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Equity, Normative Disapproval and Extramarital Relationships

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Abstract

This study examined the extent to which inequity, normative disapproval and marital dissatisfaction were related to involvement in extramarital sexual relationships. The study was conducted among 82 married men and 132 married women with a mean age of 41. Of the sample, 30 percent had been involved in extramarital relationships. The results showed that among men as well as women, normative disapproval, and to a lesser extent, relational dissatisfaction were related to the desire to become involved in extramarital sexual relationships and to actual involvement in such relationships. Fear of contracting AIDS was not an important factor in this context. Only among women was inequity associated with extramarital behaviour and inclinations. The effect of inequity was independent of the effects of relational dissatisfaction, sexual dissatisfaction, normative disapproval and exchange orientation.
!+l
EOUITY.
NORMATIVE
DISAPPROVAL
AND
EXTRAMARITAL
RELATIONSHIPS
Karin
S. Prins,
Bram
P. Buunk
U niversity
of
Groningen
Nico
W.
VanYperen
University
of Nijmegan
This
study examined
the
extent to
which inequity,
normatÍve
dis-
approval
and marital dissatisfaction
were
related
to involvement
in
extramarital
sexual relationships.
The
study was
conducted
among
82
married
men
and 132
married
women
with a
mean age
of 41.
Of the
sample,
30
percent
had been
involved
in
erítramarital relationships.
Ïhe
results
showed
that among
men
as well
as women,
normative
disapproval,
and
to a lesser
extent,
relational
dissatisfaction
were
related
to
the desire
to become
involved
in
extramarital
sexual re-
lationships
and to
actual involvement
in such
relationships,
Fear
of
contracting
AIDS
was not
an important
Íactor
in
this context.
Only
among women
was inequity
associated
with
extramarital
behaviour
and inclinations.
The
effect of inequity
was independent
of the
effects
relational
dissatisfaction.
sexual
dissatisfaction,
normative
disap-
proval
and
exchange
orientation.
Although
extramarital
relationships
have
been
observed
rilherever
marriages
existed. historically
the
attitudes
towards
this
behaviour
have
varied
widely.
In
the 1970s,
a number
of authors
advocated
extramarital
relationships
as
part
of
a new
and
'liberated'
lifestyle
and proposed
arrangements
such as group
marriages,
.swinging'
and
sexually
open
marriages
(e.g.
Libby
& Whitehurst,
1973;
Smith &
Smith. 1974).lt
is
generally
assumed
thar during
the past
decade, partially
as a result
of the emergence
of AIDS,
individuals
have
become
more cautious with
regard
to sexual
relationships
outside
their
marriage
and have
become less
inclined
to
engage in
such relationships
(Buunk
& Van
Driel, 1989;
Greeley
et al.,
This rcsearch was
supported
by
the Netherlands
Organization
for
Scientific
Rcsearch
(NWO).
Address
corrcspondcnce
to the authoÍs
at:
Dcpartment
of
psy-
chofogy.
Univcrsity
of
Groningen.
Grote Kruisstraat
2ll.
Groningen.
9712
TS.
Nethcrlands.
tournal
of Social
and Personul
Relationships
(SACE.
London, Newbury
park
and
Ncw
Delhi). Vol.
I0
(
1993).
39-53
Journal
of Social and Personal
Relationships
1990).
However, few studies have examined extramarital
sexual
behaviour since the beginning of the AIDS crisis.
The
present
study aims to contribute
to our understanding
of
the
factors that may lead to involvement in extramarital relationships,
by
focusing
particularly
upon
the relationship between
inequity
in
marriage and extramarital sexual desires and behaviours.
How-
ever,
earlier
research
has shown
that a number of
other variables
are related to extramarital involvement including opportunity
(Gerstel,
1979), a need for
variety (Buunk,
1984),
dissatisfaction
in marriage
(Glass
&
Wright, 1985), feelings
of friendship
(Atwater,
1979), liberal
attitudes
(Maykovich,
1976),
normative
approval in the
reference
group (Buunk,
1980)
and a need
for
autonomy and
freedom
(Knapp
& Whitehurst,
1977). Because
of
the
apparqnt
importance
of other factors than
equity in
fostering
extramarital sexual
behaviour, the
present
study includes
a
number of
variables
as covariates, i.e. the
moral
disapproval
of
extramarital
sex, concern about contracting
AIDS,
relational
and
sexual dissatisfaction
and, finally,
exchange orientation,
a factor
that
has been shown
to moderate the impact
of inequity
(Buunk
&
VanYperen,
l99l).
During the last
l0
years,
many
studies have
emphasized the
importance
of
equity for understanding
processes
in
close relation-
ships.
A central assumption
in equity
theory is that individuals
consider
another
person
with
whom they have
a close relationship
as a relevant
comparison
other, and that
justice
is determined
by
the
proportion
of outcomes
and inputs of
the
person
and the
comparison
other
(Adams,
1965). Hatfield
and her colleagues
were
pioneers
in developing
this approach
in the field
of close
relationships
(e.g.
Hatfield
et al.
,
19t15; Walster
et al., 1973,
l97tt).
Equity
theory supposes
that individuals who
are involved
in an
inequitable
relationship will
feel uneasy
about the relationship
and
become
distressed. This
is the casc for
the overbenefited,
who feel
guilty
because
they receive
more from
the relationship
than their
partner,
as
well
as for
the underbenefited, who
feel
sad, frustrated,
angry
and hurt because
they receive less
than their partner (see
Sprecher, l9tt6).
Not
surprisingly.
the underbenefited
will feel
more
distressed since
they receive fewer
rewards
from the re-
lationship
than the
overbeneÍited.
ln
general,
research
has supporteci the
theoretical predictions
of
Hatfield
and her colleagues.
Perceptions of
inequity
-
in particu-
lar feeling deprivcd,
and to
a
lesser
extent feeling
overbeneÍited
-
Prins
et al.: Equity
and exlramarilal
sex
appear to be accompanied
by a lower
degree of satisfaction in
close relationships
than
perceptions
of equity
(e.g.
Buunk &
VanYperen, 1989;
Hatfield et al., 1985;
Sprecher,
1986). While
most studies do
not offer any
evidence
for
the causal relation
between inequity
and
distress,
in a
recent longittrdinal study,
VanYperen & Buunk
(1990)
found some evidence
that
equity has
an effect upon satisfaction
and not vice
versa. It must be noted,
however,
that various studies
have
shown that
reward level may be
a more important
determinant of satisfaction than equity
(e.g.
Cate
et al., 1982).
Although an
important assumption
in
equity theory is that
indi-
viduals will be motivated to restore equity
(Adams,
1965), few
researchers have
examined this
process
in the context of close
relationships
(for
an exception, see Sprecher,1992.
ln
particular,
little attention has been
paid
to involvement in extramarital
re-
lationships as a
way to restore
equity.
Nevertheless, according to
HatÍield et al.
(1979),
equity theory can
predict quite
clearly how
inequity affects a
person's
readiness
to
engage
in extramarital
sex: the more deprived
individuals
feel
in their marriage, the
more concessions they should expect their
partners
to
make and
the more likely they are to risk engaging in extramarital sex.
