1/5 ☝️ Evolutionary anthropologist here. Few things are "universal" about marriage, and the social enforcement of monogamy ain't one of them 🤯 See e.g. the distribution of marriage systems across the ethnographic record 👇
2/5 The data relate to the 186 societies in the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample, a key resource in anthropology. It's a set of societies that are well documented ethnographically, effectively a "snapshot" of variation in social and cultural practices 🌎🌍🌏 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_…
3/5 Statements that something about marriage is "universal" are entirely contingent on the definition of "universal", "marriage", etc., so not particularly useful and very often misleading 🙄
4/5 Fun game: ask 5 friends how they define "social monogamy", you'll come up with 5+ answers! E.g. monogamous marriage vs. mating vs. reproduction vs. pair-bonding; rule vs. norm vs. behaviour, etc. These things are often conflated 😒 --- it's complicated!
5/5 Conclusion: avoid making bold statements about "human universals" relating to marriage, about why monogamy emerged, etc. Read some anthropology instead 🤓
The map is from Fortunato, L. (2015) Evolution of marriage systems. In Wright, J. D. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd ed., Vol. 14, pp. 611-619. doi.org/10.1016/B978-0…

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