The key difference between monogamous and non monogamous is in the number of organisms involved in the mating process. Monogamous mating involves only one male and one female. In contrast, polygamous mating involves more than one female in the mating system.
The social and psychological behaviour in different organisms depends mainly on their requirement for survival. Therefore, the mating patterns of organisms from simple animals to complex humans show different social patterns. Thus, mating systems among organisms can be divided into two groups. Namely, they are monogamous and non monogamous mating system. Monogamous mating system is a system where a single male mates with a single female. This mating system is commonly observed in birds. On the hand, nNon monogamous monogamous mating system, or in other words, polygamous mating system, is a system where one male associate with multiple females for mating or vice versa.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Monogamous
3. What is Non Monogamous
4. Similarities Between Monogamous and Non Monogamous
5. Side by Side Comparison – Monogamous vs Non Monogamous in Tabular Form
What is Monogamous?
Monogamous is a phenomenon where a single male mates with a single female. This mating system observed mostly in birds. The monogamous mating pair contributes to the parental care of the offspring. High competition is present among organisms which follow monogamous mating. However, monogamous mating does not bring in a lot of genetic variation to the population.
Figure 01: Monogamous Mating
The female gains less genetic variation as there is only one male involved in the mating process. But, in terms of social concerns, monogamous mating systems are favoured. In monogamous relationships, the emotions, love and care involved in high which gives a benefit during the upbringing of the offsprings. Therefore, sociologists always favour monogamous relationships.
What is Non Monogamous?
Non Monogamous mating systems, also referred to as polygamous mating systems, are different in every aspect to the monogamous relationships. Non monogamous mating involves mating of one male with multiple female partners or vice versa. This type of mating brings about many genetic variations. The reason for this is that the female receives more variation from multiple partners.
Figure 02: Non Monogamous Mating
In non monogamous relationships, the competition during mating is not as extensive as much as in monogamous relationships. Therefore, mating takes place quite easily. But, there is a strong selection for traits to attract females. They have adaptations such as the ability to sing, bright colouration and courtship displays. Emotionally, sociologists do not prefer non monogamous relationships as there are fewer emotions involved in the relationship. Consequently, non monogamous mating systems do not give prominence to parenting.
What are the Similarities Between Monogamous and Non Monogamous?
- Both monogamous and non monogamous are types of mating systems.
- Also, both add genetic variations to the offsprings.
What is the Difference Between Monogamous and Non Monogamous?
Monogamous and non monogamous mating systems are two mating systems present among the living organisms. In monogamous mating, one male mates with a female. In contrast, non monogamous mating involves multiple female partners. So, this is the major difference between monogamous and non monogamous. Though the society highly favours monogamous, it introduces less genetic variation than the non monogamous mating. Furthermore, monogamous mating system does not involve a high competition between the mating partners, unlike a polygamous mating system. Therefore, we can consider this also as a difference between monogamous and non monogamous.
The below infographic on difference between monogamous and non monogamous tabulates more differences between them.
Summary – Monogamous vs Non Monogamous
Monogamous and non monogamous mating systems are natural phenomena that take place in the living world. Monogamous mating system involves mating between a single male and a single female. It involves less competition and involves less genetic variations between the mating species. On the other hand, the non monogamous mating system involves a single male and multiple females and vice versa. Likewise, this creates more genetic variations within the mating system. Sociology favours monogamous mating more there are emotions and, therefore, more parenting exisits. In contrast, non monogamous mating involves fewer emotions and parenting. Hence, this summarizes the difference between monogamous and non monogamous.
1.“Mating Systems.” Biology Reference. Available here
2.Krasnec, Michelle O., et al. “Mating Systems in Sexual Animals.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group. Available here
1.”Pair of mandarin ducks”By © Francis C. Franklin (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.”Gorilla Cin Zoo 020″ (CC BY-SA 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia
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