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

November 4, 2021

Major donor endows a new academic fund for polyamory and alt-relationship research

Thanks to a $138,000 donation from longtime polyamory activist Ken Haslam, the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University announced this morning a new endowed annual award that will recognize and support researchers on consensual non-monogamy and other nontraditional relationships. The award, to be given annually, will include a $5,000 one-year fellowship.

The Kinsey Institute, founded in 1947, is the premier research institute on human sexuality and relationships. Ken tells us that he sized his donation to finance a $5,000 grant every year forever. To my knowledge, this is the largest donation to support the understanding of polyamory and consensual non-monogamy in the modern poly movement's 40-year history.     

The first award, the Kinsey Institute announced today, will go to Dr. Amy Moors of Chapman University. You may recognize her name from the many research reports she has authored or co-authored that I've cited here in the last several years. The Kinsey press release, with more about her and her work, is below.

Posts Amy,

The desire to engage in multiple sexual, emotional, or romantic relationships is valid. It’s also quite common. We, as people and researchers, can learn so much from people engaged in consensual non-monogamy—from new ways to think about navigating sexual health to managing jealousy. I look forward to seeing this area of relationship diversity grow over the next few decades!

Ken Haslam is 87 years old now and still a character — jovial and lively as ever by the sound of him over the phone. He was a polyamory education and awareness activist starting more than two decades ago, a key figure when the movement was small and most of its movers-and-shakers could fit in one large room. As an MD he helped introduce the subject to academic, medical, and therapeutic professionals at a time when they had never heard of it. He wrote and spoke widely, co-founded the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness in 1999, and was a prominent presence in the 64-person meeting that began the Polyamory Leadership Network email list in 2009.

Nowadays Ken may be best known as the originator, around 2006, of the Kenneth R. Haslam Polyamory Collection at the Kinsey Institute Library. This archive of early publications, letters, meeting notes, memoirs, and other materials is where scholars will continue to turn in coming decades and centuries to research the early history and growth of the modern poly movement. (If you have papers or other materials from the movement's pre-internet era — or from before today's movement entirely, or from other cultures and communities apart from it — they want them!) At that time Ken donated $5,000 to endow the maintenance and indexing of the Polyamory Collection forever.

Ken tells us that the idea for an endowed academic fellowship "occurred to me about 15 years ago. I had a list of criteria then for the movement's future growth, called 'tipping points for polyamory.' The last of these was the entrance of polyamory into academia" as a serious research topic — something that's now well under way.

For the new fellowship, "It's taken about three years to get it all put together. When covid came along everything stopped. Now it's just come to fruition."

Ken also says he is leaving a larger amount to Kinsey in his will toward endowing an academic conference on consensual non-monogamy, probably to be held every two or three years, probably on the Indiana University campus. Again, endowment means funding forever.


Kinsey's press release today:



Amy C. Moors, PhD has been named the recipient of the inaugural Kenneth R. Haslam, MD Relationship Diversity Research Award, which supports the work of Kinsey Institute and affiliated researchers conducting research on non-monogamy, alternative sexualities, and intersections of diverse relationships and sexuality.

Amy Moors

Moors is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Chapman University, a Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, and the co-chair of the American Psychological Association’s Division 44 Committee on Consensual Non-Monogamy. Her research examines diverse expressions of sexuality, including how stigma affects well-being among sexual minorities and people engaged in consensually non-monogamous relationships. Moors has earned an international reputation for her work on understanding the sociodemographic and psychological factors that shape experiences of people engaged in consensual non-monogamy.

In announcing the award, Dr. Justin Garcia, Executive Director of the Kinsey Institute said, “We recognize Dr. Moors’ outstanding research in the area of relationship diversity, especially her innovative contributions to a better understanding of psychological and social factors associated with attitudes toward and experiences with consensual non-monogamy. She is an extraordinary scientists and colleague, and I’m delighted that she is the inaugural recipient of the Kinsey Institute’s Kenneth R. Haslam MD Relationship Diversity Research Award.”

Moors has been recognized by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality as for her theoretical work on sexuality as well as her mentorship to the next generation of sexuality focused researchers and clinicians. She also received the Distinguished Professional Contribution Award for her research and educational outreach on consensual non-monogamy from the Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity within the American Psychological Association. Her research has also been featured in TIMEScientific American, and The Atlantic

This award is made possible through a new endowed fund at the Kinsey Institute established through the generosity of Dr. Kenneth Haslam, an academic anesthesiologist, and long-time friend and supporter of the Kinsey Institute. Dr. Haslam continues to work with Liana Zhou, Director of the Kinsey Institute Library and Special Collections, to develop the Kenneth R. Haslam, MD Polyamory Collection, an important polyamory collection and archive at the Kinsey Institute which includes the work of Dr. Haslam and many other poly-activists, with materials dating back to the 1970s.

"The leaders and staff at the Kinsey Institute have provided wonderful encouragement and help in organizing, preserving, and facilitating digitization of my collection, and in establishing this fellowship for the study of consensual non-monogamy. I cannot thank them enough for their generous efforts.” ~Kenneth R. Haslam, MD

The award will be presented to Dr. Moors during the Kinsey Institute 75th anniversary celebrations in Bloomington, Indiana, in April 2022.


About the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University: For 75 years, the Kinsey Institute (https://kinseyinstitute.org/) has been the premier research institute on human sexuality and relationships and a trusted source for evidence-based information on critical issues in sexuality, relationships, gender, and reproduction. Our research program integrates scholarly fields from neuroscience and anthropology to psychology and gender studies. The Kinsey Institute Library and Special Collections encompass over 500,000 items spanning 2,000 years of human sexual behavior and are a destination research collection for scholars and students. Kinsey Institute outreach includes travelling art exhibits, public lectures, and a human sexuality education program.

For more information or to discuss a donation, please visit kinseyinstitute.org or contact kinsey@indiana.edu.


1. The Kinsey Institute Library especially wants your original papers and materials relating to the history of polyamory and CNM, especially pre-2000. Don't leave them in your attic to be thrown out after you're gone by people who don't know their value! To donate materials contact the Kinsey Institute's librarian, Liana Zhou: libknsy@indiana.edu.

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