This
prediction
is
made
for
three
rather
different
reasons:
(l)
resto-
ration
of
actual
equitv:
the deprived
person
in a relationship may
try to
'get
even'
by
engaging
in
extramarital
sex
(and
may thus
increase his or her own rewards and decrease the rewards of the
spouse by inducing
jealousy);
(2)
leaving the
field,
i.e. temporar-
ily or definitively retreating from the unfair relationship; thus an
extramarital affair may represent
a
disengagement strategy;
(3)
equity-tuith-the-world: when
a
person
is deprived
in
one
relation-
ship, he or she may feel entitled to
seek compensation in supple-
mentary. outside relationships. In
their study, Hatfield et al.
found some evidence
that individuals were indeed more likely
to
have
an extramarital affair if they felt underbenefited in
their
rnarriage.
The
present
study examines the
extent to which inequity in the
marital relationship is related
to involvement in
extramarital re-
lationships. The
first major hypothesis is
that the more a relation-
ship
is
perceived
as inequitable,
the more likely the
partner
is
to
engage in extramarital relationships.
The implication
of this hy-
pothesis,
unlike
Hatfielcl et
al.
(1979),
is that it is also
expected
that the r,,yerbenefited will
be more inclined to
become involved in
4l
,10
Prins
et al-:
Equity
and extamarilal
sex
readily respond
to
dissatisfaction
in their
relationship by
longing
for and
engaging
in extramarital
relationships.
Two
additional
factors
were
examined
in the
present
study.
First, the
role of
marital
dissatisfaction
(including
relationship
satisfaction
as
well as sexual
satisfaction)
as a
factor fostering
extramarital
relationships
was investigated.
One
reason is that
dissatisfaction
with the
marital relationship
has
been
found to be
an important
motive
to engage
in extramarital
affairs
(Buunk
&
Van Driel,
1989). Another
reason
for examining
the role
of mari-
tal
dissatisfaction
is that
it is important
to determine
whether
inequity has
an independent
effect upon
exiramarital
desires
and
behaviours,
as
inequity
and marital dissatisfaction
are closely
related.
Second,
the
present
study
examined
the extent to
which
normative dkapproval
is related to actual
and
desired extramarital
involvement.
This
variable concerns the
general attitude towards
extramarital
relationships,
and refers
to the degree
to which an
individual
disapproves
on
a moral level
of extramarital
relation-
ships. Not
only was the
impact
of
general disapproval examined,
we also ascertained
the extent
to
which disapproval
as the
result of
the risk of
contracting and
spreading
AIDS
plays
a
role in this
regard. It is
particularly important
to assess
whether
normative
disapproval
because of
AIDS is merely
a consequence
of general
disapproval
or is an independent
factor contributing
to actual
and
desired extramarital
behaviour.
Method
Thc suntplt
was
thc
satlrc group
rcported
on
hy
BLruk & VanYperen
(1991,
19Í'19:
studv -l). lt consistcd
of ll2 nren
and 132
womcn,
who were
recruited
by an an-
n()unccnlent
placcd
in a krcul
ncwspapcr in
which they
wcrc
askcd
to
participate in
a
study on
nrarital
rclationships.
Most responclents
we rc marricd
(tt7
pcrcent). ll
pcrccn( wcrc
cohabiting
arrd 2
pcrccnt had rcccntly
bcen divorced
or
bccomc
witiowcd.-I'hc nrcan agc
was.ll ycars
(range:
22-92)
and [i4
pcrccnt had children.
l-cvcl of cducation
varicd
from
only clementary
education
(4
pcrcent) to college
cducation
(7
perccnt);
7.1
perccnt of the tnen and 35
percent of
thc
w<lmen wcre
cmployccl
outsidc
thc
honrc for
20 or morc hours
pcr weck. A
widc
range
of
occupations
was
rcprl:sentctl.
thc samplc. about 30
percent
had actually
becn
involvcd in extramarital
rclationships.
-I'hc
sanrple includcd
ll0 couplcs.
In 47 of
thcsc relationships ncithcr
of thc
partncrs had cxtramarital
affairsl
in
20
of thcm
onc ol thc
partncrs
had
bccn involvcd
in extramarital
rclationshipsl and
in [3 cases
both
Dartncrs
had had cxtrarn:trital
involvcmcnts.
Re
adcrs rcsponding to
thc announccmcnt
rcce ivcd a mailed
qucstionnairc.
'l'hcy
wcre
askctl
t0 complctc it in
priv:rcy itnd trt n0i
discuss it with thcir
partner until it
hacl bccn nrailcd. Aftcr
I wccks.
tton-rcsnondcnts rcceivctl
a rcminder
and
after
4
43
Journal
of Social and
Personal Relationships
sexual relationships
outside their marriage.
Although this
predic-
tion
may seem somewhat far-fetched,
it may be
plausible
for
at
least
two reasons. First,
inequity is a hedonically
aversive
state
that individuals
seek to escape, and that
they
may
hope to avoid
in
a new intimate
relationship.
Second,
it
is
possible
that
overbene-
fited
individuals
justify
their situation by
proving
to themselves
and their
partner
that they are attractive
to the opposite
sex.
The
present
study focuses
upon actual extramarital
relationships
as
well
as
upon the desire
to engage in extramarital
sex. There
are
several reasons
why it is important
to
examine both variables.
First,
when actual involvement
is related
to various
psychological
variables,
it is
difficult to unravel
the direction
of causality
(Buunk,
1980). For
example, when
a relation
is found between
inequity
and the occurrence
of
affairs, it is
unclear whether
this
correlation
means that
inequity leads
to
extramarital involvement
or that
extramarital
affairs induce
inequity
in the marital
relation-
ship. It seems
somewhat
less ambiguous
that
a relation
between
inequity
and desired
extramarital
involvement
would
reflect
the
fact
that
the
perception
of inequity
instills
a desire for
extramarital
affairs. The
second
reason
why it is important
to examine
both
variables
is that while
inequity
may lead
to the desire
to become
involved in
extramarital
relationships,
many
factors,
including
lack
of practical
opportunity
and
the absence
of an alternative partner,
may
prevent
an individual
from
making
this desire
a reality.
Thus,
actual
extralnarital inv<tlvement
may be
a
poor
indicator
of
extra-
marital desires.
Strictly
interpreted,
equity
theory
suggests that
thc
desire
to become
extramaritally
involved would
be
most sensitive
to
inequity.
Several authors
have
called
for more
research
on individual
differences
in
how inequity
is perceived
and
responded
to
(e.g.
HatÍield
et al., l9lt5).
Murstein
and his
colleagues
(e.g.
Mursrein
et al.,
1977) introduccd
the
concept of
exchange
orientatio,t
lo
ref'er to
thc.
personality
disposition
of individuals
who
are
strongly
oriented
to direct reciprocitv.
who
expect
immediate
and
compar-
able rewards
whe
n
thev
have
provideci
rewards
for others
and who
feel uncomfortirble
u,hen
they
receive
favours
that
they
cannot
immediatelv
reciprrocate.
Such an oricntation
scems
to
reflect a
rather rigicl wav
of
pe
rcciving
social
rclationships,
characterized
by
a low dcglee
of
tolcrance
tbr
cven
temporary
imbalances
in the
cxchange ploccss
(Iluunk
& VanYperen.
l99l).
Therefore,
it
is
expected
that individuals
high in
exchange
orientation
will
more
weeks
a second
reminder
prus
a new
questionnaire.
A
totar
of
g4
percent
of
those
responding
to
the
advertisement
completed
the questionnaire.
Two
different
measures
of
equity
were
employed:
Haffield
Global
Measure.
contributions
to
in
intimate
relationship
were
first
described
and
illustrated
and_subsequentry
subjects'
perceptions
of
inequity
were
determined
using
the
Hatfierd
Grobar
Measuie
(Hatfierd
er ar.,
1985j.
a.ks,
'Considering
what
you
p'Jt
into your
re rationship
compared
to
what you
get
out
of
ir
and
whal your
partner
puts-in
compared
to *nai
1s;nË
gets
out
of
it,
how
does your
relationship
"stack
up"?'
