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Comarital Mate-Sharing and Family Stability

Charles L. Cole and Graham B. Spaniard
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 10, No. 1 (Feb., 1974), pp. 21-31
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3811743
Page Count: 11
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Comarital Mate-Sharing and Family Stability
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Abstract

One particular form of extramarital sexual behavior, mate-swapping or swinging, has received much attention in the popular and social scientific literature recently. One question not yet adequately answered is whether mate-swapping is harmful or helpful to marital and family stability. The hypothesis that mate-swapping is potentially less harmful to the stability of a marriage (and family) than a secret extramarital affair is discussed using two sources of data-several participant observation studies of swingers and survey research involving a stratified area probability sample of 579 married adults in a midwestern community. Infidelity, marital cohesion and family solidarity are examined using both descriptive and survey data. The tentative evidence provided does not suggest that mate-swapping is harmful to marital or family stability.

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