Endorsed Research

RAC Endorsement R2017-01 (Metzger) Consensual nonmonogamy, privacy, and social media

The Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities (CARAS) has completed a community and technical review of the protocol, Consensual nonmonogamy, privacy, and social media: Negotiating stigmatized identities in a digital age

The CARAS Research Advisory Committee (RAC) has voted to grant a formal endorsement for the protocol.  The RAC believes that this protocol has scientific/scholarly merit, follows standard ethical procedures and policies, and offers a prospect of benefit to the community being addressed. The benefit to the community is clear, and the documentation of online management of stigmatized identities will have far-reaching implications for a variety of alternative sexualities.

RAC members participating in this review were Richard A. Sprott, Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology (Chair); Emily Prior, M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies; Anne Karcher, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology; Yulia Brockdorf, M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Bert Cutler, Ph.D. in Sexology; and Thomas Peterson, Ph.D. in Religious Studies  

The study will be led by Jade Metzger, a graduate student in Communication Studies at Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan.

Consensual nonmonogamies are “not embraced universally by the general American public” (Graham, 2014, p. 1031) and is seen as counter to a normal romantic relationship, typically understood to be one man, one woman, one relationship. And yet, consensual nonmonogamies have a winding history within the United States, having first been influenced by the 19th century transcendentalist movement and later the sexual revolution in the 1960s. Data suggests consensual nonmonogamies are more common than scholarship might suggest, exist on a spectrum, and in a variety of forms (Rubin & Adams, 1986; Page 2004; Blumstein & Schwartz 1983; Weitzman, 2006, YouGov, 2016). Studies and reports about consensual nonmonogamies are disparate and only recently beginning to emerge from relationship studies on LGBTQ persons with an increased focus towards polyamory (Barker and Langdridge, 2010). Given the stigmatized nature of these relationships and competing needs for privacy and openness, I propose exploring how consensual nonmonogamists manage privacy in both offline and online settings. Using communication privacy management theory (Petronio, 2002) as a framework, interviews will be conducted with 25-35 participants who self-identify as consensual non-monogamists will be conducted using Skype/Google video technology. 

March 28, 2017