are captives of their chemical impulses:

Sexual monogamy depends not just on particular hormones that are released in the brain, but on receptors for these hormones.

Among humans, here’s the rub: we have the chemicals and the receptors, but it varies from person to person how much we have. Based on brain wiring alone, inclination toward fidelity can vary dramatically from one individual to another.

In other words, “once a cheater, always a cheater,” might have as much to do with brain wiring as with a person’s moral compass, upbringing or culture.

This may sound like a convincing argument to some, but what Laslocky really wants is a way to justify sinful behavior. Based on practices in the animal kingdom and in chemical and biological factors, she believes that remaining faithful to one’s spouse is “a lofty but perhaps fundamentally doomed aspiration.”

Now, Scripture is clear that we are not slaves to chemical impulses. In fact, the Apostle Paul wrote the following to believers who once practiced sinful sexual behaviors (among other sins):

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9–11, emphasis added)

These believers in ancient Corinth—a city filled with all sorts of moral filth—received salvation and they gave up their sinful behaviors. So change is not only possible, it is to be expected.

What’s more, Scripture reveals that God created us for monogamous marriages. Adam and Eve entered the first marriage—one man and one woman for life is the standard that God gives us in His Word. Jesus Christ reaffirmed this divine design and decree of marriage in Matthew’s Gospel:

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4–5, quoting Genesis 1:27 and 2:24)

For more on the issue of polygamy in the Bible, see Roger Patterson’s articles, “What About Polygamy in the Bible?” and “Contradictions: A Man of Many Wives.”

Secularists’ desire to normalize behavior that is contrary to God’s will is just another manifestation of unbelievers suppressing the truth of God’s Word (Romans 1). I urge you to pray that these people will repent and believe the gospel of Christ before it’s too late.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken

 

Steve Golden assisted in writing this blog post.