From a science perspective, why are humans so emotionally unhinged when partners have sex with someone else?

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From a science perspective, why are humans so emotionally unhinged when partners have sex with someone else?

In: Biology

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Monogamy (ie having sex with one and only one person) is cultural.
Some cultures practice polygamy, where one person (historically more often that not, male) could have sex with multiple people and their partners wouldn’t feel bad.

The core function of life is to copy DNA. Humans pair bond strongly because our nine month gestation slows the woman down to where hunting and gathering alone is hard. Having a man to help hunt and gather more food helps and is almost required. Having the man wander off to give food to some other woman is nervous and she reacts strongly. (But it’s also to her benefit to have a harem of multiple men bringing her food, if she can.)

Even if they don’t know how DNA works, women know that the baby inside them comes from them. Men don’t know the same way, so their best DNA replication strategy is to try and monopolize a woman and have her only mate with them. Bringing food to a woman, all so she can actually be carrying some other man’s DNA is a 9 month waste of time, and the man reacts more strongly if he finds out some other man slipped his DNA.

Many scientists think early hunter-gatherer tribes were less focused on pair bonding. More people had sex with each other, and everyone just chipped in with getting food and taking care of all kids.

Another major piece was humans switched from hunting-gathering to farming. Now we “own” land and make it into a particular farm. And that land gets passed to one’s children. Now it’s even more important whose kids are whose, because it decides where the land will go. That’s around when marriage and monogamy became really important.