Seven possible
unr*"r,
were presented,
varying
írom
(-3)
'My
partner
is
getring
a
m_uch
better
deal'
through
(0i
.we
are uott
getïing
an
equally good
or bad
dea|
ro
(+3)
'I
am ge'ing
a mucli
better
dear
rhan
n'ipu.t,i".,.
In
line
with
the
studies
of
Hatfierd
and
her
associates
(e.g.
Hatfield
"t
ut.,
tess;,
subjects
with
scores
of +r,
+2
or +3
were
considered
to-be
advantag.a;,uui..í,
with
scores
of
-1,
-2
and
-lJ
were
considered
to be
deprived;
andl
score
of
U
defined
the
subjects
*tro perceived
equity.
Equity
Formula
À'reasure.
An
additionar
equity
measure
was
incruded
that
is
based
upon questions
about
positive
contribuiions
to
the
rerationship
by
oneseif
and
one's partner,
and
about
outcomes
for
oneserf
and
one's partner
1+
rtéms)
lsee
cate
et al.'
1982).
Examprcs
arc:
'Ail
things
considered,
how
many pàsitiue
cántri-
hutions
do you
make
t. your
relationship?'
and
.In
general,
how
much
doe. you'
partner
receive
from
your
relationship?'The
degree
of
inequity
*u.
"ut"utut.á-bf
(outcomes
self-inputs
serÍ
)/inputs.serf-
(outcoÀ..
po.,n.r-,nputs
partner)/inputs
partneÍ.'l'his
measure
corrclated
r
=
.31,
p
<
.fi)I,
with
the
Fiatfieltl
Globat
Measure-
on
the
basis
of
thesc
contributions
and
outcomes,
various
other
equity
measures
were
carr:ulated
and
rerated
to
extramaritar
invorvement.
ett
,i,..á
measufes
were
not
at
ail,0r
more
weakry,
rerated
to
such
invorvement
than
the
present
mcasuÍe.
Maritul
satLsfaction.'r-wo
scares
were
used
to
measure
marital
satisfaction:
one
for
relationship
satisfaction
(ti
items)
and
one
for sexual
satisfaction
(4
items).
1-he
relationship
satisfaction
scare
of
Buunk (1990)
measures
the
frequency
with
which
the
interaction
with
the partner
in
an intimate
rerationship
is
experience<r
as
re-
warding
and
not
as aversive.
Examples
of
items
are:
.l
feel
happy
*hen
I.m
with
ml
paÍtner'and'We
have
quarrels'.
possible
answers
range
from: (l).never,to
(51
'very
trften'.
In
this
study,
coefficient
arpha
was
.92.
The
sexuar
satisfaction
..àté
was
an
ad hoc
scare
constructed
by
the
seconcr
author,
ancr
measures
the
frequenlf
with
which
the
sexuar
interaction
with
the
partner
in
an
lntimate
rerationship
is
experienced
as
rewarding.
Examples
of
items
are:
.l
like
scx
with
,ny por,n",
u.ry
much'and'we
have
conÍricls
about
sex'.
coefficient
atpha
equaitea.Ír5.
Th;
Pcarson
correlation
between
b'th
scales
was r
-
.38,
p
<
.001
for
men
and
r
:
.52,
p
<
.fi)l
for women.
.
N.or^lt,::
disapproval
oJ extramarital
se_r.
This
was
a
self-constructetl
scale
con-
sisting
of
8 items,
each
reflecting
a
positive
or
negative
attitude
towards
extram.ri-
tal
relationships,
incrudinq
morar
disapprovar.
Eximpres
of itenrs
are:
,Extramarital
sex
is
a big
mistake'
antl
'Extrarnarirar
sex
can
bc very
stimurating
for
a
heatthy
relationship'.
Possible
answcrs
range
l.rom (l).disagrce
complctely,t'(5).agrcc
comp.letelv.'.
Cronbach's
alpha
equalled
.g7.
In
a.dition.
a separare
qucstlon
was
asked.n
disapprovar
trccausc.f
AIDS:
'Extramaritar
sex
is
irrcsp.nsibre
in vicw
of
the
chance
of
contracting
AIDS'.
Again
thc
possrblc
answsrs
range
lrom (l)
.clis-
agrce
completely'to
(5)
.agrce
conrpletclv..
Prins
et al.: Equity and
extramarital sex
Exchange
orientation.
Upon the request of the second
author, Murstein
provided
his original'Exchange
Orientation Scale'of l9 items.
This scale was
translated into
Dutch and, by omitting
items that reflected
more marital dissatisfaction
instead
exchange
orientation, reduced
to an 8-item scale
(S-point
scale:
(l)'disagree
com-
pletely'
to
(5)
'agree
completely').
Examples of
items are:
'I
feel resentment
if I
believe I
have spent more on
a friend's
present
than
(s)he
has spent
on mine'and
'My
spouse's
relationship with others
sometimes
makes him/her neglect
me'.
Cron-
bach's
alpha equalled .67.
Number
of extramarital relotionships.
The
subjects were
asked:
'How
many
extramarital relationships
did
you
have during your
marriage or cohabitation?'
Answers
ranged from 0 to
5.
Desire to
engage in extramarital
sex. The question
was
as
follows:
'How
many
times did
you
want
to have sex with
another
(wo)man,
during
your
marriage
or
cohabitation?'
Possible answeÍs range
from:
(l)
'never'
to
(5)
'very
often'.
The
correlation
between
the
desire
to engage in
extramarital sex
and the number
of
extramarital partners
was r
:
.29
for men, p <
.01 and r
=
.50,
p <
.001
for
women.
Results
We
first examined gender
differences on
all
variables
and
the correlations
between
the
moderator variables (marital
dissatisfaction,
exchange
orientation,
normative
disapproval)
and
dependent variables (extramarital
involvement)
to assess
whether
all variables
needed
to be included
in the final
multivariate
analyses.
Gender differences.
For each of
the
predictor
and dependent
variables,
t-tests
were
executed to determine
the
difference between
men
and women.
These
analyscs
revealed a
number of
gender
differences
in the variables
employed
in the
study. As
can be seen
in Table l,
men had a stronger
desire to
engage in
extramari-
taf sex
than women,
but men
and
women
did
not differ in
actual behaviour.
Furthermore,
women
felt more
underbenefited
and men more
overbenefited
on
both
equity scales,
and men had
a higher degree
of relationship
satisfaction
than
women.
No
gender
differences
were
found on
sexual satisfaction.
Norms against
extramarital
relationships
and attitudes
towards
AIDS were
the same for men and
women.
Finally, women
had a stronger
exchange
orientation
than men did.
TABLE
I
,-Tests
betwen men
and
women
for
all
vsriables
Variable
MMen(nl
M Women
(z)
45
ExtraÍnarital
rclationships
ExtramaÍital
dcsirc
Normativc
disapproval
Rclationship
satisfaction
Scxual
satisfaction
Exchange
oricntation
Equity
Formula
Hatficld
Global
.s0
(82)
2.s7
(821
2.41
({Jl)
4.16
(i9)
3.72
(tgl
2.ll
(nl)
.03
(m))
3.rJ3
(lJl)
.60 (l2e)
2.r0
(t26)
2.5e
(l
18)
3.80
(120)
3.60
(120)
2.43
(tZZ)
-.28
(tZ4)
4.20
(tz6)
-.65
2.96.
l.ó0
.96
-2.
l8-
'p
<.05i
-+*2
<,(X)1.
