Odds and Ends
Bye bye ambassador
28 1, 10:37pm
I'll bite on that one. Humans are an inherently social species. Human children take twelve years before they're ready to face the world alone. Most other animals are on their feet and following along behind their mother within minutes of birth, and reared and ready to live as separate members of society in a year or two.
Those animals, such as mammals, which produce a small number of offspring at a time, place great care on those few. (Incidentally, there is also clear, age dimorphism?, too. baby animals look "cute", with big eyes and oversized heads.) Those animals, such as most fish, which produce a seeming cloud of new offspring, tend to be the ones who abandon their young, or even die shortly after spawning, leaving their young to fend for themselves from the moment they hatch.
Because humans take so long to mature into functional adults, (and twelve years is stretching it for "maturity, frankly eighteen year olds are still immature in many ways,) the child needs more care for longer. By being born into a family that has more adults around, both to protect, provide for, and guide the child, the child has a far greater chance of growing up to be a successful adult.
There is no argument that I'll accept that the father of a child is not equally responsible with the mother for the well-being of that child. It is therefor most practical and intuitive if the parents form a family unit to care for the child.
Now, there are other issues with adultery.
* Sleeping around invites the spread of STD's.
* A woman who has multiple partners can 'cheat' a prosperous man by having him care for offspring that is not his own, and that she knows, or strongly suspects is not his own. (If you care that it is your own genetics that are passed on, this can be an issue. Since, by nature, sex is a way of ensuring the survival of your line, this is not a small thing, although social constructs, such as adoption, and accepting that the shaping of the mind of a child is at least as important as the providing of the genetics of that child, lessen the significance.)
*A man who has multiple partners deprives the byblows of his full support. If he refuses to acknowledge them, and can't be forced to do so, he deprives them of all of his support.
Arguably, neither is a problem in households with plural marriage, except that there are roughly as many men as women, and forced bachelorhood, because there are not enough eligible mates, brings its own social problems.