Polyamorous Relationships: Intimate Partners (Essay Sample)
2. Final Term Paper 35%
The paper requires that you:
Review the literature;
Analyze relevant theoretical and practical issues;
Integrate issues of race, gender, sexual orientation and other sites of difference into your paper;
Integrate personal experiences and reflections (optional);
Demonstrate critical thinking through analysis of material. Draw on relevant course reading and discussion;
Bring in an interdisciplinary perspective by providing a breadth of material.
NOTE: Please refer to the Assignment Evaluation Guide in developing your assignment. (Appendix B)
Expectations for Essay:
8-10 sources minimum, including a selection of journal articles.
Length: 8 -10 pages (250 words/page) excluding references and title page, typed, double-spaced.
Polyamory refers to the situation whereby an individual has more than one intimate partner and where all the partners involved in this relationship are well aware of this. Recent years have seen the practice being given much attention by researches due to the increase in the prevalence of the same all over the world. Usually an individual or couple may make the choice of involving themselves into polyamory or not. Just like the other relationships, this practice also seeks to promote values such as love, honesty, integrity, intimacy, commitment; equality and communication although some studies have shown that the level of commitment is generally low. Despite the acknowledgement of the existence of polyamory, the society is yet to accept these kinds of relationships fully and often times, those involved have to maintain secrecy for fear of prejudices and stigmatization. The stigma is associated with the fact that society usually perceives polys as being immoral, unclean and bad example to other members of the community. In some western cultures, poly relationships are even regarded as being illegal and may attract the attention of the law in some instances. This continues stigmatization places the poly community at a disadvantage in accessing better services like health care since in most cases they are misunderstood or discriminated against. Notably, issues of race, gender and sexual orientation also play a vital role in determining polyamorous relationships.
Polyamory is a form of a consensual non-monogamy (CNM) relationship where there is an open agreement between partners to have emotional and sexual relationships with other partners. Even though polyamorous relationships are increasingly becoming common, the subject is yet to receive full attention from researches and scholars. For this reason, polys are exposed to a lot of stigmatization and are often misunderstood (Young 2014). This above situation is supported by the fact that many western cultures only acknowledge monogamous relationships and view polyamorous ones as immoral and therefore illegal (Barnett 2014). A study by Mitchell, Bartholomew, and Cobb (2013) sought to know why these relationships continue being practiced despite society’s disapproval of the same by investigating how the need for fulfillment contributed to such relationships. In Western cultures, sexual exclusivity is highly expected amongst those in relationships and any sex that is extramarital is frowned upon and can result into separation or end of the relationship. This kind of view explains why there is general prejudice against polyamorous relationships with those reported to have been victims of this making up 43% of the poly community (Mitchell et al., 2013). In their study, DePaulo and Morris (2005) argue that that this prejudice is unmerited because of the advantages associated with polyamory. For instance, polyamory eliminates the need to over-rely on one romantic partner for fulfillment of all needs. This can cause a strain on the relationship while the same can be avoided by having multiple partners share some of the responsibilities. According to the two studies, the emotional freedom and support in polyamorous relationships is more compared to romantic relationships hence the need to pay attention to them. However, it also acknowledged that the level of commitment in polyamory is very low while jealousy is high.
Still on stigmatization, this is noted to be brought about by a society having negative attitudes towards the individuals in polyamorous relationships. Interestingly, this stigma does not come from the members of the community but rather from in the larger community such as the individual’s family, employees, friends, church membe...
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