Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 120–130 | Cite as

Sexual mate-swapping: A comparison of “normal” and “clinical” populations

  • Linda A. Chernus
CSWJ Forum
  • 45 Downloads

Abstract

While the results of research by sociologists and psychologists indicate that sexual mate-swapping is not a pathological behavior, psychodynamic considerations suggest that mate-swappers may have had difficulty adequately completing the developmental tasks of adolescence. Large scale surveys support this speculation in that mateswappers recall more unhappy childhood experiences and extremes of either parental overprotectiveness or neglect than do matched populations of non-mate-swappers. The researcher hypothesized that mate-swapping may represent an attempted “solution” to long standing individual and/or marital problems resulting from these earlier difficulties. An exploratory study of six mate-swapping couples in marital therapy supported the researcher's speculation that mate-swapping among a “client” population should be viewed from both a sociological and psychodynamic perspective. Further studies are needed to ascertain to what extent individual personality factors influence the choice of mate-swapping among the general, non-client population.

Keywords

Exploratory Study Personality Factor Childhood Experience Individual Personality Large Scale Survey 

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda A. Chernus
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry Central Psychiatric ClinicUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnati

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