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Those Who Stay Together, Have Babies Together

a blog by Claire, January 27, 2013

A study out of the University of Pennsylvania says that couples who are faithfully monogamous are more fertile than those who cheat. Cheaters suffer a decline in fertility from as early as the first date!

The primate study examined the mating and fertility patterns of 18 groups (154 in all) of adorable-yet-creepy-red-eyed owl monkeys in Argentina over the course of 16 years. Under the direction of Professor Eduardo Fernandez- Duque, the research team found that when one dominating monkey disrupted the monogamy of another pair, there were fewer offspring in the new couple. Cheating monkeys...who knew?

The faithful couples had 25% more offspring per decade than the cheaters. Not unlike humans, the male monkey who was certain about that paternity of the offspring committed to taking care of his young. No Maury Povich DNA test needed. Scientists also theorized that having a steady partner reduced stress on the mother by “[reducing] the burden of pregnancy and lactation”.

Data was published in the journal PLOS ONE and suggests that fertility began to decline as early as the time of courtship of the new couple, and reduced fertility occurred in both the male and female partners.

The principles of this study are not new, however. As it turns out, monogamy has always played a role in evolution- helping us reproduce and build a stronger species.


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