- Study argues that even scientists have upheld an ‘invisible’ bias on the subject
- Scientists may have unconsciously skewed results with non-neutral rhetoric
- New survey revealed non-monogamous relationships are just as functional
The idea that monogamy is ‘the only way’ has long been ingrained in Western culture.
While scientists have questioned whether this way of life truly is better than non-monogamy, they’ve yet to reach a consensus – and, new research argues that this is because even scientists have upheld an ‘invisible’ bias on the subject.
In the study, researchers reviewed of several earlier works and surveyed more than 2,000 people, and found that non-monogamous relationships are just as ‘functional’ as traditional ones.
While scientists have questioned whether this way of life truly is better than non-monogamy, they’ve yet to reach a consensus – and, new research argues that this is because even scientists have upheld an ‘invisible’ bias on the subject. A stock image is pictured
Of the group surveyed in the new study from the University of Michigan, 617 participants were in consensual non-monogamous (CNM) relationships, according to Quartz.
The researchers measured for trust, jealousy, passion, and overall satisfaction, and found that there were no differences in how the relationships function.
Still, non-monogamy remains somewhat taboo, and the researchers say the cultural dominance of more traditional relationships could be effecting the way intimacy is studied.
In earlier studies, the researchers suspect scientists may have unconsciously skewed their results by using non-neutral rhetoric, among other influencers.
Academic surveys often use phrases such as ‘offended party,’ or ‘betrayed partner,’ along with ‘infidelity’ and ‘cheating.’
In the study, researchers reviewed of several earlier works and surveyed more than 2,000 people, and found that non-monogamous relationships are just as ‘functional’ as traditional ones. A stock image is pictured
Such terms are directive, the researchers argue, and can sway the outcome of the study by making it more likely for monogamy to receive higher ‘scores.’
‘The fact that we can allow our discussion to be so emotionally led probably doesn’t allow us to really think in a logical manner,’ lead author Terri Conley told Quartz.
In a smaller study with 100 participants from Mechanical Turk, the researchers from the University of Michigan also investigated the ways people react to researchers when asked about non-monogamous relationships.
IS MONOGAMY THE REASON MEN DON'T HAVE PENIS BONES?
Researchers from University College London explored why humans do not have a baculum, yet both ancestral primates and carnivores did.
The study found that prolonged penetration during sex – defined as longer than three minutes – correlated with baculum presence across the course of primate evolution.
In humans, men tend to have a short intromission duration, and there is little competition for a female.
Humans tend to be monogamous or, more rarely, polygynous (where one male mates with multiple females).
In these circumstances, only one male has access to a female and sexual competition between males is absent or very low.
The researcher suggests that humans do not have a penis bone as we tend to be a monogamous species, and men don't need to compete for a partner.
And, they found that the researchers were seen to be more biased when asking questions about polyamory, according to Quartz.
As scientists work to understand the complexity of human relationships, the researchers say the studies themselves are being hindered by these ‘invisible’ biases.
In the study, they argue that ‘the premise that monogamy is superior to other types of non-monogamous relational arrangements continues to permeate the ways in which researchers construct and test theories of love and intimacy.’
About Article Author