Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2019

Abstract

Consensual nonmonogamy refers to the variety of ways people partner romantically and/or sexually with multiple others. This study examined the spiritual identities of people who self-identify as consensually and openly partnered with more than one person, as well as if and how these identities changed since childhood. Moreover, to deepen previous transpersonal research that investigated how nonmonogamous paradigms of loving contribute to spiritual development, the study also examined between group differences of whether nonmonogamous sexual behavior and spirituality are emotionally linked. Data were gathered from 484 participants; they were mostly college-educated, Caucasian, bisexual women in their 30s, who were raised in moderately conservative, Judeo-Christian households. The majority self-identified as polyamorous. Between-group differences tests revealed that participants reported lower degrees of religiosity and greater degrees of liberalism since childhood, and a change from more traditional to nonreligious but spiritual values in adulthood. Data also suggested that pagan spiritualities may provide more supportive philosophical and spiritual frameworks that normalize and validate nonmonogamous behavior, nonheterosexual interests, sexual desire, and the sacredness of sexuality. Clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

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