Notc:
f()r all multi-itcm
mcasurcs,
thc scorc
was dividcd
by thc numbcr
of items
4746
Journal of
Social and Personal Relationships
Correlations
between
moderalor
variables and dependent variables. The corre-
lations
between the moderator
variables and
actual
and desired
extramarital in-
volvement
are
presented in
Table
2. One noteworthy result
is that normative
disapproval
of
extramarital
relationships
because of the risk
of
contracting or
spreading the AIDS
virus
d<xs
not
seem
to influence actual and desired extramari-
tal involvement. Howcver,
of all
variables,
general
normative disapproval
was
most
clearly related to extramarital
involvement
among both men and
women.
Relation-
ship satisfaction, sexual
satisfaction and
exchange orientation
were
particulaÍly
related to desired extramarital
involvement,
but for exchange orientation this
was
only true among
women. Women high in exchange
orientation had stronger desires
to
become involved in extramaÍital relationships, and
did so more often. As norma-
tivc
disapproval becausc of AIDS
was
not correlated
with the dependent
variables,
this
variablc
was droppecl from further analyses.
Peamn correlations betwen *"tt*, ,li.ï":Ï"",
normctiye disapproval and exchange
orientalion and
actml behaviour snd dsire to n g a g e ín extramrrilil sx
Prins et al.: Equity and extramarital sex
accuÍate
picture
of the data. To
give
some indication of the
effect size, multiple
regression analyses
were
executed
by
entering all the
variables
that
weÍe
significant
(or
nearly significant) in the ANCOVAs. The R2s calculated
with
these
regression
analyses, will be described together with the results of the ANCOVAs.
For
this
purpose,
the equity measures were recoded
in such a
way
that a high score
indi-
cated a high degree
of inequity.
For
men
there
were
no main effects of
either equity
measure
upon the desire
to
engage in extramarital sex the number
of extramarital relationships. Neverthe-
less, for both equity
masuÍes
the analyses
showed that relationship satisfaction
(F
(1,75)
=
10.35ó,p <
.01) and normative disapproval
(F(1,75)
=
16.698,p
<
.001)
were significant
covariates of the desire for
extramarital relationships
(we
report
here only
the results in the case that the
Hatfield GIobal Measure
was
entered as
factor).
Relationship satisfaction and normative disapproval
explained a substantial
amount
of
variance
in extramarital desire, R2
:
.30. Although sexual satisfaction
correlated
positively
with
the desire for
extramarital relationships, this relationship
disappeared in
the analysis of covariance. Thus,
the results show that
men
who
were
dissatisfied with
theiÍ marriage, and who did
not morally disapprove
of extÍa-
marital relationships,
had the
desire
to
engage in extÍamarital relationships
rela-
tively more often.
Normative
disapproval
was
the only
variable
relating to
the
incidence
<rf actual extramaÍital
relationships among men
(I' (
|
,75)
:
11.487
,
p
<
.([], whcn
the Hatfield Global Measure was
entered as factor).
'fhus,
nor surpris-
ingly, the
more extramarital relationships
men had had, the rnore
often they
approved of such relationships
(R2
:
. l4).
Among women,
inequity
was
clearly related
to extramarital involvement.
The
Hatfield
Global Measure showed
a main effect
upon the desire to engage in
extra-
marital
sex
(F
(2,105)
:
4.316, p <
.05), with relationship
satisfaction,
sexual
satisfaction
and norms towards
extramarital sex being
significant covariates
(F
(
I, l0s)
:
t4.3$. p <
.u)l
;
F
(1,105)
=
12. I 10,
p <
.001;
r
(1,105)
:
33.229,
p
<
.(X)l respcctively).
As cquity is related
to maÍital satisfaction,
it is
particularly
notcworthy
that inequity
had an
effect
upon
extramarital desires
that was indepen-
dcnt
of relationship
satisfaction as well
as sexual satisfaction. The
HatÍield
Global
Measurc
explained
togethcr
with
the significant
covariates
39
percent
of the vari-
ancc
(Rr:
.19).
As Figure I shows, for
the Hatfield
Global Measure the results
among
womcn
are in
line
with
the
predictions
from equity
theory: the
equally
well-
off thought less about
having cxtramarital
sex than those who
felt woÍse or lletter
off than thcir spouse
(f (125)
:
1.945, p
:
.054;
T
(125)
=
2.278,
p
:
.024
rcspectively).
Thus, those women who
felt overbenefited
or deprived, who were
dissatisÍied with
thcir marital
relationship,
including the sexual aspects,
and who
approvcd of
extramarital
relationships, were
relatively strongly inclined
to engage
in sexual
relationships
outside their marriage.
Inequity as measured with
thc
Equity Formula Measure
had no significant effect
upon women's
desire
to become involved in
extramaÍital relationships,
F(1,105)
=
2.049,
p:
.13, whereas
relationship
satisfaction, sexual
satisfaction and norms
trrwards ext ramarital
scx were significant
covariates
(
F
(
I
,105)
=
22.997
,
p <
.001;
F
(
I. 105)
=
12.040.
p <
.001
;
F
(
I. 105)
=
33.080, p
(
.001 respectively).
However,
the
effect of inequity was
also in this case in the expectcd
direction: women who
felt
equally well
off thought the least about
having extramarital sex.
The differences
bctween
this
group
and
the
worsc
and better
off approached significance
(T (123)
=
1.693,p: 09-3;7'(123)
=
1."189,p:.0T6respectively).
AlthoughnotveÍystrong,
Variable
Men
(n
:
721
Ilehaviour
Women
(z
:
103)
Eehaviour DesireDesire
Rclationship satisfaction
Scxual
salisfaction
Normativc disapproval
AIDS disapproval
Fixchangc orientation
(14
20
3ri"'
ll
il)
14-
-
30"
t4
ta
-
.29'
.2(l
.46-"
.14
.23-
-.36"
-.43-'
.52-
-
.lt
.32-
-
'2<.01:.'p<.(lol.
Normative
disapproval,
nnritul .satisfaction, e.rchange orientation and extramari-
tul
involvement. lt
was
cxpected that
inequity in a rclationship, as
wcll
as marital
drssatisfaction,
exchange
orienlation
and
positive
norms towards extramarital
scx,
would be related to the desire to have cxtramarital
scx and to actual involvement in
extramarital relationships, I-hcsc expectations
were testcd by
executing
univariate
analyses of covariancc
(AN('OVAs)
for each
of thc cqurty mcasurcs as indepcn-
dcnt
variable.
In thesc analyscs,
normalive disapproval, relationship satisfaction,
scxual
satisfaction and exchange orientation
werc
included as covariates. Each
analysis was done twicc,
oncc with
thc number of cxtramarital relationships and
once with the dcsire to cngagc in extramarital sex as the dependcnt variable.
'Ihe
ANCOVAs
were
done separatcly for men and
women,
as well as for thc
total sample. ln the last casc.
gender
was includcd as an additional
factor,
but
n()
rnteractions hctwecn
gendcr
and equity wcre found. It furthcr
appcarcd that in all
cases, the covariates that
wcre
significant for womcn
werc
also signiÍicant in thc
total sample. including cases
whcre
no significant cffcct was
found among men.
