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“When seventeenth-century Jesuit missionary Paul Le Jeune lectured a Montagnais Indian man about the dangers of the rampant infidelity he’d witnessed, Le Jeune received a lesson on proper parenthood in response. The missionary recalled, ‘I told him that it was not honorable for a woman to love any one else except her husband, and that this evil being among them, he himself was not sure that his son, who was there present, was his son. He replied, ‘Thou hast no sense. You French people love only your own children; but we all love all the children of our tribe’” (106-7).

In Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, authors Christopher Ryan and Cachilda Jethá pose the questions, is monogamy as “natural” to the human species as we’re made to think it is? If marriage and the nuclear family are what we’re driven toward, why do half of…

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