chapter  5
24 Pages

Renaissance of Romanticism in the Era of Increasing Individualism

WithOsmo Kontula, Elina Haavio-Mannila

The renaissance of romanticism implies that there is an increasing need to look for a faithful partner. This chapter examines the social background of people who belong to four fidelity types, namely consistent faithfulness, faithful liberalism, hypocrisy, and consistent unfaithfulness. It argues that an individual's fidelity type is influenced by the following factors such as time of the survey, cultural area, and cohort. Infidelity in practice was measured in the five national sex surveys by using several indicators. Consistent faithfulness became more common for the Finnish cohorts born in the 1960s and later. Faithful liberalism, i.e., not having had affairs during the present steady relationship but accepting them in their own gender group, declined among men in Finland both in 'the generation of sexual restraint' and 'the generation of sexual revolution' from 1971-1990s. The regression analyses showed that consistent fidelity was more common and consistent infidelity less prevalent in the lower socioeconomic groups with low education, income, and occupational status.