Future of Monogamy Debate on CBC

On Valentine’s day, the CBC radio program Q, with Jian Ghomeshi, hosted a debate on the future of monogamy, as part of their Modern Love series. The debate featured New York University professor Judith Stacey, and W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project. This segment continues the recent trend of increasing media coverage of non-monogamy, and at the end of the segment, Ghomeshi implied that this would not be the last coverage of this topic on Q.
The majority of the debate focused on Wilcox’s belief that an increasing number of North American’s believe in the benefits of fidelity in their relationships, and that non-monogamy is really a marginal, fringe issue that does not even deserve a discussion. On the flip side, Stacey conveyed a level-headed, logical argument that it should be up to each and every individual to negotiate the terms of their relationship, and that while there is nothing inherently wrong with monogamy, that an open relationship is also a valid choice.

Stacey also took issue with Wilcox’s definition of fidelity, stressing that honesty in a relationship is key, not sexual exclusivity. Wilcox, unfortunately, was not willing to directly address almost any of the points that Stacey or Ghomeshi raised, but instead continuously repeated talking points that included lumping in polygamy with polyamory, and asserting that children are inherently more vulnerable to abuse if their parents are in open relationships.

Ultimately, Ghomeshi did his best to get to the heart of the matter, and Stacey did an admirable job defending her position.