Which one is right…to have several sexual partners or only one? The
Indians Tupis-Caraibas from the Brazilian hinterland agree on that
the tribe chief takes up many wives at the same time, so long as they
are all sisters. In certain Asian regions, the situation is somewhat
reverse; a group of brothers gets to share the same wife. How is it
supposed to explain the existence of kinds of relationship so different
from ours? For time being, there used to believe that the family model
based on the monogamy marriage, would be the final and superior stage
of evolution for the humanity.
Consequently, the polygamy- marriage of a man with several women
or a woman with several men- should match the remnants of an inferior
type of family, which would have been about thousand of years a go.
There used to be called “group marriage” or “sexual promiscuity” to
namely such hypothetic pre-historic stage. After some time there was
found that the family based on monogamy marriage was no privilege
of those civilized-ones. It existed and still exists in most varied
regions of the world. Although, with a higher frequency rate than
in any other form of familial organization.
To pinpoint it on “primitive” societies seems common-place. It happens
to be the case of the Nhambiquara, who are nomadic Indians of the
Brazilian hinterland. In their midst, the strings that attach husband,
wife and sons being extremely similar to those observed in the so-called
In face of “well-behaved savages” as such, it turn out a lot harder
to keep on talking about survival of the pre-historic family. Thus
it was bizarre to concede that our conception of family was neither
exclusive invention, nor the only way likely to regulate the rapport
between the sexes and procreation. The predominance of monogamist
marriage gets explained, above all, by a question of demographic equilibrium.
The amount of men and women, in any given human population, tends
to be approximately the same, unless exceptional conditions come to
alter such proportion.
Yet polygamy may spring out in societies whereupon a restrict number
of individuals gets to accumulate power and prestige sufficiently
to “monopolize” the women as of the younger and most desirable. It’s
significant that, in most “primitive” groups, being the polygamy privilege
exclusive of chiefs. It’s interesting the example of the Naires, group
which inhabits the Malabar Coast, in India. Bygone years, the war
was the man’s primarily activity. It did not let them to constitute
family. Thus marriage was a ceremony of symbolic meaning, which did
not create any permanent bond between a man and a woman. The only
unity for stable parenthood was constituted by a woman, her brothers
and her sons.
The family and sexual relations have changed a lot in the world.
Currently it’s commonplace finding families constituted by several
different manners-with absence of both mother and father, sons being
raised by next of kin, etc. Also it’s commonly found diverse sexual
options. Some people prefer to have several sexual partners. Others
would rather get involved with only one person.
What’s right and what’s wrong? There’s no answer to this question.
Those “exquisite” familial and sexual relations come to show us how
much of the behavioral diversity and demeanors lies within it. The
important is the person feeling good about oneself and practice sex
that is healthy.
By Jonatas Dornelles