Daily Health Headlines

Straight Men More Prone to Jealousy Over Sexual Infidelity: Study

👤by Kathleen Doheny 0 comments 🕔Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A woman may have the reputation of turning into a green-eyed monster when her man sleeps with someone else, but new research suggests a man gets even more jealous in the same scenario.

In a poll of nearly 64,000 Americans, sexual infidelity was most upsetting to men in heterosexual relationships, said study author David Frederick, an assistant professor of psychology at Chapman University in Orange, Calif.

"Men [in heterosexual couples] are more upset by sexual infidelity than women are," he said. "Women are more likely to be upset by emotional infidelity."

For the study, Frederick defined sexual infidelity as a partner having sex with another person but not being in love with them. He defined emotional infidelity as a partner falling in love with someone else but not having sex with them.

The men and women in the study, aged 18 to 65, but mostly in their late 30s, answered an online poll in 2007. Participants identified themselves as heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual. All were given a "what if" scenario. They were told to imagine their partner had strayed sexually or strayed emotionally, and to tell if they would be upset.

Men in the heterosexual relationships really stood out from all the others, Frederick said, as they were the only group to be more upset by sexual infidelity than emotional betrayal.

Frederick said researchers have debated for years whether men and women differ in their reactions to infidelity.

Those who think that heterosexual men are most upset by sexual infidelity, as Frederick found, point to an evolutionary root for that rage.

According to that theory, men are more upset by sexual infidelity because they can't be sure a child their partner may later produce is theirs. Women are more upset by emotional infidelity, so the theory goes, because they would fear abandonment and loss of resources if the partner funnels them to the new love. They don't, of course, have to wonder about a child being theirs.

In the study, 54 percent of the heterosexual men were most upset by sexual infidelity, but only 35 percent of the heterosexual women were. Among heterosexual women, 65 percent said they would be most upset by emotional infidelity, compared to 46 percent of the heterosexual men.

For all other groups, Frederick found, only about 30 percent said sexual infidelity would be most upsetting.

Ironically, according to studies cited by Frederick, about 34 percent of men, but only 24 percent of women, have engaged in extramarital sexual activity.

The study, while interesting, has some built-in limitations, said Gregory White, a professor of psychology at National University in San Diego, who has researched jealousy and written a book on the topic.

A better scenario, he said, would have been to have people report on their actual experiences while they were jealous due to infidelity, but he acknowledges that is very expensive and time-consuming. Still, the "what-if" scenario may not actually reflect how they would feel if the event happened, White said.

"When you ask people what they think they would do, they are drawing on all their beliefs about themselves and past experiences," he said.

How jealous a person is, White said, can be affected by early experiences. "There is a kind of jealousy one gets when you have been burned, especially in the late teens to early 20s," he said. That can be hard to shake in future relationships, White noted.

It's normal, however, for everyone to feel a twinge of jealousy now and then, especially when they wonder if their relationship is threatened or they're feeling whatever happened to trigger the jealousy is lowering their self-esteem, White said.

Article Credits / Source

Kathleen Doheny / HealthDay

Kathleen Doheny wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: David Frederick, Ph.D., assistant professor, psychology, Chapman University, Orange, Calif.; Gregory White, Ph.D., professor, psychology, National University, San Diego; December 2014, Archives of Sexual Behavior, online

View More Articles From Kathleen Doheny 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Sexual Health Articles

Injections Might Help Prevent Genital Herpes Transmission for Months: Study

Injections Might Help Prevent Genital Herpes Transmission for Months: Study0

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Three injections of a therapeutic vaccine may control genital herpes as effectively as daily pills for at least a year, a new study suggests. Researchers tested the experimental vaccine in 310 people ...

Genital Warts in Women (HPV)

Genital Warts in Women (HPV)0

Genital warts definition and facts Genital warts are caused by infection with a subgroup of the human papillomaviruses (HPVs). Another subgroup of the HPVs that infect the anogenital tract can lead to precancerous changes in the ...

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis0

Trichomoniasis facts* *Trichomoniasis facts Medically Edited by: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or sexually transmitted  infection (STI) caused by a parasite. Trichomonas ...

Male Birth Control in a Shot: Promising, But More Work Needed

Male Birth Control in a Shot: Promising, But More Work Needed0

THURSDAY, Oct. 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A birth control shot for men shows some promise, but researchers are still struggling to improve its effectiveness and deal with severe side effects caused by the injections. Only four pregnancies ...

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Hit All-Time High: CDC

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Hit All-Time High: CDC0

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases reached a record high in the United States in 2015, federal officials reported Wednesday. There were more than 1.5 million chlamydia cases, nearly 400,000 ...

View More Sexual Health Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!