Deep down, young men and women despise "free love" and prefer monogamy, contrary to their explicit statements.

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This tweet excerpts bits from the full study, which I haven't yet read.

Recent research has revealed some inconsistencies in the traditionally negative attitudes towards consensual nonmonogamy (CNM; sexually and/or emotionally nonexclusive romantic relationships), with some adults reporting fairly neutral attitudes. These inconsistencies may be related to the effects of socially desirable responding when adopting self-report (e.g. explicit) measures. Thus, the current study assessed young men and women’s implicit attitudes towards CNM (using the Implicit Association Test) in order to bypass issues associated with social desirability bias. The results from 204 college students (81 men, 123 women) revealed that, despite reporting neutral explicit attitudes towards CNM, young men and women demonstrated a strong automatic preference for monogamy (mean D score = 0.71; SD = 0.32). Furthermore, the relationship between explicit and implicit attitudes was clarified by assessing the extent to which participants were likely to engage in socially desirable responding. Implicit and explicit attitudes towards CNM were more closely related among those less likely to evidence social desirability bias as compared to those who were more likely to fall prey to this bias. These findings highlight the importance of assessing implicit attitudes and provide evidence of the strong social stigma surrounding CNM.




haven't read the full study but...

the abstract is almost impossible to parse. I will read the full study though.

Meanwhile this large study

done a few years ago shows the researchers surprise and even dismay...

"Some of the other dimensions on which monogamy was perceived to be superior are not entirely logical. We have already established that monogamous relationships are thought to be slightly more positive on arbitrary dimensions, yet it seems wholly implausible that the sexual/romantic configuration of one’s relationship could affect something as mundane as walking a dog. But even the more serious dimensions generated by the participants in Study 1 were not always logically consistent. For example, it is not clear why individuals with a greater number of partners would be lonelier. Likewise, one might assume that those who are engaging in CNM relationships would be less jealous and possessive of each other rather than more, given that they are openly allowing extradyadic relationships to occur. Moreover, traits related to parenting and financial stability seem similarly irrelevant. To the extent that CNM individuals do not introduce their children to their partners (or do not make the nature of their relationships known to their children), it is not clear that CNM parents would be different from parents that engage in other types of adult activity when children are not present."

This made me laugh

I'm tired of sexologists telling the other 95% of us all how we should feel based on their theories...when even our biology rewards us with longer, healthier lives for engaging in close, trusted companionship.

Some of this spin was even in the one I posted. Instead of acknowledging that pair bonds might actually be good for people and that that might account for subconscious beliefs, the editors (perhaps?) of the journal made the researchers add a sentence to the abstract claiming this was more evidence of deep cultural stigma. Oh please.

okay I briefly read over the study

here's what I get out of it.

Young men and women often respond to questions the way they think they should. 

This is called "socially desirable" responding.

They say one thing but they think another.

Those young people who are more prone to want to answer in this "socially desirable" way, and those young people who simply speak their mind, secretly (maybe even unconsciously) are more likely to want monogamy despite what they say to others.

Those young people who are bluntly speaking their minds want monogamy. Those who want to say what they think others want them to say will say "having casual partners is fine" but inside, they still believe monogamy is best.

The most interesting part is that both young men AND women had these views pretty much alike.



I've heard about this "non-monogamy / I could never be with the same person for a whole lifetime" from many people

Including my ex of a few years ago..
Who is now trying to schedule a time to meet with me to "formally apologize" for her behavior..

And many other people I know who are now in committed relationships..