Say “Yes” to Multi-Lover Relationship? College Students’ Attitude toward “The Third Party” and Its Factors
本研究以愛情關係中的「第三者」為焦點，探討台灣年輕世代對於「三人愛情」的態度。根據「去傳統化」的觀點，本研究假設愛情價值觀和風險因素影響個人對於「第三者」角色的認可程度，並檢視性別之間的差異。本文的分析資料取自東吳大學社會學系的「新世代研究」計畫於 2016 年執行的「愛情與婚姻」主題調查，有效樣本數為1,200。本研究有三個主要發現：（一）大學生對於「第三者」角色的認可程度偏低；（二）「去傳統化」的愛情價值觀有助於提升大學生對於「第三者」角色的認可程度；（三）風險因素對於「第三者」的看法有負面的影響，但主要發生於女性群體。這些研究結果顯示台灣年輕世代認同的愛情模式仍是一對一的單一伴侶制，對於「第三者」共同存在的「三人愛情」的接受程度低。但從大學生的愛情價值觀部分已出現「匯流愛」的跡象來看，現代社會的愛情關係可能不斷朝開放而且多元的方向發展。最後，我們針對本研究在理論、方法及實務方面的應用與限制提出討論與建議。
This study focuses on "the third party" in love relationships to explore young generation's attitudes toward "multi-lover relationship" in Taiwan. From the perspective of de-traditionalized, love values and risk factors related to one's situation in mate selection are considered as two important aspects that affect personal attitude toward the role of third party. We hypothesize that (1) identification with confluence love is positively associated with the recognition of the role of third party, (2) risk factors are negatively associated with the recognition of the role of third party, and (3) risk factors have a greater impact on women than men. The empirical data used to examine the hypotheses is derived from the "New Generation Survey Research", a longitudinal trend research project conducted by Department of Sociology, Soochow University. The project launched in 2016 uses a multi-stage stratified cluster random sampling method to select college students in Taipei, and collects their reports on social values, self-evaluation, and life experience through questionnaire surveys. The data analyzed in the current study is from the survey conducted on the theme "love and marriage" in 2016. The sample size is 1,200. Since the focus of the data analyses is to compare the relationship between gender and the two types of influencing factors, hierarchical regression analyses are employed. This research has some main findings. First, college students have a low degree of recognition of the role of "third party", which implies they tend to deny the legitimacy of the multi-lover relationship. These results are certainly related to the inherent culture of Taiwanese society that values the family, and may also be caused by our comprehensive measurement methods. Secondly, the de-traditionalized love values such as Giddens' "confluence love" can help promote college students' recognition of third party roles. We have also found college students tend to agree with the relationship pattern of "confluence love". This indicates that how people evaluate the role of third party is closely related to one's imagination of idealized love and marriage. Therefore, once "convergent love" becomes the mainstream value of modern society, love relationships will no longer be constrained by the one-on-one pattern, and multi-lover relationships are likely to become as common models. Furthermore, we have found that the young generation's recognition of third party is not only affected by the value of love, but also risk factors play an important role. From the two risk factors listed in this study that are related to the personal situation in mate selection, we find that people who are in a relationship and have more considerations for partner's inner and outer traits in mate selection are less likely to accept the role of third party. This means that, in the social context of de-traditionalized, while gaining freedom through self-reflection, individuals also realize that there is no inherent external protection to rely on, and they must bear the risk of failure or loss by themselves. Therefore, when judging third party, most people will evaluate the possible risks of the intervention of third party from their own situation, and use this as a strategy to survive. It seems that risk perception and assessment are important factors that affect the young generations' attitudes and behaviors toward love. Furthermore, the young generation's recognition of third party role and its factors are different for men and women. In comparison, women have a lower degree of recognition and are more susceptible to risk factors than men. However, this study has some measurement and reasoning limitations. Readers must pay special attention when referring to or applying the above research results.