Monogamy, polyamory and sexual exclusivity in gay/homosexual men in Mexico city. An application of the life course approach

Published: August 1, 2008

Monogamy, polyamory and sexual exclusivity in gay/homosexual men in Mexico city. An application of the life course approach

Background: The application of biographical surveys and the life course approach have been recently used in the field of sexuality. Through this application, it is possible to identify the trajectories of coupling and styles of socio-sexual relationships in the biographies of the individuals themselves

Methods: A retrospective (biographical) survey was administered in 2006 to 250 gay/homosexual, ages 16 to 55, in Mexico City. With the complete biographical information it was possible to identify three types of trajectories or types of sexual interaction:
1) trajectories of coupling: exclusively with men, with women, fruitful, transitive and without enough couple involvement;
2) styles of coupling: monogamy and polyamory; and
3) trajectories of sexual interactions: closed, open, and fluid or mix. These constructs constitute typologies or ways of understanding the relational reality.

Results: It was found that 84% of the interviewed gay/homosexual men are highly monogamists and this value is relatively constant among cohorts. However, it seems that age and the increasing number of sexual partners and couple relationships reduce the preponderance of monogamy, being culturally accepted allowing affectivity and polyamory. Nevertheless, the high preponderance of monogamy in the establishing of affectivity among men is an indicator of the norms and speeches around the type and nature of the alliance in the Mexican society that is extended to the field of homoerotism. On the other side, in sexual exclusivity, it can be observed that the number of men having closed couple relationships is significantly less than 42% – in relation to those who are monogamists (84%) -; this difference between these two values reveals and confirms that the cultural construction of monogamy, in general terms, is not a synonym of sexual exclusivity.

Conclusions: Determining the type of socio-sexual link established among men permits to rethink about the ethical and normative frame in which HIV-AIDS prevention programs are developed.

-Abstract available at link below-

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