Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Non-Traditional Couples

Despite the salacious title and subtitle, Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them, is actually a very balanced, fair, and honest look at the complex role female sexuality plays in our culture and men’s reactions to it.

Research David Ley has provided a very broad study of what is traditionally known as cuckoldry, from historical, biological, evolutionary, and social frameworks.  These are a great many categories to marshal, but Ley manages to give us a view into each with great skill.

His overriding message may be that this phenomenon is far more complex than we envision.  There are interlocking issues of female sexuality and choice, male power, control, and lack of control, and a mix of complex drives which make heterosexual couples make non-traditional sexual choices.

He is also very correct in pointing out that non-traditional couple arrangements are usually denounced from a social or religious outlook, and not from the evidence of scientific studies.  This book aptly shows how hard science must work to break free of our taboos and prejudices.   

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