Monogamy and civilisation

“British ethnologist and social anthropologist at Oxford University and Cambridge University, Joseph Daniel Unwin MC (1895 – 1936) conducted a massive study of 6 major civilizations and 80 lesser societies covering 5,000 years of history. He set out his study expecting to find evidence supporting Sigmund Freud’s theory that civilizations are essentially neurotic and destroy themselves by restricting sex too much. But to Unwin’s surprise, all the evidence he discovered pointed exactly to opposite conclusions. In his exhaustive examination of sexual behavior and their affect upon society, Unwin observed that monogamous cultures prosper and those disinclined to restrain sex to monogamous marriage remain primitive or, if once successful, they decline.”

That quote is found here.

And from Unwin’s Wikipedia entry we find this:

After a nation becomes prosperous it becomes increasingly liberal with regard to sexual morality and as a result loses its cohesion, its impetus and its purpose. The effect, says the author, is irrevocable. Unwin also claimed that legal equality between women and men was a necessary prerequisite to absolute monogamy.

Are we to be the first to beat the odds? There are so many other reasons to think we are seeing the end of Western Civilisation that we can just add this one in.

Might add that I have only come across Unwin since I am doing a paper on Huxley’s Brave New World, and it turned out that Huxley wrote an introduction of one of Unwin’s later books. Sexual licence to the fullest degree was found in the dystopia Huxley had conjured up. The book oddly reads as if it was based on our world today even though having been written some ninety years ago.

2 thoughts on “Monogamy and civilisation

  1. Pingback: Monogamy and civilisation - The Rabbit Hole

  2. As a sydney uni student i received, today, an email promoting students can join the uni’s mardi gras float. I have no problem what adults voluntarily do intimately, but i thought WHY PROMOTE SEXUAL INUENDO?, why promote it and not promote reproductive relationships as well

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