Navigation Links
His or hers jealousy? Study offers new explanation for sex differences in jealousy
Date:1/26/2010

When South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford was caught red-handed returning from a tryst with his Argentine mistress last June, he told the Associated Press that he had met his "soul mate." His choice of words seemed to suggest that having a deep emotional and spiritual connection with Maria Belen Chapur somehow made his sexual infidelity to his wife Jenny Sanford less tawdry.

What the two-timing governor didn't understand is that most women view emotional infidelity as worse, not better, than sexual betrayal. This may explain why Hillary Clinton stayed with Bill Clinton and seemed unconcerned about his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky. Research has documented that most men become much more jealous about sexual infidelity than they do about emotional infidelity. Women are the opposite, and this is true all over the world. The prevailing theory is that the difference has evolutionary origins: Men learned over eons to be hyper-vigilant about sex because they can never be absolutely certain they are the father of a child, while women are much more concerned about having a partner who is committed to raising a family.

New research now suggests an alternative explanation. The new study does not question the fundamental gender difference regarding jealousyindeed it adds additional support for that difference. But the new science suggests that the difference may be rooted more in individual differences in personality that result from one's relationship history but that can fall along gender lines.

Pennsylvania State University psychological scientists Kenneth Levy and Kristen Kelly doubted the prevailing evolutionary explanation because there is a conspicuous subset of men who like most women find emotional betrayal more distressing than sexual infidelity. Why would this be? The researchers suspected that it might have to do with trust and emotional attachment. Some peoplemen and women alikeare more secure in their attachments to others, while others tend to be more dismissive of the need for close attachment relationships. Psychologists see this compulsive self-reliance as a defensive strategyprotection against deep-seated feelings of vulnerability. Levy and Kelly hypothesized that these individuals would tend to be concerned with the sexual aspects of relationships rather than emotional intimacy.

Similar to earlier studies examining sex differences in jealousy, Levy and Kelly asked men and women which they would find more distressingsexual infidelity or emotional infidelity. Participants also completed additional assessments including a standard and well validated measure of attachment style in romantic relationships.

Findings confirmed the scientists' hypotheses. As Levy & Kelly report in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, those with a dismissing attachment style who prize their autonomy in relationships over commitmentwere much more upset about sexual infidelity than emotional infidelity. And conversely, those securely attached in relationshipsincluding securely attached menwere much more likely to find emotional betrayal more upsetting.

The scientists state that these findings imply that the psychological and cultural-environmental mechanisms underlying sex differences in jealousy may have greater roles than previously recognized and suggest that jealousy is more multiply determined than previously hypothesized.

Additionally, placing jealousy within an attachment theoretical perspective, highlights the value of a taking a more nuanced approach relative to earlier research, points to new research possibilities, and suggests that promoting secure attachment may be an effective means of reducing the kind of sexual jealousy that contributes to domestic violence.


'/>"/>

Contact: Catherine Allen-West
cwest@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
3. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
4. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
7. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
8. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
9. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
10. Pitt study finds inequality in tobacco advertising
11. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new ... the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... with the American Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer ... to seniors and other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... at the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, ... journal articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic ... Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP ... that have already resulted in more than a million dollars of capital investment ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Today, MTI-GlobalStem, a provider ... and other difficult to transfect cells, announces its launch of the PluriQ™ G9™ ... Editing System is a complete system for culturing and transfecting human pluripotent ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ALEXANDRIA, Va. , June 24, 2016 ... a set of recommendations that would allow ... information (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage ... determine the "value" of new medicines. The ... that does not appear on the drug label, a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung ... ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are ... labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like ... any needed testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), ... (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) ... MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for the forecast ... to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: