Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 817–836 | Cite as

Mononormativity, Polypride, and the “Mono–Poly Wars”

  • Jorge N. FerrerEmail author
Original Paper


Both in everyday life and scholarly discourse, monogamists and polyamorists tend to unfavorably portray one another as somehow flawed, misguided, or, in a word, “inferior.” This article documents and critically examines two pairs of interlocked psychosocial attitudes—monopride/polyphobia and polypride/monophobia—mediating this predicament of mutual competition in the context of Western mononormative culture. The ideological nature of these “mono–poly wars” is demonstrated through a brief review of empirical literature on the psychological health and relationship quality of monogamous and polyamorous individuals and couples. The article concludes by outlining a critical pluralist approach that eschews universalizing hierarchies between monogamy and polyamory, and provides tools for making qualitative distinctions within and among relational styles.


Monogamy Polyamory Nonmonogamy Mononormativity Polyphobia Polypride Critical pluralism 




Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights Statement

Being theoretical in nature, the article does not involve research with human participants or animals.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California Institute of Integral StudiesSan FranciscoUSA

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