Title page for ETD etd-04172006-154304

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Vaillancourt, Kourtney Ty
URN etd-04172006-154304
Title Reconstructing the Meaning of Fidelity: A Qualitative Inquiry into Swinging Relationships
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Few-Demo, April L. Committee Chair
Allen, Katherine R. Committee Member
Arditti, Joyce A. Committee Member
DelCampo, Robert Committee Member
Piercy, Fred P. Committee Member
  • marriage
  • sexuality
  • swinging
  • alternative relationships
Date of Defense 2006-04-03
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation used qualitative methods to gain a richer understanding of the dynamics of swinging relationships. Swinging was defined at the onset of the study as sexual activities that married couples engage in with people other than their spouse. Fourteen people (seven couples) volunteered and were interviewed to gain information about what meaning they assign to their sexual practices, and how they experienced intimacy and power in their relationships. Also included was a distinction between the secrecy and privacy practiced by swingers. Symbolic interactionism and social constructionism provide the theoretical frameworks the study. Computer mediated communication was used to conduct the interviews. Analysis of the data revealed three themes: swinging is only for committed couples, the reinforcement of heteronormative ideals, and a reconstruction of the meaning of fidelity.
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