Equity had. in the total sample, Ícwer significant
cffccts than among womcn, but
more than among men. Apparently.
prescnting
thc
analyscs
for thc total sample
would
havc obscurcd somc clfccls that
wcre
signilicant among women,
but would
also have
suggestcd some
signiÍicant
effccts of covariates lbr
the total sample
that
wcre
in
fact only obtained among
wome
n. J'hereforc. it was
decided
to
present
only
the results
of the separatc analyscs for
mcn and
womcn.
as
this
would
give
the
most
Prins et
al.: Equity
and extramarital
sex
FIGURE 2
Associatlon
between the
Hatfield Global
Mcasure
and the number
oÍ aclual
extramarltal
relationshlPs
Deprived
Equal
Advantaged
clear evidence
that this
was indeed the
case for
women. Deprived
as
well as advantaged
women had been
involved in more extramar-
ital relationships than
women
who felt equally
well off, and both
groups
more often
desired such
relationships. These
results are
even
more noteworthy
when
we
consider
that these effects
were
independent
of the effects of
marital dissatisfaction,
because this
variable has been found to
relate closely to inequity.
Thus, our
study suggests
that for
women inequity is in itself
related to
interest
in alternative relationships,
whatever the
general
dissatis-
faction
in the
relationship
may be,
and that such dissatisfaction
seems to contribute
further to the
inclination
to
become sexually
involved outside one's
marriage. Furthermore, the
fact that the
effects
of inequity and dissatisfaction
were independent of nor-
mative
disapproval indicates that even those
who have moral
objections
towards
extramarital
affairs are contemplating such re-
lationships when their relationship is inequitable and
dissatisfying.
It must further
be
noted
that among
women the
effect
sizes were
substantial: around
40
percent
of the
variance
in extramarital
desires and over 25
percent
of the variance
in
the incidence of
actual
affairs could
be
explained by inequity, marital
dissatis-
faction and normative
approval.
Of course, although measuring desires may be a better method
for assessing
causality
than
measuring actual behaviour, the
49
48
Journal
of
Social and
Personal
Relatiowhips
the results
with the
Equity
Formula
Measure
were
virtually the
same as
those
obtained
with the
Hatfield Global
Measure,
and the
amount
of explained
variance
in extramarital
desires
by this
measure
and the three
covariates
was
even
slightly
higher
(R'z
=
.41).
FIGURE I
Association
between
the Hatfield Global
Measure
and desire
to engsge in
extramarital
sex
Deprived Equal
Advantaged
Regarding
actual extÍamarital
relationships,
among
women a main effect
was
again
found for the
Hatfield Global
Measure
(f (2,105)
:4.528,
p
<.05) with
relationship
satisfaction
and norms towards
extÍamarital
sex as significant
covaÍ-
iares
(F(1,105)
=
4.ffi2,
p < .05; F(1,105)
=
21.O39,
p < .001 respectively).
For
these
thÍee
variables, Rz
=
.27 . Also the Equity
Formula
Measure
was significantly
Íelated
to the
number of extramarital
relationships
of
women
(F (2,103)
=
a-580'
p
<
.05).
The effects of
relationship
satisfaction and
normative
disapproval
were also
significant(F(1,103)
=6.157.p<.05
f
(1,103)
=21.528,p<.001
respectively).
In
this case,
Ra
=
.29. For both the
Hatfield Global
Measure
and the Equity
Formula
Measure, the
results
were among
women as
predicted
by equity theory
(see
Figure
2,
which shows these results
for the
Hatfield Global
Measure): the
equally
well off had
had fewer extramarital
relationships
than
those worse off
or
better
off
(for
the
Hatfield Global
Measure, T
(126)
=
1.854,
p
:
.067; T
(126)
:
2.035.
p
=
.051
respectively; for the Equity
Formula:
T
(123)
=
2.614,
p
=
.011;
I
(123)
--
2.0ó1,
p: .M9 respectively).
Discussion
This
study tested
the
rather bold hypothesis
that inequity
in mar-
riage
would be related
to being open
to and engaging in extramari-
tal
relationships
as a
way to restore equity.
The results showed
x
q)
6
o
.=
;
2.5
E
o
X
(t)
;t
'6
o)
o
o1
CL
E
a
g
o
(o
E
ï
F.5
E
(o
x
c,
o
o
ll
Ê
zo
1.5
Deprived
50
Journal of Social
and Personal
Relationships
present
study
does not
allow
any final
conclusions
on the
direction
of causality.
The
pronounced
relation
between
inequity
and actual
extramarital
involvement
among women
could mean
that
-
at
least
in part
-
extramarital
relationships
lead
to feelings
of
inequity,
and not vice
versa.
Even
the desire to
become
involved
in
extramarital
relationships
may
be interpreted
in this way.
Thus,
actual
involvement
in
affairs
as well
as longing
for such
affairs may
make women
feel
guilty
and overbenefited,
or may
enhance
their
comparison
level
and
may thus
increase
feelings of
deprivation
in
their
marriage.
In line with
other studies
(Buunk
& Van
Driel,
1989),
men were
more
inclined
to
engage in
extramarital
relationships,
especially
when
they weré
dissatisfied
in their
marriage
and
had
no moral
objections
against
such relationships.
Remarkably,
for
men actual
extramarital
involvement
was
not related
to
marital
dissatis-
faction:
among
men who
were
dissatisfied
with
their relationship,
as
many had
been
involved
in extramarital
affairs
as
among
men
who
were
satisfied
in this
respect.
It seems
as if
for men
extramari-
tal
involvement
is only
slightly
related
to
the state
of
their
marital
relationship.
This is
especially
apparent when
we
consider
the
relationship
between
inequity
and
extramarital
desires
and
behav-
iours: underbenefited,
equally
well
off and
overbenefited
men
all
have
about
the
same
number
of
extramarital
relationships
and
equally
strong
desires. For
men,
extramarital
sexual
desires
seem
to be
more
or less
independent
of
the way
they
feel
about
their
marriage.
There
may
be various
explanations
for
the finding
that inequity
in
a relationship
seems
much
less important
for
men
in fostering
extramarital
involvement
than
for
women.
First,
because
some
double
standards
still
exist,
women
may feel
more
than
men
they
have
to
have
better reasons
for
engaging
in
extramarital
relation-
ships than
men.
A second
explanation
would
be that
for women
-
given
their more
disadvantaged
position
-
inequity
is
a
much
more
salient
issue than
it is
for men
(Buunk
& Vanyperen,
l9g9).
The women's
movement
has
emphasized
the
importance
of
gender
role
equality,
and has,
more
than
ever before, prompted
men
and
women
to
question
how
well
off
they
are in comparison
with
their
partner.
The
fact
that
women
have
a stronger
exchange
orien-
tation
than
men
certainly
suggests
that women
are
watching
equity
in
their
relationship
more
closely
than
men
are,
and
that
being
worse
off or
better
off than
the
spouse
is
more
salient
for women
Prins et al.:
Equity and extramarital sex
(see
Buunk
& VanYperen,
1991). Remarkably, among \r/omen
exchange
orientation
was
particularly
related to the
desire
to
engage
in extramarital
relationships. Thus, rvomen who
expect
direct reciprocity
in their relationships are in
general
more inclined
to become
involved in sexual
relationships
outside
their marriage.
Interestingly,
while men
have
stronger desires to engage in
extra-
marital sex,
women have as many extramarital relationships
as
men. It seems as if women
who
are unhappy in their marriage
translate
this
into actual extramarital
relationships, while
men
show it mainly in their desires to engage in extramarital sex.
