Effects of Sex, Sexual Orientation, Infidelity Expectations, and Love on Distress related to Emotional and Sexual Infidelity
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of participant sex, sexual orientation, infidelity expectations, and love on emotional responses to emotional and sexual infidelity. Participants (72 lesbian women, 114 heterosexual women, 53 gay men, and 57 heterosexual men) completed a demographic form, continuous emotion ratings in response to hypothetical infidelity scenarios, the Infidelity Expectations Questionnaire (IEQ), and the Triangular Love Scale. Sex, sexual orientation, and commitment and intimacy among partners were significant predictors of various emotional responses to sexual and emotional infidelity. Alternatively, passion among partners and expectations about a partner's likelihood of committing infidelity were not significant predictors of emotional reactions to infidelity. Across participants, sexual infidelity elicited more distressing feelings than emotional infidelity. Group differences were also found, with women responding with stronger emotions to emotional and sexual infidelity than men, and heterosexuals rating emotional and sexual infidelity as more emotionally distressing than lesbian and gay individuals. Sex and sexual orientation differences emerged regarding the degree to which specific emotions were reported in response to sexual and emotional infidelity. Clinical implications are offered, including how mental health professionals might use these findings to help clients cope with the negative effects of infidelity on romantic relationships.
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ABSTRACT: The two evolutionary psychological hypotheses that men react more jealous than women to sexual infidelity and women react more jealous than men to emotional infidelity are currently controversial because of apparently inconsistent results. We suggest that these inconsistencies can be resolved when the two hypotheses are evaluated separately and when the underlying cognitive processes are considered. We studied jealousy with forced-choice decisions and emotion ratings in a general population sample of 284 adults aged 20–30 years using six infidelity dilemmas and recordings of reaction times. The sex difference for emotional jealousy existed for decisions under cognitive constraint, was also evident in the decision speed, increased for faster decisions, and was stronger for participants with lower education. No evidence for a sex difference in sexual jealousy was found. Our results support the view of a specific female sensitivity to emotional infidelity that canalizes the development of an adaptive sex difference in emotional jealousy conditional to the sociocultural environment. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.European Journal of Personality 01/2008; 22(1):3 - 30. · 2.44 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Psychotherapy with same-sex couples does not differ markedly from standard couple therapies; this is also true for treating couples facing infidelity. However, same-sex couples often design their relationships differently, without tradition and formal marital contracts to prescribe behavior. Based on clinical experience and the empirical research, this article addresses the differing norms involved in affirmatively treating infidelity in gay and lesbian couples within the framework of integrative behavioral couple therapy (IBCT). Two cases illustrate the process and outcome of IBCT with same-sex couples.Journal of Clinical Psychology 12/2005; 61(11):1429-38. · 2.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sex differences in romantic jealousy have been widely reported in the recent psychological literature. According to this literature, men are more likely than women to report being more distressed at sexual than emotional infidelity. There are two explanations for this difference: an evolutionary psychological and a social cognitive explanation. According to the evolutionary psychological account, men and women exhibit differences in jealousy because they faced different reproductive challenges during human evolution. According to the social cognitive account, men and women exhibit these differences because they have been socialised to believe that attachment and sex are weighted differently by each gender. In this study, 268 participants completed a questionnaire designed to compare predictions based on these two theories. The results are generally consistent with the evolutionary account. Men are more distressed by sexual infidelity than by emotional infidelity, and this is not accounted for by beliefs about jealousy that they hold about men, women or themselves. According to evolutionary theory, human beings have evolved along with other extant species through the processes of natural and sexual selection (Buss, 1999). The process of natural selection leads to the increasing prevalence within a population of herita-ble traits that increase individual survival and the probability of these traits being passed on to the next generation. The process of sexual selection leads to the increasing prevalence of traits that are successful in intrasexual competition for mates and/or are preferred by the opposite sex for mating purposes (Trivers, 1972). Sexual selection theory was origin-ally proposed by Darwin as a process to explain apparently nonadaptive traits, such as the male peacock's tail, which makes it more visible to predators (Mayr, 1972). Darwin observed that, in most species, females drive sexual selection. Dar-win's only explanation for this phenomenon was that females possess a ''sense of beauty'', which guides their choice of males. Trivers (1972) argued that sexual selection was driven by the amount of investment that each of the sexes puts into reproducing and caring for their offspring (parental investment theory). In most mammalian species, males have a high reproductive potential, invest very little in caring for their offspring and, as a result, are less discriminating about who they mate with. Females, on the other hand, invest heavily in reproduction and caring for their offspring and, as a result, are more discrimi-nating in who they mate with. Many of the differences in human male and female psychology associated with mating and reproduction are good candidates for being adaptive traits acquired via sexual selection. The major alternative account of sex differences in human behaviour is provided by social cognitive theories (e.g., Bussey & Bandura, 1999; DeSteno & Salovey, 1996; Harris & Christenfeld, 1996). Ac-cording to the social cognitive view, sex differences in human behaviour are due to the influence of socialisation into masculine and feminine roles, and the understanding that governs the enacting of these roles is described in terms of knowledge structures, such as schemas, scripts and beliefs. Importantly, the proximal determinant of sex-typed behaviour is the person's socially acquired, gender-based belief sys-tem.Australian Journal of Psychology 01/2004; 56(3). · 1.08 Impact Factor