Study finds two-thirds of men are “not opposed” to an open relationship

It seems that monogamy is starting to become an antiquated social norm, at least for adult millennials.

This might not surprise you if you’ve unwittingly been in an open relationship before (perhaps a one-sided one.)

But for those of you in shock, yes. At least that’s what this study conducted by legal giant Avvo says.

For their 2015 annual Relationship, Marriage, and Divorce Survey on College-Aged and Post-College-Aged Americans, Avvo asked approximately 2,000 US adults aged 18 and above about their views on lifestyle and dating.

What they found was this:

morally opposed

source: Avvo

It seems that more than half of adults (57%) at the age of 24 to 32 are now open to being in relationships with more than one person at the same time.


51% of the 18 to 23 age bracket also agree, while only 44% of those 33 and up think the same.

As to why?

University of Washington sociologist and sexologist Dr. Pepper Schwartz shared the following:

“When we’re young and out in the world on our own for the first time, we’re more apt to experiment with our romantic relationships and be open to new experiences when it comes to love and sex.

“As this generation ages, it will be interesting to see if their views will evolve to accept open relationships less, or if they will continue to accept the idea of open relationships as they marry.”

This makes sense, considering that young millennials now have plenty of access to, well, literally everything. And this applies to dating as well.

With social media and dating apps, you can have access to thousands of prospective partners in your city and millions more worldwide.

With this kind of access, you can have as many romantic options as you have movies on Netflix. And this is probably why people are not opposed to open relationships like they used to.

Men consider open relationships more than women

In the same study, they found out that about half of American men (55%) are not really strongly opposed to being in open relationships. Women, on the other hand, are less inclined. As 62% of women in the US are opposed to the idea.

source: Avvo Research

But it’s not because men are dissatisfied

Ironically, it’s not the desire for more satisfaction that has men wanting to be in open relationships. In fact, 94% of men claim to be satisfied with their current monogamous relationships.

And yet, they found that 20% of them still cheat.

If so, why are men open to the idea of an open relationship?

It’s probably the idea itself.

Dr. Pepper Schwartz adds:

“I think many Americans like to think of themselves as liberal and sexually adventurous. It might sound sexy to have an open relationship, especially to young people.”

But would you consider being in an open relationship yourself?

Is monogamy human nature or is it simply a construct we’ve been used to for ages?


Dr. Schwartz believes the former:

“The fact is most human beings are territorial, they don’t like sharing, and they especially don’t like sharing someone they are in love with.

“Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, and I have interviewed people who believe their open relationships are working out. But I think most men and women would find a sexually open relationship hard on their ego, and hard on their relationship.”

There are many reasons why people do not like the idea of being in an open relationship. The major reason is that it’s simply an alien idea to us. We have always nurtured the idea of finding that one life partner.

However, it is really down to personal choice. Whatever works for most people might not always work for you.

And for a generation with so much access to everything, and having raised to feel some heavy sense of entitlement, it’s no wonder why a lot of young millennial are more liberated.

So the question boils down to – would you consider being in an open relationship?

Now that you’ve read about gender perceptions of open relationships, check out our recent article on how to make your long-distance relationship work.


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Written by Genefe Navilon

Genefe Navilon is a writer, poet, and blogger. She graduated with a degree in Mass Communications at the University of San Jose Recoletos. Her poetry blog, Letters To The Sea, currently has 18,000 followers. Her work has been published in different websites and poetry book anthologies. She divides her time between traveling, writing, and working on her debut poetry book.

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