Some other findings need to be discussed briefly. First, for men
and women, normative approval of
extramarital
relationships
appeared to
be the
most
significant covariate that had effects inde-
pendent
of those
of dissatisfaction and inequity. Personal norms
may apparently
be a
very
important factor determining if an indi-
vidual will
engage in extramarital relationships. It is, of
course,
also
possible
that the reverse causal direction operates: those who
have
an affair
(or
think seriously
about
one), may change their
attitudes in a more
positive
direction. A second finding that
deserves a brief discussion
concerns
the role of
sexual
dissatis-
faction. Although this variable did
not
have
an independent
effect
upon
extramarital
desires,
sexual
dissatisfaction was,
particularly
among women,
quite
strongly related to the desire to engage in
extramarital affairs. Apparently, those contemplating extramarital
relationships are sexually rather dissatisfied in their marriage, and
may see extramarital affairs
in
part
as a
way
of fulfilling their
sexual
needs. Another
finding
is that
asking individuals
directly
to
indicate the degree of equity in their relationship with the Hatfield
Global Measure does lead to similar results as calculating
equity
by an equity formula, based on
global
inputs
and outcomes. This
suggests that individuals are
cognitively
quite
capable of using
some
sort
of
equity formula to determine if their relationship is
equitable or not.
Finally, in
addition to the
problem
of making causal
interpret-
ations,
some limitations of our
study
must be noted. A
first limi-
tation concerns
the fact
that we do not know exactly what the
respondents
defi ne as'extramarital relationships'.
Their interpret-
ations
may range
from one-night
affairs to long-term relationships,
and the motivations
underlying different types of extramarital
relationships
as well as the impact of such relationships upon
marriage
may
vary
considerably.
Furthermore, while we
used a
5t
53
52
Journal
of Socíal and Personal Relationships
translation of
Murstein's Exchange Orientation Scale
(Murstein
et
al.,1971),
recently
some similar scales have been
developed that
might be more
useful in future
research. For example, Sprecher
(1992)
distinguishes
underbenefited
exchange
orientation and
overbenefitecl exchange orientation.
The first assesses if
individ-
uals mind
giving
to others,
while
the second
focuses on
whether
individuals feel
conrfortable or not receiving from
others. This last
variablc
may be
very important in shedding more light upon
one of
the intriguing findings
in our study, i.e.
why
overbenefited
individ-
uals
engage
in extramarital
relationships. Despite these
limi-
tations,
the
present
study
provides
at least
some
evidence that
equity
may bc an
ímportant issue when considering extramarital
affairs, in addition
to
personal
norms about extramarital affairs
and satisfaction
with
the marital relationship.
REFERENCES
Adams,
J.S.
(1965)'lnequity
in
Social Exchange',
Advances
in Experimental
Social
Psychoktgy
2: 267
-t){)
Atwatcr, L.
(197q)
'(iclting
Involved: Women's Transition
to
First Extramarital
Sex'
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... Marital satisfaction levels of individual spouses are, in part, determined by the differing levels of support given and received by each individual and the equality or inequality by which these processes are handled (Brunstein, Dangelmayer, & Schultheiss, 1996). A sense of inequality in a marriage may lead to relationship dissatisfaction, especially in women (Prins, Buunk, & VanYperen, 1993). Subsequently, relationship dissatisfaction may prompt one to consider alternative relationship options, thus inclining one to explore partners outside of his or her marriage, which may lead to a spouse becoming involved in an extramarital affair (Prins et al., 1993). ...
... A sense of inequality in a marriage may lead to relationship dissatisfaction, especially in women (Prins, Buunk, & VanYperen, 1993). Subsequently, relationship dissatisfaction may prompt one to consider alternative relationship options, thus inclining one to explore partners outside of his or her marriage, which may lead to a spouse becoming involved in an extramarital affair (Prins et al., 1993). ...
... These signs range from shame, rage, depression, and self-doubt to anxiety and feelings of victimization (Beach, Jouriles, & O'Leary, 1985;Buunk, 1995;Cano & O'Leary, 2000;Charmy & Parnass, 1995;Gordon & Baucom, 1999 Those who are dissatisfied with their marriages are four times as likely to commit an act of marital infidelity as those who report high marital quality and satisfaction (Atkins, Baucom, & Jacobson, 2001;DeMaris, 2009;Schmitt & Buss, 2001;Schwartz & Young, 2009). Research has consistently indicated that relationship dissatisfaction is a strong predictor of infidelity (Atkins et al., 2001;Prins et al., 1993;Thompson, 1983;Wiederman & Allgeier, 1996). Those who experience high levels of discord, low levels of affection and bonding, an inability to adjust relationally, and relationship dissatisfaction are more likely than relationally satisfied individuals to commit emotional and physical infidelity, fantasize about someone other than his or her partner, or seek out relational alternatives (A. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
The effect of marital education on marital and sexual satisfaction.
... İlişki doyumu aldatma riskini azaltan bir faktör olarak ortaya çıkmaktadır. İlişkisinden düşük doyum alan veya ilişkisinde bir sorun olduğunu söyleyen bireyler, hem temel ilişkileri dışında bir ilişki yaşamaya daha istekli olduklarını rapor etmekte (Prins, Buunk ve VanYperen, 1993), hem de gerçekten aldatma davranışı içine girmektedir (Atkins ve ark., 2001;Glass ve Wright, 1985). İlişki doyumunun aldatmadaki rolü kadınlar için özellikle önemlidir. ...
Conference Paper
İnsanların inançları, yaşamlarını sürdürdükleri coğrafya, kurmuş oldukları toplumsal düzen, diğer topluluklarla kurmuş oldukları ilişkiler, teknolojik gelişmeler toplumların hayatlarını doğrudan veya dolaylı olarak etkilemiştir. Doğal olarak da toplumların çocuklara bakış açıları da değişime uğramıştır. Tarihe bakıldığında çocukluk kavramının yetişkinlik kavramından farkının olmadığı, sonraki süreçlerde ise bu kavramın toplumların yaşamış oldukları değişim süreciyle başkalaşıma uğradığı göze çarpmaktadır. İlk toplumlarda fiziksel, duygusal ve davranışsal açıdan yetişkinlerden farklılıkları olmasına rağmen çocuklar çocuk olarak kabul edilmemiş, her bakımdan minyatür birer yetişkin olarak görülmüşlerdir. Çocuklar ne kadar seviliyor olsalar da bütün toplumlarda çocukluk bilincinin geçmişte de günümüzde de eksik olduğu göze çarpmaktadır. Dünyadaki toplumlar çocuk hakkında tarihsel süreç içinde yeterli bilgiye sahip olamamış ve bu bilgi eksikliği ne yazık ki günümüzde de devam etmektedir. Dünya genelinde yapılan ve yapılmakta olan başarılı uygulamaların çok az sayıdaki çocuklara ulaştığı ve çocuk eğitim programlarının da bunun etkisiyle istenen seviyelere gelmediği söylenebilir. Bu nedenle çocukların eğitimi söz konusu olduğunda birçok problemin tarih boyunca çocukların karşısına çıktığı görülmektedir. Bir toplumun çocuğa olan bakış açısı o toplumda var olan çocuk eğitim programına yansımaktadır. Çocukluk kavramı birçok araştırmaya konu olmasına rağmen çocuk eğitim programlarının bu araştırmalardan nasibini alamadığı önemli bir problem olarak karşımıza çıkmaktadır. Bu çalışmada da bu problem göz önünde bulundurularak Dünyada ve Türkiye’de çocukluk kavramının tarihsel gelişimi ve bunun eğitim programlarına nasıl yansıdığı tartışılacaktır.
