Beware of the stigma regarding the polyamory
A recent study shows that, at least in America where the survey was conducted, despite the negative stigma attached to the polyamory, it is much more popular than expected.
The authors of the study, Amy C. Moors and her team, note that family and close relationships are central to our social lives. In the media and in marriage and family research, monogamous relationships are seen as the most favorable type of romantic relationship. Despite this idea that monogamous relationships are superior, non-monogamous relationships are surprisingly common and may even increase in popularity.
The intent of Moors and his colleagues was to explore the popularity of a specific type of consensual non-monogamous relationship: the polyamory. Unlike open relationships or exchangeism, the polyamorous relationships embrace both romantic and sexual relationships with more than one person at a time. The study in it is the first of its kind, and the researchers wanted to investigate the prevalence of the polyamorous relationships, the desire for these relationships and public opinion about them.
To do this, the experts analyzed data from a national survey of 3,438 single Americans. The surveys included eleven items related to previous polyamorous behavior, desire for a polyamorous relationship and attitudes toward the polyamory.
The results revealed that about 11 percent of the sample has been in a polyamorous relationship at some point in time, while 17 percent show some kind of desire for this type of relationship. Of those who experienced the polyamory, 30% stated that they would again be involved in a polyamorous relationship, 33% said they found the emotional components of the polyamory too difficult to cope with, and 21% said they were too possessive to cope with the polyamory.
Overall, the results suggested that people from different social backgrounds engage in the polyamory, with only a few sociodemographic factors related to the likelihood of engaging in this type of relationship. Consistent with previous research on non-monogamous relationships, men appear to be more likely to desire the polyamory. Younger respondents, as well as lesbian, gay, or bisexual respondents, are equally more likely to desire a polyamorous relationship.
When it comes to attitudes toward people who practice the polyamory, young people appear more likely than older respondents to respect those who practice polyamory. Democrats (compared to Republicans) and sexual minorities (compared to heterosexuals) are also more likely to respect the people they choose polyamorous relationships.
The authors note that while the polyamory is relatively common in their sample (with 1 in 9 respondents having had a polyamorous relationship and 1 in 6 who reported a desire for one), the results suggest that this type of relationship remains stigmatized. Of those who stated that they did not want a polyamorous relationship, only 14% said they respected such a relationship in others.