MONDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A man is much more likely to continue dating a girlfriend who cheated on him with another woman than a girlfriend who had sex with another man, a new study finds.
However, a woman is more likely to stick with a man who had sex with another woman than a man who had an affair with another man.
The findings provide new insight into the general male desire to have a number of sex partners and the general female desire to have a committed partner, said the researchers at the University of Texas at Austin.
"A robust jealousy mechanism is activated in men and women by different types of cues -- those that threaten paternity in men and those that threaten abandonment in women," study author Jaime C. Confer, a doctoral candidate in evolutionary psychology, said in a university news release.
The study included 700 college students who were asked to imagine they were in a committed relationship and how they would respond to different types of infidelity.
Among men, there was a 50 percent likelihood they would continue to date a girlfriend who had a lesbian affair, and a 22 percent likelihood they would stay with a woman who had a heterosexual affair.
Among women, there was a 28 percent likelihood they would keep dating a boyfriend who had a heterosexual affair, and a 21 percent likelihood they would stay with a man who had a homosexual affair.
The study was published in the January issue of the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
For more on infidelity, go to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: University of Texas at Austin, news release, Jan. 27, 2011
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