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The other side of the coin: A narrative inquiry into the positive consequences of infidelity among young adults

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Abstract

There is certainly no shortage of studies describing the unwanted effects of infidelity in the relevant literature. By contrast, this paper examines the previously unexplored face of infidelity – namely, the subjectively perceived positive effects. One hundred and four participants from Slovakia in emerging and/or young adulthood shared their relationship history through semi-structured interviews (transcribed verbatim). Sixty-nine of these were self-moderated in written form. The same topics were covered in the two types of interview. Using a categorical-content analysis method, four categories were created. These described the constructive functions of infidelity, including enhancing relationship quality; aiding a desired breakup; satisfying unmet needs; and facilitating the decision-making process during the transition period before settling into a long-term relationship. For future research we recommend differentiating between beneficial episodes of infidelity, focusing on personal characteristics and subjective experiences of infidelity, and including non-heterosexual participants.

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The authors introduce four models: holistic-content reading; holistic-form reading; categorical-content reading; and categorical-form reading. They present two complete narratives so that readers can compare the authors' interpretations against the actual text as well as analyze the stories on their own. The subsequent chapters provide readings, interpretations and analyses of the narrative data from the models.
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This article offers a reading of historical discourses around non/monogamy with attention to their ‘racial resonances’. These 19th-century discourses helped to naturalize monogamy and to establish it as desirable, moral and feminist (and alternatives as undesirable, immoral and un-feminist). The article’s aim is to suggest that, like those surrounding other aspects of sexuality, discourses around non/monogamy cannot be adequately contextualized-or challenged-without attention to the ways in which they are constituted through race.
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Book
The authors introduce four models: holistic-content reading; holistic-form reading; categorical-content reading; and categorical-form reading. They present two complete narratives so that readers can compare the authors' interpretations against the actual text as well as analyze the stories on their own. The subsequent chapters provide readings, interpretations and analyses of the narrative data from the models.
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In this article, we critically examine the social institution of monogamy. First, we discuss the lack of an adequate and consistent definition of the construct of monogamy and consider how common monogamy is. Next, we address perceived benefits of monogamy and whether those ostensible benefits are supported by empirical evidence. We conclude that evidence for the benefits of monogamy relative to other relationship styles is currently lacking, suggesting that, for those who choose it, consensual non-monogamy may be a viable alternative to monogamy. Implications for theories of close relationships are discussed.
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As a result of the popularization of the narrative idea and the considerable diversity existing among narrative studies, a rather “all included” conception has arisen, in which the framework of narrative inquiry has been significantly blurred. For narrative inquiry to persist as a unique mode of investigation into human nature, a complementary dialogue is required that aims at outlining its core, alongside the emphasis given in the literature on diversity as its hallmark. As a possible reference point for this debate, recognizing the narrative paradigm that has crystallized since the “narrative turn” is suggested. The narrative paradigm is discussed in light of six major dimensions — ontology, epistemology, methodology, inquiry aim, inquirer posture and participant/narrator posture — indicating that it coincides with other interpretive paradigms in certain aspects yet proffers a unique philosophical infrastructure that gives rise to particular methodological principles and methods. Considering the narrative paradigm as the essence of narrative inquiry asserts that the latter is not confined to a methodology, as often implied. Rather it constitutes a full-fledged research Weltanschauung that intimately connects the “hows” of investigation to the “whats”, namely premises about the nature of reality and our relationships with it.
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Infidelity can be a traumatic occurrence in a relationship. People tend to believe that sexual behavior should be exclusive to a romantic relationship but are less certain about which types of nonsexual behaviors are acceptable in other relationships. The Relationship Issues Scale (RIS) was developed to explore attitudes/values and expectations/behaviors regarding relationship exclusivity and nonexclusivity (which may or may not include infidelity). Three studies resulted in a final 37-item scale that measures eight dimensions of relationship exclusivity/nonexclusivity. Validity for the RIS was assessed through correlations with permissive sexuality, idealistic sexuality, and relationship satisfaction. Analyses also showed that men were more likely than women to favor nonexclusivity. Three additional sets of items examined participants' frequency of communication about and participation in various nonexclusive activities. Results suggest that relationship exclusivity/nonexclusivity is a significant and complex but promising and important area of relationship research.
