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Let's hear it for monogamy

By Ben-Peter Terpstra - posted Monday, 19 May 2014

Why should we stand up for normative monogamy? Well, not all forms of marriage lead to equal outcomes.

For example, "normative monogamy reduces crime rates, including rape, murder, assault, robbery and fraud, as well as decreasing personal abuses" and is therefore better for adults and children, according to academics Joseph Henrich, Robert Boyd and Peter J. Richerson in The puzzle of monogamous marriage.

Of course, my fellow Australians instinctively know that monogamy is good for children. Or at least a good majority know.


Another important study, The World Family Map, found that 70% of Australians believe a child needs to grow up in a home with both a mum and dad to be happy.

Indeed, no self-styled progressive thinker has satisfactorily explained to me why promoting a gender-balanced workplace for adults is laudable but promoting a gender-balanced marriage for children is "bigoted".

In point of fact, "progressives" seem happier with "marriage equality" (or more precisely marital chaos) because adults-first libertarianism is more fashionable than child welfare in politically-correct circles.

As for workable open marriages and harmless adulterers? There's no such thing. Or to quote William Tucker, the author of Marriage and Civilization: How Monogamy Made Us Human: "…human societies everywhere and throughout all time have enforced some kind of rules on marriage and have frowned on extramarital affairs.

"The stability of the group is at stake. If people start flaunting the rules of marriage, then the equilibrium is upset as growing numbers of males and females are left without mates.

"These individuals become disruptive, and the cohesion of the entire society is threatened."


Granted, there will always be innocents who through no fault of their own find themselves single, but that shouldn't prevent communities from holding serial adulterers and other family wreckers to account.

And let's be realistic: if responsible adults don't uphold basic values, predatory radicals will move in.

To be sure, normative monogamy isn't always easy.

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This article was first published on The Conservative Woman.

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About the Author

Ben-Peter Terpstra has provided commentary for The Daily Caller (Washington D.C.), NewsReal Blog (Los Angeles), Quadrant (Sydney), and Menzies House (Adelaide).

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