A study looking at gay men’s thoughts around monogamy found that younger gay men are moving away from non-monogamous relationships.
This study – called “Perspectives of Younger Gay Men on Monogamy, Non-monogamy, and Marriage”, which is part of the broader The Couple Study, and was run by researchers and couple Lanz Lowen and Blake Spears – involved 1,429 (broken down: 576 for quantitative study, and 853 qualitative study) gay men between the ages of 18 and 40 years old.
Lowen and Spears noted the existing perception that gay men are more likely to enjoy open relationships, so they wanted to know where gay men really stood in this topic, considering that little research has been into attitudes towards this.
The two were surprised to find that the younger generation is going away from the lifestyle many associate with gay men, and which may have been the preference of older gay men.
Specifically, “probably the most striking finding of this study is that younger gay men seem to be more inclined toward monogamy than their elders,” the pair wrote in their reflection from the study’s results.
The results of their study found that 86% of the respondents that were in a relationship were monogamous, while the remaining 14% were not. For those who were single at the time of the survey, 90% said that they were looking for a monogamous relationship.
Looking at the details further, they found that 44% of single men between the ages of 26 and 40 said they were open to the possibility of a non-monogamous relationship. Meanwhile, only 29% of single men who were 25 or younger were open to the idea.
They noted, nonetheless, that a small, but significant number of couples described themselves as monogamous, even though they had ‘three-ways’ and/or occasional sex with ‘outsiders.’ These couples were described as “monogamish”.
But in summing up, Lowen and Spears said that “despite the myths and the anecdotal horror stories, both monogamous and non-monogamous couples can have enduring, healthy and happy relationships.” And “contrary to the fears and myths, long-term couples (both monogamous and non-monogamous) most frequently have enduring, satisfying sex lives within their primary relationships.”