Mutual monogamy

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Mutual monogamy is a form of monogamy that exists when two partners agree to be sexually active with only one another. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship reduces the risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (STI).[1] It is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STIs.[2][3][4] Those who choose mutual monogamy can be tested before the sexual relationship to be certain they are not infected. This strategy for the prevention of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection requires that each partner remain faithful and does not engage in sexual activity with another partner.[5]

Mutual monogamy differs from serial monogamy which is a current monogamous relationship that has not been established in the past and may not continue into the future. Serial monogamy may not result in the reduced risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection because the past sexual exposures to infection are brought into the new relationship, even though it may be exclusive of other sexual partners. The risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection while in a serial monogamous relationship is the same as the risk of those who have concurrent partners.[6] Those with a greater ability to communicate about their commitment are likely to sustain the relationship.[7] When individuals are mutually monogamous, and are free from STIs/HIV when they enter the relationship, the risk for being infected with STI/HIV acquisition from sexual intercourse is very low.[8] A mutually monogomous relationship lowers the risk of HIV, cervicitis, and other sexually transmitted infections.[9]

A mutual monogomous sexual relationship often includes a pledge to stay with the partner and includes the desire for the relationship to last, a psychological attachment and the lack of being able to find another partner. If these conditions remain a priority for both, the "couple is likely committed and mutually monogamous."[8]

Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STI test lowers the chance of acquiring gonorrhea.[10] It is also effective for lowering the risk of syphilis, chlamydia and pubic lice.[11][12][13][14]

The lack of a more precise definition of mutual monogamy in the literature confounds the ability to statistically assess its effectiveness.[15] Jordan Peterson has suggested that "enforced monogamy" might solve the problem of inceldom.[16]


  1. ^ "Girlfriends' Health". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 22 April 2017.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ "Final Evidence Review: Gonorrhea: Screening - US Preventive Services Task Force". 
  3. ^ "Evidence Synthesis Number 114, Behavioral Sexual Risk Reduction Counseling in Primary Care to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections: An Updated Systematic Evidence Review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force". U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. September 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2017. 
  4. ^ "Pelvic Inflammatory Disease - CDC Fact Sheet". 2017-10-04. Retrieved 2018-01-06. 
  5. ^ "Many Men Choose Monogamy To Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases". Guttmacher. 22 September 2005. 
  6. ^ Norman, Robert A. (25 June 2010). "Preventive Dermatology". Springer Science & Business Media – via Google Books. 
  7. ^ Warren, Jocelyn T.; Harvey, S. Marie; Agnew, Christopher R. (13 December 2017). "One love: explicit monogamy agreements among heterosexual young adult couples at increased risk of sexually transmitted infections". Journal of Sex Research. 49 (2–3): 282–289. CiteSeerX accessible. doi:10.1080/00224499.2010.541952. PMID 21191869. 
  8. ^ a b Towner, Senna L.; Dolcini, M. Margaret; Harper, Gary W. (1 May 2015). "Romantic Relationship Dynamics of Urban African American Adolescents: Patterns of Monogamy, Commitment, and Trust". Youth & Society. 47 (3): 343–373. doi:10.1177/0044118X12462591. PMC 4681523Freely accessible. PMID 26691404. 
  9. ^ "Cervicitis". New York City Health Department. 
  10. ^ "Gonorrhea". Health and Human Services. 17 August 2016.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Syphilis". Health and Human Services. 17 August 2016.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  13. ^ "Chlamydia". Health and Human Services. 17 August 2016.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  14. ^ "Crabs - IDPH". Illinois Department of Health. 
  15. ^ Calsyn, Donald A.; Campbell, Aimee N.; Tross, Susan; Hatch-Maillette, Mary A. (1 September 2011). "Is monogamy or committed relationship status a marker for low sexual risk among men in substance abuse treatment? Clinical and methodological considerations". The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 37 (5): 294–300. doi:10.3109/00952990.2011.596874. PMC 3238678Freely accessible. PMID 21854271. 
  16. ^
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