... İlişki doyumu aldatma riskini azaltan bir faktör olarak ortaya çıkmaktadır. İlişkisinden düşük doyum alan veya ilişkisinde bir sorun olduğunu söyleyen bireyler, hem temel ilişkileri dışında bir ilişki yaşamaya daha istekli olduklarını rapor etmekte (Prins, Buunk ve VanYperen, 1993), hem de gerçekten aldatma davranışı içine girmektedir (Atkins ve ark., 2001;Glass ve Wright, 1985). İlişki doyumunun aldatmadaki rolü kadınlar için özellikle önemlidir. ...
... Especially in a pre-industrial context, where contraceptive options are limited, an extra-pair strategy could enable men to increase their reproductive success considerably, which is not the case for women. Consistent with this argument, evidence indicates that men are more likely than women to engage in casual sex (Hald & Høgh-Olesen, 2010;Lippa, 2009;Schmitt, 2005), have a stronger desire to engage in sexual extra-pair relationships (Apostolou, 2019;Prins et al., 1993), and are more likely to cheat on their partners (Allen & Baucom, 2006). This sex-difference in the adoption of an extra-pair mating strategy would result in a sex-difference in the adoption of infidelity-detection strategies. ...
Article
Full-text available
People frequently adopt extra-pair mating strategies, which could be potentially harmful for their legitimate partners. In order to protect themselves from the costs of cheating, people need first to detect infidelity, and for this purpose, they employ specific infidelity-detection strategies. By using a combination of qualitative research methods, we identified 47 acts that people perform in order to detect their partners’ infidelity. Using quantitative methods, we classified these acts into six broader strategies for detecting infidelity. Participants indicated that they were more likely to employ the “Observe changes in her/his behavior,” followed by the “Ask and observe her/his reactions,” and the “Check where she/he is” strategies. Almost 58% of the participants indicated that they would use three or more strategies in order to detect their partners’ infidelity. We also found that higher scorers in Machiavellianism and psychopathy were more likely to employ the identified strategies than lower scorers. In addition, sex and age effects were found for most strategies.
... Men would be more likely than women to prefer strategies that have a short-term component that is, short-term and mixed strategies, and less likely to prefer a long-term mating strategy, the reason being that casual mating can increase their reproductive success by giving them access to more mates (Buss, 2017;Symons, 1979). Consistent with this argument, several lines of evidence indicate that men are more likely than women to engage in casual sex (Hald & Høgh-Olesen, 2010;Lippa, 2009;Schmitt, 2005), prefer more sexual partners (Buss & Schmitt, 1993;Schmitt & International Sexuality Description Project, 2003), have a stronger desire to engage in sexual extra-pair relationships (Apostolou, 2019;Prins et al., 1993), and are more likely to cheat on their partners (Allen & Baucom, 2006). ...
Article
People adopt a variety of strategies in order to achieve specific mating goals. The current research nominated nine different mating strategies, and attempted to estimate their occurrence. Evidence from an online sample of 6273 Greek-speaking participants, indicated that a mixed strategy was in the highest occurrence, followed by a long-term and a short-term mating strategy. Men were more likely than women to prefer a short-term and a mixed mating strategy, and that younger participants were more likely to prefer a mixed than a long-term mating strategy. In addition, heterosexual women with same-sex attraction were more likely than exclusively heterosexual women to prefer a short-term and a mixed strategy than a long-term mating strategy. Furthermore, we found that men were more likely than women and older participants were more likely than younger participants to indicate that they would cheat on their partners if they were in a long-term intimate relationship. Furthermore , heterosexual with same-sex attraction, bisexual and homosexual men and women were more likely than exclusive heterosexual participants to indicate that they would cheat on their partners when in a long-term intimate relationship.
... There is a strong correlation between high sexual satisfaction and low infidelity and vice versa. 69,70,102,113,117 Individual wellbeing (eg, pleasure, arousal, sexual excitement) and dyadic processes (eg, intimacy, expression of feelings) are 2 major dimensions of sexual satisfaction, such that people who experience a significant decline in sexual excitement may seek to reinforce their sexual satisfaction by engaging in the novel experience of sexual relationships outside of marriage. Moreover, a strong decline in intimacy may be a stressful experience that leads to seeking out of sexual relationships outside of marriage to fill an emotional void related to their primary sexual relationship. ...
Article
Background: Infidelity can be facilitated and/or inhibited as a result of interrelations among multilevel contexts. Despite the existence of numerous studies about infidelity, there is no developmental model that considers multilevel contexts of factors associated with infidelity. Aim: To review published articles addressing factors associated with infidelity and to apply the ecological model to these factors. Methods: A systematic review of the literature was conducted using the PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and PsychoInfo. Literature search was restricted to articles published in English up to June 2018. All quantitative and full-text studies that addressed associated factors with infidelity were included. This study was conducted following PRISMA guidelines. Main outcome measures: This article reports a review of the literature on the factors associated with infidelity based on the ecological model. Results: We retrieved 5,159 titles, of which 82 were qualified after the qualitative synthesis. The Ecological Couples Systems Diagram (ECSD) is proposed as a developmental model similar to Bronfenbrenner's Bioecological Systems Model. There was an inconsistency between variables of microsystem and infidelity engagement. However, the results of some studies indicated the impact of demographic factors, personality traits, and sexual information on infidelity, considering partner characteristics. Variables belonging to a mesosystem had a more stable association with infidelity than those from other systems. In addition, the review reveals the complexity of infidelity, associated with following factors: 68.3% (n = 56) of the studies were based on microsystem variables, 48.8% (n = 40) used mesosystem variables, 19.5% (n = 16) used exosystem variables, 26.8% (n = 22) used macrosystem variables, 6.1% (n = 5) used chronosystem variables, and 50% (n = 41) included variables from 2 or more levels. Clinical implications: The ECSD can be used not only for assessing couple compatibility in premarital counseling, but also for consulting couples who want to have a long-term romantic relationship. As a potential clinical application, therapists can use the ECSD to assess unfaithful clients and their partners, improving the quality of counseling. Strengths & limitations: This study reveals different environmental layers of various variables related to infidelity. Determining the effect size of variables associated with infidelity was not possible due to the heterogeneity of infidelity assessment tools and test analysis. Conclusion: Apparently, incompatibility of interpersonal characteristics is more likely associated with infidelity than incompatibility of intrapersonal characteristics. It is important to consider couple compatibility before starting an exclusive relationship, such as marriage, for individuals who intend to maintain a long-term exclusive romantic relationship. Haseli A, Shariati M, Nazari AM, et al. Infidelity and Its Associated Factors: A Systematic Review. J Sex Med 2019;16:1155-1169.
Article
Exchange theory suggests that social unfairness, including conflict and inequality experienced locally at both personal and neighbourhood levels, reduces social trust generally. To test these uncharted suggestions, the present study analysed two-wave panel survey data on a representative national sample of 25,618 Chinese adults. Results demonstrated that higher social unfairness experienced personally in 2010 significantly predicted lower social trust in 2014. Neighbourhood social unfairness, which was the average of social unfairness experienced in neighbourhood residents, was also negatively predictive of social trust at neighbourhood and thus personal levels. This supports the extension of exchange theory from the personal level to the neighbourhood level. Results imply the relevance of social unfairness at both personal and neighbourhood levels to social trust in China. They also imply the significance of personal and collective interests in exchange theory.
