Faculty of Social and Human Sciences (UNL) Conference System, 1st Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference

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At the crossroads of deviance: Gendered experiences of polyamorous women
Inês Ribeiro, Daniel Santos Cardoso

##manager.scheduler.building##: B Tower
##manager.scheduler.room##: T11
Date: 2015-09-27 02:30 PM – 04:00 PM
Last modified: 2015-08-08


This exploratory study aims to understand the roles that gender plays in the social perceptions and lived experiences of polyamorous women when it comes to their relationships. We have focused our study on Portuguese polyamorous self-identified women, regardless of sexual orientation. We chose to interview only women due to their subaltern role in the context of a contemporary hetero-mono-normative patriarchal society. The theoretical frame used intends to put into relief how a non-normative relationship orientation might contribute to frame these women as social deviants.

The fieldwork was comprised of a short survey, from where qualtitative responses were collected and volunteers for a face-to-face interview were recruited. These women were then interviewed to ascertain their views on how gender impacts their intimate relationships, and the narratives of their experiences of being women and polyamorous.

From these interviews we could better understand a variety of discourses on the roles of gender in the polyamorous lived experiences of the women interviewed, thus refusing a simplistic reading where being a woman leads necessarily to feeling discriminated against. This raises new issues regarding what constitutes, for different respondents, their own feminility, as well as their intersectional positioning in structures of both privilege and discrimination.