Straight in a gay world
Imagine living in a parallel universe where everything was exactly the same as the universe we live in except that the socially accepted norm for marriage was homosexuality. Imagine that heterosexual marriage was frowned upon, and that the current civil rights movement involved trying to achieve marriage equality not for homosexuals but for heterosexuals. If you are among the very few who have homosexual tendencies, you might feel comfortable living in such a universe. If you are like the majority of people, though, you’d find that being a straight person living in a gay world would be very uncomfortable.
One could argue that heterosexuality is “normal” and that homosexuality is “abnormal,” since fewer than 10% of people are strictly homosexual and only about one third of people admit to being not exclusively heterosexual. One could argue that society’s preference for heterosexual marriage and its disdain or fear of homosexual marriage merely reflect the natural proclivities of the majority of the population. Equal rights aside, that seems like a perfectly reasonable and perfectly defensible position. The problem comes, however, when we apply the same reasoning to society’s preference for monogamy.
I read a fascinating blog post that stated that according to a recent study published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, over two thirds of females and three fourths of males indicated that they would pursue a clandestine affair if they were assured they would never be discovered. In other words, about two thirds of people are exclusively heterosexual, and about two thirds of people have desires for non-monogamy. Yet society has established different norms for each group. For sexual orientation, society has adopted customs that conform with the majority. For relationship formats, society has adopted customs that only fit with a minority of people’s tendencies.
Polyamory is a better fit for more people than monogamy is. Being romantically attracted to more than one person is “normal” and having only a single life-long love is “abnormal.” As far as polyamory vs monogamy goes, we live in that parallel universe where society has gotten it wrong. We are straight in a gay world.