Scrapes on Darwin: scientists have found the cause of monogamy

Many believe that women invented monogamy to always have a fresh mammoth and a Louis Vuitton handbag. But actually you are to blame.

Few species of the animal world are as concerned about the breeding process as we are. It is understandable. First of all, you are always concerned about something. Secondly, you are the only ones who can engage in marriage games all year round, regardless of ovulation in females, in the most unlikely poses, during famine, plague, atomic war and the Champions League final with the TV on.

Chimpanzees bonobos still practice something similar, but they also have frank and logical polygamy. And you are still trying to be monogamous, and it is completely incomprehensible how such a strange idea came from such a sexually active person.

In order to understand where monogamy comes from, a rather rare one in nature and seemingly disadvantageous from the point of view of survival, a group of biologists from Oxford led by Stuart Wigby recently found an occupation for fruit flies.

Normally, the females of these flies mate two or three times in their lives, because there is some SP protein in the male sperm that switches the female’s behavior to laying eggs and raising offspring. Insidious scientists have turned off the genes responsible for reading this protein in females, and those started a continuous happy hour: they, to the delight of observers, began to mate non-stop with everyone in a row. It was assumed that competition between males will weaken, and the genetic diversity of the offspring will increase. So it happened.

But there was also a surprise. It turned out that the most active males began to lean toward monogamy. And most of all the offspring left exactly the male, which mated with the same female many times. Apparently, the more females tend to promiscuity, the lower the chances of each individual male to leave offspring. And monogamy becomes a good strategy for him. Although boring, like almost all effective strategies.

By Cindy
July 18, 2019

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