"At least with cheating there is an attempt at monogamy": cheating and monogamism among undergraduate heterosexual men

Eric Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

In this qualitative research, I first use hegemony theory to describe the cultural forces that position monogamy as the only privileged form of committed sexual relationship coupling available to undergraduate heterosexual men. I then interview 40 heterosexual male students for their experience with monogamy and cheating, finding that the hegemonic mechanisms of subordination and stratification that stigmatize nonmonogamy consequently result in an absence of consideration of the problems associated with monogamy. I use cognitive dissonance theory to explain participants' desires for simultaneously wanting monogamy and nonmonogamy, calling this dissonance 'the monogamy gap.' Data suggest that participants who cheat do so not because of lost love, but instead cheating represents an attempt to rectify conflicting desires for monogamy and recreational sex.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-872
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Volume27
Issue number7
Early online date10 Sep 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • relationship
  • monogamism
  • sociology
  • monogamy
  • men
  • cheating

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