Are humans naturally monogamous? Americans aren’t sure.

Jamie BallardData Journalist
May 27, 2020, 7:50 PM UTC

As many couples hunker down together, they may be thinking about how their relationship is changing. Some may be looking to open their relationships in the future, and it’s worth considering: are we, as humans, naturally monogamous?  

May 2020 poll from YouGov finds that 36 percent of Americans believe that humans are naturally monogamous, while 37 percent believe otherwise.  

 

In this poll of more than 7,000 US adults, men (41%) are more likely than women (33%) to say that they believe humans are not naturally monogamous. There are also partisan divides on this topic: Republicans (51%) are more likely than Democrats (33%) and Independents (32%) to say they think humans are indeed meant to be monogamous.  

Regardless of whether they believe humans are hard-wired for it, additional data suggests that many Americans just aren’t interested in monogamy.  

A poll of more than 1,300 US adults conducted earlier this year finds that about one-third (32%) say that their ideal relationship is non-monogamous to some degree. More than two in five (43%) Millennials say this is the case for them. 

And among those Americans who are in a relationship, nearly one-quarter (23%) say that their current relationship is non-monogamous to some degree.  

See full results here and sign up for the YouGov Daily newsletter.  

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Image: The Gender Spectrum Collection