Serial monogamy  

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The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State

Serial monogamy

Serial monogamy is characterized by a series of long- or short-term, exclusive sexual relationships entered into consecutively over the lifespan. This does not refer to a fourth variety of monogamy in regards to the three main types, but is a type of monogamy that can describe any of the three varieties.

In common usage referring to humans, the two partners need not be married, but may be involved in a sexually monogamous relationship. This behavior is sometimes referred to as a form of, or replacement for, polygamy.

In animal sexuality, serial monogamy often means that an animal will have a different, but exclusive, breeding partner each mating season. Generally, any animals that do not mate with one partner for life can be considered serially monogamous, including those who find a second mate only upon the death of the first.

Western culture

Within Western culture, several academics have put forth the position that serial monogamy is considered more fundamental than "full" monogamy.


Serial monogamy has always been closely linked to divorce practices. Whenever procedures for obtaining divorce have been simple and easy, serial monogamy has been found. As divorce has continued to become more accessible, more individuals have availed themselves of it, and many go on to remarry. It has been suggested, however, that high mortality rates in centuries past accomplished much the same result as divorce, enabling remarriage (of one spouse) and thus serial monogamy.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Serial monogamy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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