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DeLamater & HasdayPage 15

group relationships (where three or more people are all involved with one another more or less equally). Additionally, they can be open, which means that relationship partners are free to take on additional lovers, or closed, which means members are restricted to established relationships.  Sometimes two of the people in a polyamorous arrangement are legally married. Polyamorous people may live with none, one, or more than one of their relationship partners.  The possible variations are nearly limitless; the main distinguishing features of all polyamorous relationships are more than one sexual partner (which distinguishes it from monogamy), an emotional connection to all partners (which distinguishes it from swinging and other casual sexual arrangements), and complete honesty with all partners (which distinguishes it from cheating). Polyamory also tends to be characterized by non-possessiveness, acceptance of varied sexual practices and identities, and high levels of gender equality. These characteristics tend to distinguish it from the more traditional and historically rooted practice of polygamy (Wikipedia).   

There has been very little scholarly attention given to polyamory. While the instability of the monogamous nuclear family has been widely discussed, cohabitation and not polyamory has emerged as a common relationship alternative. Additionally, polyamory has not leveraged the same degree of political visibility as homosexuality. These factors likely both contribute to the fact that very little research has been performed on polyamorous sexual practices.

For many practitioners, polyamory is not simply a type of relationship but a way of life to which they are philosophically committed. This is especially true of people in open polyamorous relationships (Ramey, 1975). Additionally, although there are no precise estimates of incidence, there are some indications that polyamory may be practiced by a sizeable minority. According to a broad survey by Blumstein and Schwartz, fifteen percent of married couples and twenty eight percent of cohabiting (heterosexual) couples had “an understanding that allows non-monogamy

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