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rb02-16-2007 05:59 [E,W]
Wonderfully clear thinking.

I am most intrigued by evidence in studies being conducted by scientists into what appears to be an inhereted trait that favors polyamory in humans.

At an objective level, both a polyamory "urge" and monogamous "state" would have survival benefits over vast stretches of time.

Sexual monogamy before, during and after pregnancy, would increase the chance of the child's healthy survival, if only due to increased attention and care. Sexual monogamy during this period would also lessen the likelihood of, for example, STD complications during pregnancy. Monogamy during weaning of the child, would likely seem to increase the chance that the child learns more about survival in the world in his or her formative years.

However, having a polyamory support structure could also favor survival of both the mother and child, during pregnancy and during weaning. "It takes a village" is a phrase that comes to mind.

It is interesting that neuroscientists have identified three primordial areas of the brain that respond to different "phases" of the overall "love" experience. This is a brain network that responds to lust, the craving for sexual gratification, one for romantic love, the elation and obsession of "being in love," and attachment, the feelin gof calm, peace and security one often has for a long-term mate. The latter likely evolved to motivate our ancestors to love this partner long enough to rear their young together.

More on this evolving theory can be found in Helen Fisher's (anthropologist) Why We Love.
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