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The Monogamy GapMen, Love, and the Reality of Cheating$
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Eric Anderson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199777921

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199777921.001.0001

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The Monogamy Gap

The Monogamy Gap

(p.104) 9 The Monogamy Gap
The Monogamy Gap

Eric Anderson

Oxford University Press

This chapter explicates and applies cognitive dissonance theory to monogamy, examining how humans behave when they want something they don’t want. It then elucidates how men think, feel and behave once they recognize this dissonance before seeking biological evidence which supports human beings being hardwired into this very troublesome dissonance. This is described as monogamism. The chapter explains that monogamism carries serious implications for these participants, because those inclined to resolve the tension of the monogamy gap seek to conform to the hegemonic ideal of monogamy, and control their biological sexual urges; reifying, naturalizing, and shoring up monogamy’s dominance in the process. When the monogamy gap gets too great, most participants creatively, shamefully and secretly rectify the tension of the monogamy gap through clandestine cheating.

Keywords:   cognitive dissonance theory, monogamism, dyadic dissonance, monogamy gap

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