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Breaking News      It’s A Corker: Theory Links Alcohol To Monogamy
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27 December 2010

It’s A Corker: Theory Links Alcohol To Monogamy

By: Harriet Bay
Two glasses later, eyes starting to lose focus, head a
little blurry, but still thinking straight. 
Pour yourself another glass of red wine ready to process this new theory published in the New York
Times today. 
Attractive heading, ‘no wine leads
to monogamy’. Too right!  But no, wait, that’s wrong, what are they saying?
Too much alcohol leads to monogamy!  So says Stephen J. Dubner from Freakonomics. 
The laughter, well quiet giggling subsides
with another mouthful and I take a quick diversion to check, again, for
that email from a lover hoping he can slip away from the gaze of his

Two great religions, according to Dubner, both condemn alcohol,
both condone polygamy!  That’s Islam and
the Mormons both outlaw drinking but a man can have under his roof any amount of
wives he likes, given he can support them.

Another glass, another failed attempt to hear from the
lover, he must be sharing a glass of whiskey with his wife.

More complex topics, are harder to understand as the wine begins to dampen the brain. 
It seems that the research paper: “Women
or Wine? Monogamy and Alcohol,” by Mara Squicciarini and Jo Swinnen
found that over time as our civilizations moved towards an increasing
consumption of alcohol so did they shift away from their involvement
with polygamy.

Bottle empty, time to concentrate.  Hunter and Gatherer societies were
generally monogamous yet socially alcohol is consumed at a reasonable
rate.  It’s the economic insecurity
coupled with a less hierarchical social structure, so men can’t support too
many wives.  And how would they divvy up the

As Catholicism expanded its influence throughout Europe the
social acceptance of polygamy was pushed out of society.  At the same time wine production
was confined in the Monastery and was poured out to the population as Monks took over the
production of alcohol.

Oh drink that final sip, it quells the need to hear from
that lover of mine, maybe he’s fallen into the vat of wine in the monastery of

Is this theory just a good story, or is it just Blind

Head thumping, the want-to-be wife no.2 is off to bed.

If you have any comments on this article please email Harriet

All (reasonable) comments will be uploaded onto this


     For other major stories:

      For Harriet Bay’s series on having affairs, no  
      alcohol induced monogamy here! Read:
City Affairs
For Other Stories:
Planning For Infertility: The Rise Of Egg Banks
Sex With Friends For 50’s

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