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The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love, and the Reality of Cheating (Sexuality, Identity, and Society) Hardcover


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The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love, and the Reality of Cheating (Sexuality, Identity, and Society) + Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships + The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures
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Product Details

  • Series: Sexuality, Identity, and Society
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199777926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199777921
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Sociologist Eric Anderson asks troubling, controversial questions, and his answers might well unsettle and challenge readers. To Anderson, monogamy is a bankrupt illusion foisted on young men and women, which falsely promises that once they find true love, they will no longer experience ubiquitous sexual boredom and the desire to cheat. Leading the reader on an unpredictable journey, Anderson explores a number of related issues, such as why one should be 'happy' when a boyfriend/girlfriend is having 'hot sex' with another person; why gay boys masturbate more; and why straight men are becoming desensitized to gay sex. Anderson closes with his solution to negotiating sexual and romantic urges: a sexually promiscuous, emotionally monogamous relationship."
- Ritch C. Savin-Williams, Chair and Professor of Human Development, and Director, Sex and Gender Lab, Cornell University


"You may or may not agree with Eric Anderson's thesis, but The Monogamy Gap is a hard book to ignore. Sometimes somber, sometimes sassy, always engaging, Anderson is not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom about the ills of contemporary relationships. Monogamy, not infidelity, he argues, is the problem. Mixing scientific reports, imaginative sociological theorizing, and original interviews with gay and straight men, The Monogamy Gap is the most compassionate account to date of men's struggle to reconcile their lives with cultural expectations for sexual fidelity."
- Judith Treas, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Irvine


''The Monogamy Gap is a fascinating addition to the literature on monogamous and non-monogamous relationships. Weaving together sociological and psychological theory and research with the accounts of men, the book proposes insightful, original, and provocative understandings of cheating behavior. As always, Eric Anderson writes in a way that is both engaging and well-informed, making this book a delight to read. The Monogamy Gap is a must-have for every serious scholar of relationships, as well as for all those who are fascinated by the societal shifts that we are currently undergoing in relation to love, sex, and gender."
- Meg Barker, Lecturer in Psychology, The Open University; co-author of Understanding Non-Monogamies; and editor of Psychology & Sexuality


About the Author


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.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Max Morris on February 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Reading The Monogamy Gap was an engaging, intellectually stimulating, and eye-opening experience for me as a young man interested in social attitudes towards sex and relationships. In an accessible style, the author uncovers the complex truth to modern beliefs about monogamy and cheating. The Monogamy 'Myth', as his book could have been titled, reveals the disparity between our public desire to appear monogamous, and our private desire to have enjoyable and fulfilling sex-lives in an increasingly sexualized world. Radical, provocative, and well-researched, I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in improving their relationships or learning about current trends in society.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jseliger on October 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any book that claims rigor but approvingly cites Michel Foucault undermines its claim to rigorousness. While the subject of "The Monogamy Gap" is interesting, the book draws on 120 interviews of university men. That's it. Its conclusions might be mildly useful for understanding that particular group but its claims shouldn't be applied beyond that group. There are many useful things to be said about monogamy, but most of them have been and are being said by evolutionary biologists and psychologists, and by anthropologists. Anderson is a sociologist and his discipline shows.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AOL Jack on October 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are an academic or you like learning new words for ordinary things then you will probably enjoy this book. If you find Academic style prose challenging maybe you should skip it. I tend to find the pretentious academic style the book is written in kind of annoying. Never the less I think I added a new word to my vocabulary for every two or three pages and the basic idea that young men are hardwired for variety makes sense. Note the author is very clear about that. It may be true that older men and even women might like a bit of variety but since he stuck with college age subjects that is all he can make conclusions about.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Atkins on February 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The "monogamy gap" refers to the internal conflict people experience when they naturally desire one thing but are forced to act in a contradictory manner. Using an intricate interweaving of sociology and psychology, Dr. Anderson discusses the nature and limitations of the monogamous normativity that reigns supreme in modern society. He uses engaging interviews conducted in a large-scale research study to illustrate the point and is not afraid to challenge the often archaic and unchanging views of larger society, despite the clear boundaries these views instill upon people. Discussed are issues such as the natural desire to want sex, the truth about cheating, and the uncomfortable aftermath that occurs when one abides by the puritan doctrines set forth upon them, despite the nagging propensity to engage in sexual or bonding relationships with others.

It is refreshing to see the honest and direct candor the author uses to describe the dissonance people experience when their desires tell them one thing, but society demands something else. The interviews may make you uncomfortable, and the theories set forth may defy your current understanding of human behavior, but in the end you will thank Dr. Anderson for his provocation; for in the end, the truth shall set you free.
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