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Consensual Non-Monogamy

The second objective of my program of research is to examine how characteristics of consensual non-monogamous (CNM) relationships (e.g., open relationships, polyamorous relationships) relate to individual and relationship health.  Using qualitative data collected from young gay and bisexual men in CNM relationships, my previous research suggests that CNM relationships are viable relationship options for many men.  Specifically, young gay and bisexual men in CNM relationships appear to be satisfied with their relationships and partners, and they rate various dimensions of relationship quality, including communication and intimacy, positively.  In order to complete this research, I was awarded the Doug Kirby Adolescent Sexual Health Research Grant from the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention.  Preliminary findings from this study have been presented at the APA and APHA annual conventions and the first of several planned manuscripts is being reviewed by the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 

At present, my program of research is investigating how characteristics of CNM relationship agreements are associated with HIV and STI risk, using the aforementioned qualitative data.  It is hypothesized that gay and bisexual men in CNM relationships will utilize strategies that minimize risk for HIV and STI infection (e.g., condom use).  I am working with my student collaborators in order to conduct these analyses and to co-author a manuscript for publication in AIDS and Behavior. 


Stults, C. B. (revise and resubmit). Young gay and bisexual men in consensual nonmonogamous relationships: Relationship quality and satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

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