Amatonormativity

Amatonormativity is the assumption that a central, exclusive, amorous relationship is normal for humans, in that it is a universally shared goal, and that such a relationship is normative, in the sense that it should be aimed at in preference to other relationship types.

Amatonormativity is problematic because it marginalizes people who are aromantic and or asexual. Aromantic people don’t experience romantic attraction, or experience very little romantic attraction. Likewise, asexual people experience no or very little sexual attraction.

Amatonormativity also has the effect of marginalizing non-monogamous or polyamorous people. We can look at amatonormativity as a tenet of heteronormativity.

An example of how amatonormativity manifests is in the way society values married relationships (between two people) above all other relationships, as if marriage is inherently more moral or sacred than other relationships, or remaining unmarried. According to Brake, we violate amatonormativity when we do things like “dining alone by choice, putting friendship above romance, bringing a friend to a formal event or attending alone, cohabiting with friends, or not searching for romance.” – SF

Image by Michelle Avenant

Image by Michelle Avenant

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