Whether straight or gay, most men start their relationships desiring monogamy. This is rooted in the pervasive notion that monogamy exists as a sign of true love. Yet despite this deeply held cultural ideal, cheating remains rampant. In this accessible book, Eric Anderson investigates why 78% of men he interviewed have cheated despite their desire not to. Combining 120 interviews with research from the fields of sociology, biology, and psychology, Anderson identifies cheating as a product of wanting emotional passion for one's partner, along with a steadily growing desire for emotionally-detached recreational sex with others. Anderson coins the term "the monogamy gap" to describe this phenomenon. Anderson suggests that monogamy is an irrational ideal because it fails to fulfil a lifetime of sexual desires. Cheating therefore becomes the rational response to an irrational situation. The Monogamy Gap draws on a range of concepts. theories, and disciplines to highlight the biological compulsion of our sexual urges, the social construction of the monogamous ideal, and the devastating chasm that lies between them.
Whether single or married, monogamous or open, straight or gay, readers will find The Monogamy Gap to be an enlightening, intellectually compelling, and provocative book.
Professor Eric Anderson is an American sociologist at the University of Winchester. He is known for his research on sex, gender, and sport. Anderson is also the author of eight books, many of which document the development of pro-gay attitudes in young, heterosexual men. His work examines how this changing culture enables heterosexual men to show love and affection more openly toward their male peers, and how openly gay male athletes are thriving in sport.
Part 1: Introduction ; Chapter 1: Overview of the Research ; Chapter 2: Developing a Critique of Monogamy ; Chapter 3: About the Study ; Part 2: Men, Attraction, and Love ; Chapter 4: The Hardening and Softening of Men ; Chapter 5: The Science of Sexual Attraction ; Chapter 6: The Development of Romantic Relationships ; Part 3: Monogamy and its Discontents ; Chapter 7: Categorizing Monogamy Types ; Chapter 8: Monogamism ; Chapter 9: The Monogamy Gap ; Chapter 10: Costs of Monogamism ; Chapter 11: Jealousy ; Chapter 12: Liberation from Monogamous Missionary Sex ; Part 4: The Reality of Cheating ; Chapter 13: Prevalence of Cheating ; Chapter 14: Spontaneous Cheating ; Chapter 15: Cheating Out of Love ; Chapter 16: Consequences of Cheating ; Chapter 17: Counter Currents ; Chapter 18: Conclusions