4th International Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Nonmonogamy

This paper is based on sociological research whose purpose is the analysis of social processes (social settings, contexts, psychological economies, interpersonal relationships) through which individuals, although in long- term monogamous relationships, develop and maintain a long-term clandestine amorous and sexual relationship alongside their official union. This is the analysis of a specific form of non-monogamy because it transgresses the socially accepted role of monogamy as the legitimate norm, by the occultation of emotional and sexual exclusivity that are the standards that underpin the dominant model of contemporary Western couples.
The analyses are mainly based on approximately fifty life stories about men and women married or cohabiting or who have or have had a long term relationship, clandestinely alongside their official couple. The research was conducted in France. Those interviewed are heterosexual, aged 34-90 years and belong to the middle and upper classes.
The analysis will be presented in three ways:
1) Adultery as an integral part of monogamous marriage (socio-historical approach)
2) How did a love duality develop in individuals valuing monogamy:
3) The clandestine non-monogamy put to the test : long term adulterous relationships as a privileged space in the construction of masculine virility versus female resistance.
Berkeley, California, USA.
February 13-15, 2015