Date of Conferral







Chet Lesniak


Research on male gay relationships spans more than 50 years, and the focus of most of this research has been on understanding the development processes, consequences, and risk factors of nonmonogamous relationships. Few researchers have explored the nature and meaning of monogamy in the male gay community. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to explore the lived experience of monogamy to give voice to other expressions of gay male relationships and potentially add to the literature surrounding clinical implications of treatment. The framework for developing the research emerged from the construct of the monogamy gap, derived from theories of cultural hegemony and cognitive dissonance. Giorgi’s phenomenological approach was used to explore 2 primary research questions: (a) What is the experience of monogamy in gay male relationships? and (b) What is the experience of the monogamy gap for men in gay relationships? Interviews were conducted with 6 adult men who reported being monogamous for at least 12 months. The results revealed that the experience of monogamy is not as portrayed in typical research and literature. Key themes that emerged were family of origin, societal expectations, infidelity versus monogamy, and communications of expectations related to monogamy. The discussion of social change centers on medical, mental, and personal well-being of this target group, and sharing the results of this study to inform researchers, clinicians, and those working with marginalized gay adult men.