Monogamy May Contribute to the Extinction of Humanity
“I’ve calculated that if we keep fixing the problem, in 10,000 years no men will be producing sperm.”
- Sherman Silber , urological surgeon, researcher who heads the Infertility Center of St. Louis, at St. Luke’s Hospital
It’s not as if the (distinctly male) Y chromosome is under attack by monogamous men. The claim is that due to monogamy, more correctly one man, one woman, no cheating, may be causing the sperm of some men to get lazy. It’s “use it or lose it,” make it work or it will suffer from atrophy.
Isn’t sperm a natural component of maleness, something that gets passed down from generation to generation like a treasured gold pocket watch? Not quite. Like anything related to DNA, deficient sperm, if allowed to procreate through a non-natural process such as in vitro fertilization, will pass from father to son to grandson, and so on. Once the genes responsible for producing sperm become deficient, their progeny (if any) will also be deficient for every succeeding generation.
A strictly monogamous relationship, especially if overwork, lack of sufficient sleep, fatigue from childcare, prescriptive drugs or many other causes come into the picture, results on long periods of sex drought. In effect, what happens with newly made sperm is similar to what happens to muscles that are not used for long periods of time. They don’t work so well. While atrophied muscle can be revived, defective sperm producers remain defective until death.
When it comes to sperm, working well is critically important. The World Health Organization (WHO, an agency of the United Nations) says that fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen will likely result in a healthy egg that will not be fertilized after coitus. Out of that number, only one (in most cases) will ever be successful. If the sperm don’t fight hard, if they have developed with a funny shape or if they swim poorly, they will die alone, along with the egg.
The original purpose of monogamy was to ensure that a baby grew with both a mother and a father--the old concept of “a family.” Monogamy originally meant devotion of one man to one woman for the purpose of raising a child. Religions, given legal charge of marrying men and women, dictated the “no cheating” rule. Even the term for “cheating” in a marriage is “unfaithful,” a word commonly associated with religion.
Today we have astronomical rates of divorce, often because the man has been “unfaithful” to the marriage vow. A shocking majority of single mothers live on social assistance (welfare), barely able to fulfill their role model as mother let alone act as a father as well.
One large study a couple of years ago, in the USA, found that 85 percent of husbands admitted (confidential survey) to being unfaithful to their wives (sex with at least one other partner). However, another study found that 65 percent of wives were unfaithful to their marriage vows as well. Both of these were “at least once.” That’s a clear majority on both sides.
Our insistence on sexual monogamy in marriage (or equivalent) is, therefore, in conflict with the realities. In other words, the partner who gets caught is the guilty one.
But who suffers from breakups resulting from sexual wandering of one or more spouses? More than anyone else, the children. We say that “Kids can adapt easily to changes in family makeup.” That kind of thinking may be seen in people who know nothing about children. They suffer, in ways that parents seldom understand, often for the rest of their lives.
“Bad food, bad genes and monogamy are sucking the life our of human sperm,” according to David H. Freedman, freelance journalist and author, in a column about the degradation of human sperm, in Discover, November 2011.
Several studies have confirmed that the viability of male sperm has slid downhill over the past century, going by standards of the World Health Organization. “We’re producing pretty poor sperm compared with those of [other] primates and other animals,” claims Gary Cherr, reproductive toxicologist at University of California, Davis. “Even in the most fertile men, there are quality issues.”
The facts stated above may seem to confuse the issue of the future of humanity. But they don’t really. Over time, Darwin’s concept of natural selection will prevail.
The total population of humans on our planet may decrease in the meantime. Who would dispute the value of that?
This article is not intended to support the concept of sex with partners outside of marriage. That part is up to you. What we need to keep in mind is the best interests of children, who are inevitably harmed by the breakup of their parents. Inevitably, in their minds, if not visibly by their behaviour at the time.
Let’s remember that the primary purpose of the marriage bond is to ensure a child has caring parents to raise him or her. Sexual monogamy of both parents, or lack thereof, matters little to a child.
Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to raise kids with a comfortable balance of skills and knowledge as adults.
Learn more at http://billallin.com