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The author's goal of presenting a fresh conception of young people's development has resulted in chapters on topics not as strongly represented in most other textbooks. Most textbooks have a discussion of moral development, but this textbook has a chapter on cultural beliefs, including moral development, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and a discussion of individualistic and collectivistic beliefs in various cultures. The chapter on cultural beliefs provides a good basis for a cultural understanding of adolescent development, because it emphasizes how the judgments we make about how adolescents should think and act are almost always rooted in beliefs we have learned in the course of growing up in a particular culture. In this textbook there is a chapter on gender that focuses on cultural variations and historical changes in gender roles, in addition to discussions of gender issues in other chapters This textbook also has an entire chapter on work, which is central to the lives of adolescents in developing countries because a high proportion of them are not in school. Each chapter contains a number of critical thinking questions the purpose of which is to inspire students to a higher level of analysis and reflection about the ideas and information in the chapters--higher, that is, than they would be likely to achieve simply by reading the chapter. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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our goal in this chapter is to integrate the clinical, theoretical, and empirical research on EMI [extramarital involvement] in order to broaden clinicians' perspectives on EMI and to provide a basis for their therapeutic interventions regarding EMI this chapter will synthesize empirical and clinical literature pertaining to extramarital involvements and propose clinical implications of this literature / we differentiate sexual, emotional, and "combined-type" extramarital involvement and link these three types of EMI to gender differences and sex roles / we propose a double code of EMI for men and women that describes different paths toward and sanctions against combined-type involvement / we address whether there is a connection between the state of the marriage and the occurrence of different types of extramarital involvement / we consider a range of individualistic explanations for EMI including social-demographic characteristics, attitudinal variables, and psychodynamic formulations treatment issues that will be considered include: individual versus conjoint sessions, problems of confidentiality and therapeutic alliances, whether conjoint therapy can proceed if the EMI continues, the effects of disclosure on the marriage, and signs of resistance in involved and noninvolved spouses / review specific marital therapy techniques that strengthen the marriage through caring behaviors and that improve communication patterns / discuss ways of using information about the EMI to improve aspects of the marriage and suggest a structure for spouse disclosure that considers motivations, trust, jealousy, forgiving, alliances, and long-range effects (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The purpose of this article is to elucidate the contributions of self psychology to the understanding of the erotic and eroticized transference. Aspects of two cases are discussed (24- and 32-yr-old women), which illustrate the differences between these two transference configurations. Eroticized transference emerges when selfobject longings for mirroring are eroticized. Self-esteem in these patients is defensively structured around a capacity to engender sexual excitement in another person. The interpretive process should reflect an awareness of sexuality as a defensive substitute for other selfobject longings and a genetic understanding of the specific absence of responsiveness to other aspects of the self. Erotic transference emerges in a very different manner. These patients begin to develop sexual feelings for the therapist as a revived longing for a response to the sexual aspect of the self. It is an attempt to resume a normal developmental pathway and consolidate a sexual sense of self. The family background of these patients reflects an absence of affirming responses in regard to physical qualities and sexuality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Virtually all American couples, married or cohabiting, expect sexual exclusivity of one another. This article asks why some people are sexually exclusive while others have sex with someone besides their mate. Previous research has linked personal values, sexual opportunities, and quality of the marital relationship to extramartial sex. This paper integrates these findings in a multivariate model that incorporates factors informing sexual decision making as well as demographic “risk factors.” Nationally representative survey data show higher likelihood of sexual infidelity among those with stronger sexual interests, more permissive sexual values, lower subjective satisfaction with their union, weaker network ties to partner, and greater sexual opportunities. With these factors controlled, gender differences are substantially reduced or eliminated, although racial effects persist.
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This article, a follow-up on our methodological review of infidelity studies, provides a substantive review of the research findings on infidelity in committed relationships. The aim of this article is to present the most conclusive findings available to both researcher and practitioner on the subject of infidelity. We highlight attitudes toward infidelity; prevalence data; types of infidelity; gender dynamics and infidelity; issues in the primary relationship and their relationship to infidelity; race, culture, and infidelity; education, income, employment, and infidelity; justifications for infidelity; individual issues and their relationship to infidelity; same-sex couples and infidelity; attachment and infidelity; opportunity and infidelity; the aftermath and recovery process from infidelity; and clinical practices.
