PhD Graduate Jenna Valleriani and Professor Adam Green on Marital Monogamy

January 23, 2019 by Nico Golinski

PhD Graduate Jenna Valleriani and Professor Adam Green, in collaboration with Barry Adam (University of Windsor), published an article in the Journal of Marriage & Family. The article discusses the evolution of conceptions of marital monogamy over time and its role as an ideal in marriage today.

Jenna Valleriani obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2017 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use. Her research looks at illegal and legal cannabis markets in Canada. Adam Green is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. His research is situated at the intersection of the sociology of sexuality and medical sociology, and aims to develop theory relevant to both areas.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Green, Adam Isaiah, Jenna Valleriani, and Barry Adam. 2016. "Marital Monogamy as Ideal and Practice: The Detraditionalization Thesis in Contemporary Marriages." Journal of Marriage & Family, 78(2):416-430.

Within the sociological literature on intimate life, a detraditionalization thesis outlines a marked shift in the construction of marriage in post-World War II Western societies, suggesting a growing focus on emotional and sexual satisfaction within the marital dyad (Cherlin, 2004; Giddens, 1992). In this article the authors investigated one aspect of marital relations in light of the detraditionalization thesis: marital monogamy. Drawing from 90 in-depth interviews with both heterosexual and same-sex married participants in Canada, they found that the detraditionalization thesis appears to capture best the extension of multicultural norms to abstract ideals about marital monogamy, rather than an actual shift in marital sexual practices, particularly among heterosexual respondents. These data call out for greater attention to both the social mediation of Giddens's detraditionalization thesis and a more nuanced concept of marital fidelity than a simple binary axis of 'monogamous/nonmonogamous' permits.

Read the full article here.