ALTERNATIVE SOCIOLOGY FOR ALTERNATIVE LIFE STYLES: A METHODOLOGICAL CRITIQUE OF STUDIES OF SWINGING

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Abstract:

A systematic examination of studies of couples who openly exchange sexual partners shows that the consistent claims by researchers that such practices have positive consequences for the marriage, and for each individual partner, are based more on the researchers' biases than on sound empirical evidence. This paper questions both the theoretical premises and the research techniques used by students of swinging to arrive at their conclusions, and suggests a theoretical framework and a research methodology that will allow the emergence of both positive and negative consequences of alternative life styles. To make this possible, techniques are proposed that permit the researcher to find consequences based on the point of view of the participants and on the basis of observations made independently of the subjects' perception of their own reality. It is also recommended that such studies can only be properly carried out using a longitudinal approach and carefully selected control groups.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1980.8.2.137

Publication date: January 1, 1980

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