Original article:

Sex differences in jealousy in response to actual infidelity

Evolutionary Psychology 4: 462-470 John E. Edlund, Department of Psychology, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL 60115, jedlund@niu.eduJeremy D. Heider, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches TX, 75961. Cory R. Scherer, Denison University, Granville, Ohio 43023Maria-Magdalena Farc, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL 60115Brad J. Sagarin, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL 60115

Abstract

The present studies address two criticisms of the theory of evolved sex differences in jealousy: (a) that the sex difference in jealousy emerges only in response to hypothetical infidelity scenarios, and (b) that the sex difference emerges only using forced-choice measures. In two separate studies, one a paper-and-pencil survey with a student sample and the other a web-based survey targeting a non-student sample, men and women showed significant sex differences in jealousy in response to actual infidelity experiences; men experienced more jealousy in response to the sexual aspects of an actual infidelity, whereas women experienced more jealousy in response to the emotional aspects of the infidelity. Sex differences emerged using both continuous measures of jealousy as well as the traditional forced-choice measure. Overall, our results demonstrate that sex differences in jealousy are not limited to responses to hypothetical infidelity scenarios; they also emerge in response to actual infidelity experiences.

Keywords

Infidelity, jealousy, sex differences.

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Evolutionary Psychology - An open access peer-reviewed journal - ISSN 1474-7049 © Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young; individual articles © the author(s)
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