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In two separate experiments, the role of both sociosexuality (Simpson & Gangestad, 1991) and gender in moderating individuals' tendencies to pursue extradyadic relationships was examined. Unmarried subjects, predominantly Anglo and Hispanic, reportedly in exclusive dating relationships were presented with opportunities to become involved in a romantic relationship across a variety of situations. Their willingness to disregard both their own involved relationship status as well as their potential partner's current relationship status was assessed. Across experiments, individuals with an unrestricted sociosexual orientation indicated a greater willingness to pursue extradyadic involvement as evidenced by both self-report (Experiments 1 and 2) and behavioral (Experiment 2) measures. Further, on self-report measures, men indicated a greater willingness than did women to pursue extradyadic involvement. Gender differences disappeared on the behavioral measure. Finally, across experiments, subjects were less likely to pursue potential partners who were described as currently involved (versus uninvolved). This latter factor failed to interact with either sociosexuality or gender. Results are discussed from both evolutionary and cultural-contingency perspectives. Implications for practitioners are also presented.
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This investigation of the social psychological and demographic variables associated with extramarital sexual and erotic involvement was carried out on a heterogeneous sample of 250 subjects. About one-quarter of the men and one-fifth of the women reported extramarital coital experience during the past year. The results indicate that subjects with higher educational backgrounds and no church attendance are relatively more involved in extramarital relations. Determinants of extramarital sexual and erotic behavior appear to be quite similar for both sexes.
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Single individuals typically have higher testosterone compared to those who are partnered, suggesting that individual differences in testosterone are associated with mating effort, or people's motivation to find a sexual partner. However, there is less consistent evidence for links between testosterone and sociosexuality, or people's orientation toward uncommitted sexual activity. Based on Penke and Asendorpf's (2008) conceptualization, we propose that a more nuanced measure of sociosexuality may reveal more robust associations with testosterone. In the current study, we assessed relations between three components of sociosexuality--desire, behavior, and attitudes--and endogenous testosterone levels in men and women. We found that partnered status was indeed associated with lower testosterone in both men and women, but only among those who reported more restricted sociosexuality. Partnered men who reported greater desire for uncommitted sexual activity had testosterone levels that were comparable to those of single men; partnered women who reported more frequent uncommitted sexual behavior had testosterone levels that were comparable to those of single women. These findings provide new evidence that people's orientations toward sexual relationships, in combination with their relationship status, are associated with individual differences in testosterone. The current results are also among the first to demonstrate sociosexuality-testosterone associations in both men and women, and they reveal that the nature of these associations varies by gender. Together, these findings highlight the utility of a multifaceted conceptualization of sociosexuality and the implications of this conceptualization for neuroendocrine processes.
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A review of psychoanalytic thinking on perversions is offered and brought up to date with an outline of Kohut's concept of perversions representing sexualization of narcissistic configurations. An emphasis is made on the sexualization of the affects to underscore the structural defect in perverse behaviour. Broad constructions directed to the disavowal of feelings are considered most meaningful in analytic treatment of individuals suffering from sexual perversions.
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This article, a follow-up on our methodological review of infidelity studies, provides a substantive review of the research findings on infidelity in committed relationships. The aim of this article is to present the most conclusive findings available to both researcher and practitioner on the subject of infidelity. We highlight attitudes toward infidelity; prevalence data; types of infidelity; gender dynamics and infidelity; issues in the primary relationship and their relationship to infidelity; race, culture, and infidelity; education, income, employment, and infidelity; justifications for infidelity; individual issues and their relationship to infidelity; same-sex couples and infidelity; attachment and infidelity; opportunity and infidelity; the aftermath and recovery process from infidelity; and clinical practices.
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The authors propose that gender-differentiated patterns of jealousy in response to sexual and emotional infidelity are engendered by the differential impact of each event on self-esteem for men and women. Study 1 demonstrated that men derive relatively more self-esteem from their sex lives, whereas women's self-esteem is more contingent on romantic commitment. Based on terror management theory, it is predicted that if gender-differentiated responses to infidelity are motivated by gender-specific contingencies for self-esteem, they should be intensified following reminders of mortality. In Study 2, mortality salience (MS) increased distress in response to sexual infidelity for men and emotional infidelity for women. Study 3 demonstrated that following MS, men who place high value on sex in romantic relationships exhibited greater distress in response to sexual infidelity, but low-ex-value men's distress was attenuated. The authors discuss the implications for evolutionary and self-esteem-based accounts of jealousy as well as possible integration of these perspectives.