According to a new comprehensive study, higher numbers of younger gay men are seeking monogamy than previous generations. Are younger queers just more boring?
Couple Blake Spears and Lanz Lowen decided to perform the study because of their own long-term relationship. “The catalyst for both studies was our experience as a long-term gay couple. We had been together in a non-monogamous relationship for 36 years and were curious about the experience of others,” Lowen told The Bay Area Reporter.
One of the study’s objectives is to “identify the prevalence and attitudes about monogamy and non-monogamy in the younger gay male population.”
The study consists of two parts: quantitative and qualitative. The quantitative part consists of 242 single gay men, 290 monogamous couples and 127 non-monogamous couples. The qualitative part contains verbatim comments from 161 monogamous couples, 16 non-monogamous couples, and 45 ‘monogamish’ couples. Participants in the study are all from Facebook or Grindr.
They conclude that because of greater visibility and achievements with marriage equality, gay men are conforming to mainstream norms.
“We concur with some of the comments we heard, that as younger gay men have the option of marriage and homosexuality becomes increasingly accepted, the traditional heterosexual model of monogamy and marriage become much more viable options. Younger gay men have the option of adopting to the norms of the heterosexual majority and becoming integrated into the mainstream in ways that weren’t possible before. In this study, we see them taking advantage of those options in large numbers.”
However, younger men in relationships are usually in relationships that are newer. Don’t we find that couples tend to open up after being together for a longer period of time? Spears and Lowen include this thought in their conclusion.
“One consideration is that as younger gay men stay together for longer periods of time in their monogamous relationships, more will make a shift towards ‘monogamish’ or non-monogamous relationships.”
Their final conclusion is something we could have told them without doing all this work: gay men are judgmental as fuck.
“Oddly, we heard both monogamous and non-monogamous respondents complaining of the lack of support for their respective relationships. To the degree monogamy and non-monogamy can be more fully discussed in the community, the better. Both monogamy and non-monogamy are viable. Let’s provide enough information and adequate avenues for discussion, so that couples can make informed decisions. Furthermore, as a community, let’s stop proselytizing our preference as ‘the right way’ and demonizing that which we don’t embrace. We need to create norms in the community, where both monogamy and non-monogamy can be rationally discussed and considered. If we can do that, both monogamous and non-monogamous couples will feel supported by the larger community.”