The following letter to the editor that I wrote was recently published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
We may disapprove of politicians getting into sex scandals, but we should not be shocked, regardless of the personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s moral beliefs. The simple truth is that monogamy is not a natural state for humans of either gender. Millions of years of natural selection mean that the human male is biologically programmed to spread seed, and the human female, biologically programmed to diversify it. We can rise above our biological tendencies, but we should not be too surprised when people act on them.
Some people took the above letter as promoting polygamy or at least the practice of having multiple sexual partners. It does no such thing. The truth is that monogamous marriage is a good ideal and should remain the ideal. For one thing, while monogamy is not a natural state for either men or women, jealousy comes naturally to both. If a person is in a committed relationship, respect and caring for the partner often means adopting the discipline of fidelity. Additionally, adherence to monogamy keeps down the rates of sexually transmitted diseases, problem pregnancies, and children raised in unstable situations.
What is natural is often not ideal and should not be what we strive to do.