Originally Posted by River
One of my bestest friends (I'll call him Sean, though it's not his real name) told me last night that women just aren't well suited for polyamory, that it goes against a woman's basic nature when there is sexual/romantic involvement. He said he thinks women are just biologically driven to be possessive and desire exclusivity in love.
What, dear women friends, would you say to Sean? (I'll point this thread out to him at some point and he can read it.)
I want to take this apart in points.
"women aren't well suited for polyamory"
Aside from need to clairfy or define the terms -- "not well suited" is vague -- we could argue that this may be true in the sense that women face much more societal pressure, surveillance and control around their sexuality and what they do with their bodies. Bluntly, they (we) are often seen as possessions, not as full human beings. This could result in more guilt, misgivings, etc. etc. that would make it harder for women in a polyamorous relationship. Western masculinity has developed in a particular form that prizes sexual prowess. Go figure that a man might have those ideas.
This relates to the second part of what was said because the fact that these distinctions between women and men are socially/culturally constructed and contextual goes against this assertion:
"[polyamory] goes against women's basic nature" and "women are biologically driven..."
These statements are false, or at the very least have no firm scientific basis whatsoever. The empirical data on this is contradictory and overwhelmingly biased, most often based on assumptions by male researchers. There is a wealth of current research that questions these types of generalizations. I would urge you (or anyone) to read people like Anne Fausto-Sterling to get a better view of what science does and does not "know." To be honest, if you look at sexuality research over time (centuries), you will see observations that to us look absurd, but in their day were "truth." See also, Schwartz and Rutter's work on gender and desire.
Generalizations based in biological determinism are seldom ever even close to being "true" or "reality." They are also easy enough to pick apart with examples from around the world that challenge our society's truths, but that would be much too long of an answer.