Why Have Monogamous Societies Flourished?

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 3 2012 @ 8:48am


Razib Kahn ponders a recent paper on the subject:

In the abstract they declare that “normative monogamy reduces crime rates, including rape, murder, assault, robbery and fraud, as well as decreasing personal abuses.” Seems superior to me. As a friend of mine once observed, “If polygamy is awesome, how come polygamous societies suck so much?” Case in point is Saudi Arabia. Everyone assumes that if it didn’t sit on a pile of hydrocarbons Saudi Arabia would be dirt poor and suck. As it is, it sucks, but with an oil subsidy.

(Chart from The WomanStats Project.)