Two days after she gave birth their baby, Jose had an affair.
He said it was the first affair since he's been married, but he had cheated many times while he was dating Angela and other women. I met Jose and Angela when I was a guest on the Dr. Jose was facing a divorce and so agreed to come on the show for some expert advice. Phil also pays for three months of therapy for those who appear on his show and would like it as Jose and Angela clearly did. First we have to discuss that bugaboo word monogamy.
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Why then, do so many religious and cultural traditions, not to mention much of public opinion, fall squarely against promiscuity? There are three hormones that modulate monogamy: oxytocin, arginine vasopressin, and testosterone.
Oxytocin has been shown in animals and humans to sustain pair bonds in males and females through its release in the brain during sex, touch, and nearly any positive social signal as I discussed in an earlier posting on generosity.
Arginine vasopressin motivates mate- and offspring-guarding in male socially monogamous mammals, an important aspect of pair-bonding.
Testosterone is associated with libido and many of the male characteristics like musculature and drive that are attractive to females when seeking high-quality male genes.
The distribution of oxytocin and arginine vasopressin receptors in the human brain reveals that we are a monogamous species.
But is that socially monogamous or sexually monogamous?
The large size of the male testicles and shape of the penis suggest that we evolved when females would have multiple sexual partners and it was a "let the best sperm win" all-out competition.
We have socially monogamous brains but sexually promiscuous genitals.
Adding testosterone to the mix is like having a wild card in poker--anything can happen.
Testosterone is in conflict with the bonding effects of oxytocin (literally--testosterone inhibits the uptake of oxytocin by its receptor).
It motivates men and women, but mostly men who have five to ten times more testosterone than the fairer sex, to seek more sexual partners (and to be single-minded and to take more risks).