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But that research was limited to mostly white, heterosexual couples who engaged in swinging for fun, according to Elisabeth Sheff, a legal consultant and former Georgia State University professor, writing in 2011 in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.
That means little is yet known about who participates in consensual nonmonogamy and why.
That wasn't the case among the polyamorous individuals.
In fact, there were no gender differences in rates of sexual and emotional jealousy to be found.
Jealousy & love One thing that seems to unite the polyamorous community is a real enthusiasm for digging into emotions.
In fact, an estimated 4 to 5 percent of Americans are looking outside their relationship for love and sex — with their partner's full permission.
While there are no national statistics on consensual nonmonogamy, University of Michigan psychologist Terri Conley has estimated that about 5 percent of Americans are in one of these types of relationships at any given time.
From the little data collected, scientists know lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals are slightly more likely than heterosexuals to enter nonmonogamous relationships, said Amy Moors, a graduate student in Conley's lab.
[6 Scientific Tips for a Successful Marriage] Examining nonmonogamy The study of consensual nonmonogamy is a relatively new field.
In the 1970s, partner-swapping and swinging (recreational sex outside of a relationship) came into the public eye, and psychologists conducted a few studies.