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Monogamy: Made in America
There are many who believe men cannot be monogamous. Then there are those who feel it’s a genetic predisposition for black men to cheat on their partners. Respected anthropologist, Maragaret Meade once noted that monogamy was likely the most difficult of all human marital arrangements to manage. Monogamy in this context refers to the inability or unwillingness to have only one sexual partner while married or in an otherwise committed relationship.
Whether you subscribe to a monogamous relationship or not, there is something quite distinct about men of color and sexual monogamy. Consider data from posted at The Kinsey Institute website, 11% of adults who have ever been married or cohabited have been unfaithful to their partner (Treas & Giesen, 2000). So it seems it’s true what mama said, why buy the cow if you sleeping with it already? Another startling statistic by reasearchers is that infidelity is influenced by many social and demographic factors.
The following factors are said to be associated with an increased risk of infidelity: having been part of a couple for a long time; having had a high number of prior sex partners; being male or black; living in a central city; and thinking about sex several times a day (Treas & Giesen, 2000).
Race and gender as predispositions to infidelity is a controversial statement, one that has gone challenged but all we must do is to look at our own families, communities, and in the mirror to assess if there is a crisis of sexual monogamy. For example, the rate of HIV and STD infection is highest among African Americans, Latinos, and Caucasians and lowest among the Asian population in general. The same is true for out of wedlock children. Black mothers who have not graduated from high school have children 89.9% of the time out of wedlock. White mothers have babies 69.7% of the time unmarried. Is this a problem?
One thing most will agree on is that monogamy is a choice, a behavior of abstaining from additional sexual partners. The Vatican and most Americans still cherish and value monogamy. But the question is can we practice what is preached?