Did STIs Force Ancient Humans To Be Monogamous?

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 4:09 PM

Researchers discover that the spread of contagious diseases, love STIs, can shape the development of social norms.

Did STIs Force Ancient Humans To Be Monogamous?

The emergence of monogamy among early humans was likely triggered in portion by sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Peer pressure, along with the presence of STIs, could've caused one partner to become the social norm among prehistoric humans.

Researchers at the Univ of Waterloo in Canada used computer models to see at how mating behaviours changed in human populations over time.

They found that the spread of contagious diseases such as STIs can shape the development of social norms.

STIs can lead to decreased fertility rates among men, therefore mating conduct needs to modify to stop pop growth from stalling in the event of an outbreak.

The impact of infertility from syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhoea on large hunter-gatherer tribes - for example - would be so disastrous that it became favourable for monogamy to become the norm.

Study author Chris Bauch said: "This research shows how events in natural systems, such as the spread of contagious diseases, can strongly influence the development of social norms and in specific our group-oriented judgements.

"Our social norms didn't expand in complete isolation from what was happening in our natural environment.

"On the contrary, we can't realize social norms without understanding their origins in our natural environment."

The study was published in the Nature Communications journal.

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