Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

January 1, 2019

"Consensual Non-Monogamy: A Year of Research in Review"

A writer on the Psychology Today blogsite of experts gives a summary of CNM research findings that were published in 2018. Highlights:

Consensual Non-Monogamy: A Year of Sex Research in Review

The top research findings on CNM this year, and what we still have yet to learn.

By Sarah Hunter Murray Ph.D.

There is nothing new about the practice of Consensual Non-Monogamy (CNM) — an umbrella term that captures polyamory, swinging, and various other forms of ethically "open" relationships — but you wouldn't be blamed for thinking it was a new fad or trend given the surge of attention the topic has received in 2018. ...

...Researchers studying CNM have made some big strides this past year. Here are 5 of the biggest findings...:

1. Consensual Non-Monogamous Relationships are Just as Healthy and Satisfying as Monogamous Ones. ...

2. Having Our Sexual Needs Met in One Relationship Can Have a Positive Impact on an Additional Sexual Relationship. ...

3. Why We're Having Sex Matters More Than Our Relationship Structure. ...

4. We Are Most Accepting of "Primary" Partners.

...Even when individuals participate in CNM relationships, research suggests we tend to treat "primary" relationships differently than other sexual and/or romantic partners. Dr. Rhonda Balzarini, a postdoctoral researcher at York University, suggests that this might be due to fears of judgment from friends and family and indicates that this can be burdensome for those in CNM relationships. ...

5. Many Therapists Are Unprepared to Work with CNM Clients

...Dr. Heath Schechinger... says: "Our participants repeatedly mentioned how harmful their therapists lack of education about CNM and judgmental attitudes were. Over half of our participants indicated that their therapist held judgmental or pathologizing views of consensual non-monogamy, and one-fifth of our participants reported that their therapist lacked the basic knowledge of consensual non-monogamy issues necessary to be effective."

What We Still Need to Learn About CNM Relationships

...1. Start by Moving Away From the Black & White Approach to Studying CNM

..."The literature has been criticized for presenting either celebratory representations of CNM (as amazing radical, perfect alternatives to monogamy) or as “dangerous” alternatives that will ruin relationships," [Dr. Jessica] Wood states. She argues that "relationships, whether they are CNM or monogamous, are complex and people need space to be able to discuss these complexities without fear of further stigmatization."

2. Explore How People Navigate Challenges in Their CNM Relationships. ...

3. Improve on How CNM Research Data is Being Collected. ...

4. Understand The Potential Mental Health Challenges Unique to CNM Identified Individuals. ...

5. Examine How Sexual Needs Are Being Fulfilled. ...

Do read the whole article (December 31, 2018). With references.

A caution from me the science guy: don't take such findings as gospel yet. Research needs to be replicated successfully over and over, by different people using different methods, before a finding can be considered settled. Research in the social sciences has an especially poor record for replication failures.




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