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Interest in consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships has been increasing in the general population in recent years. However, given the cultural dominance of monogamy and the normative expectations often imposed through socialization (i.e., mononormativity), people in CNM relationships may experience negativity, which can become internalized and harm their individual and relationship health. The present study investigated if mononormativity beliefs and CNM relationship stigma were associated with more dehumanization and if internalized CNM negativity was an underlying mechanism for these associations. Results showed that participants who endorsed more mononormative beliefs and CNM relationship stigma also reported more internalized CNM negativity. In turn, participants who experienced more internalized CNM negativity attributed more negative (vs. positive) emotions to themselves and treated their partners as more immature, unrefined, exploitable, and emotionless. These results show that mononormativity and internalized negativity can shape the attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors of CNM individuals toward themselves and their partners.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Archives of Sexual Behavior, volume 53, in 2024 following peer review. The final publication may differ and is available at Springer via

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