Defining Concepts and New Directions: A Commentary on “The Fewer the Merrier?: Assessing Stigma Surrounding Nonnormative Romantic Relationships”

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Abstract

Conley and colleagues’ recent article identifying consensual nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships as stigmatized in American society made a significant contribution to the domain of relationships research. However, definitions and operationalizations of monogamous and consensual nonmonogamous relationships in their research left us with questions about the generalizability of the conclusions and with ambiguity about the specific policies they view as in need of modification in order to accommodate CNM relationships. While “The Fewer the Merrier” does shed some light on an understudied population, in order for significant advances to be made in understanding the public policy needs of the CNM group it is important to be specific about which groups are being discussed.

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