Book
Full-text available
This book addresses the sustainability of happiness and well-being in Chinese societies. It starts by introducing the various conceptions of well-being, particularly in the Chinese sociocultural context. The book then proceeds with the examination of the sustainability of well-being by scrutinizing the effects of sociocultural, contextual, and personal factors on well-being. The contextual factors are the aggregates or averages of personal factors at the contextual levels of the regions and colleges in Mainland China, its special administrative region, and Taiwan. These factors cover personality traits, strengths, orientations, beliefs, values, and idolizing. By bringing together empirical studies and theoretical perspectives applied to Chinese societies, this book offers researchers in social science and humanities a valuable reference work on happiness and well-being in Chinese societies.
Article
Infidelity is defined as unapproved romantic or sexual behaviors outside of one's relationship. Previous literature has identified characteristics of the partner involved in infidelity; this study investigates the Big Five personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) of uninvolved partners. Relationship quality and physical intimacy are also examined within a married subsample. Data was drawn from the second wave of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS), collected through telephone interviews and self‐administered questionnaires between 2004 and 2006. Results for the overall sample (N = 1,577) indicate that conscientiousness is negatively associated with lifetime partner infidelity. Within the married subsample (n = 898), conscientiousness is negatively associated with spousal infidelity, and agreeableness is positively associated with spousal infidelity.
Article
Full-text available
Employing a sample of 214 individuals, this study showed that most individuals felt the input/outcome ratio in their marital relationship was better than that of most same-sex others (referential comparisons) but equal to that of their spouse (relational comparisons). Perceptions of superiority in referential comparisons and of equity in relational comparisons were accompanied by the highest level of marital satisfaction. However, further analyses showed that only for individuals high in exchange orientation was equity related to marital satisfaction and that individuals low in exchange orientation were, overall, more satisfied with their relationship. Women were more deprived and less satisfied, especially when they were high in exchange orientation. The results are related to the controversy surrounding the application of equity theory to close relationships. In addition, the cognitive mechanisms that help individuals maintain a positive view of their marital relationship are considered.
Article
Full-text available
Describes a general theory of social behavior-equity theory-consisting of 4 propositions designed to predict when individuals will perceive that they are justly treated and how they will react when they find themselves enmeshed in unjust relationships. Research conducted to test equity theory is summarized. Ways in which equity theory interlocks with other major social psychological theories are discussed. Some ways in which equity theory can be applied to understanding social problems are considered. (103 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Chapter
Equity theory is a social psychological theory concerned with justice in all interpersonal relationships. Until recently, however, equity principles have been examined only in casual role relations (i.e., employer-employee, philanthropist-recipient, and harmer-victim relations) and have not been examined in more personal relations (see Walster (Hatfield), Walster, & Berscheid, 1978). The distinction between role relationships and personal relationships is a long-standing and important one (see Cooley, 1902; Tonnies, 1887). Given the importance of primary, intimate relations, it would be a grave omission to overlook such relations in theory and research on interpersonal behavior.
Article
The process of exchange is almost continual in human interactions, and appears to have characteristics peculiar to itself, and to generate affect, motivation, and behavior that cannot be predicted unless exchange processes are understood. This chapter describes two major concepts relating to the perception of justice and injustice; the concept of relative deprivation and the complementary concept of relative gratification. All dissatisfaction and low morale are related to a person's suffering injustice in social exchanges. However, a significant portion of cases can be usefully explained by invoking injustice as an explanatory concept. In the theory of inequity, both the antecedents and consequences of perceived injustice have been stated in terms that permit quite specific predictions to be made about the behavior of persons entering social exchanges. Relative deprivation and distributive justice, as theoretical concepts, specify some of the conditions that arouse perceptions of injustice and complementarily, the conditions that lead men to feel that their relations with others are just. The need for much additional research notwithstanding, the theoretical analyses that have been made of injustice in social exchanges should result not only in a better general understanding of the phenomenon, but should lead to a degree of social control not previously possible. The experience of injustice need not be an accepted fact of life.
Article
This study addressed itself to the causes attributed to extramarital sexual involvement, and the association of these causes with sexual jealousy. The results did not show any significant actor-observed differences; in general both spouses attributed their own and their partners' affairs to similar causes. Most frequently mentioned were situational factors and a need for novelty and excitement. Only one sex difference did show up: a need for sexual variety was more often attributed to males than to females. The attribution of marital deprivation and aggression were significantly related to jealousy. Among males, the attribution of a need for variety was linked to jealousy, while among females, perceived perceived pressure of the extramarital partner appeared to be an important factor. Other situational attributions were not related to jealousy. It is suggested that jealousy has a somewhat different meaning for males and females, and that this difference is typical for sex roles in general.
Article
This study examined the relation between perceived inequity and the experience of a variety of emotions in close, heterosexual relationship. The first goal was to test two hypotheses derived from Equity theory: (a) Perceived inequity is positively related to negative affect and negatively related to positive affect; and (b) Underbenefiting inequity is related to positive and negative affect to a greater degree than is overbenefiting inequity. The second goal of the study was to determine which specific emotions are most related to inequity. The third goal was to examine the impact of inequity on the emotions experienced, relative to the effects of other possible predictors. These issues were examined in a survey study of more than 500 men and women. The results indicated that inequity is related, in the directions predicted, to positive and negative emotions experienced in the relationship, even controlling for other determinants of emotions. The strength of the relationship was found to depend on the specific type of emotion examined, whether the inequity was in the underbenefiting or overbenefiting direction, and the gender of the individual.
Article
A theory of the importance and effect of an exchange-orientation for marriage and friendship was developed. It was hypothesized from this theory that an exchange-orientation in both members of the pair would be inimical to marriage adjustment and facilitative of situationally determined friendships. An exchange-orientation scale was constructed and administered to married couples and same-sex friendship couples at college, along with a marriage adjustment scale to the former and a friendship-intensity scale to the latter. The data generally supported the hypotheses.
Article
The purpose of the present study is to examine (a) the degree to which people perceive equity and equality to coexist in their relationships, and (b) the relative ability of equity, equality, and reward level to predict relationship satisfaction. First, 337 individuals were asked to assess their current dating relationships in terms of equity, equality, reward level, and satisfaction. Second, some of the data from the Walster, Walster, and Traupmann (1978) study concerning equity and relationship satisfaction were reanalyzed. Results from the present data and the Walster et al. data indicate that the concurrence of equity and equality (or inequity and nonequality) is very high. In addition, analyses of the present data reveal that reward level is superior to equity and equality in predicting relationship satisfaction. The results point to a need for longitudinal assessment of relationships in order to understand the apparently dynamic nature of reward allocation in relationships.
Article
The two major propositions from equity theory are that inequity causes distress and that this distress leads people to restore equity. A role-playing vignette study was conducted to test these propositions further and to examine how the individual variables-gender and exchange orientation-affect responses to inequity. Subjects expected to become distressed in response to underbenefiting inequity and to be likely to restore equity to this situation. Although subjects did not believe they would become distressed overall in response to overbenefiting inequity, they expected that they would feel guilty and would engage in equity-restoring behaviors. Women were more likely than men to expect to become distressed and to engage in equity-restoring behaviors in response to both types of inequity. Furthermore, subjects' scores on the exchange orientation scale were associated positively with their expectations of becoming distressed and of engaging in equity-restoring behaviors, particularly for underbenefiting inequity orientation and overbenefiting inequity orientation. The implications of the results of this study for equity theory are also discussed.
Article
This longitudinal study was aimed at illuminating some fundamental problems with respect to the application of equity theory in intimate relationships. First the relationship between perceived equity and satisfaction was tested, and next it was ascertained whether inequity produces dissatisfaction or vice versa. A second issue addressed in the present study was whether global assessments of equity represent some type of calculation made by the subject of all the relevant inputs and outcomes. Finally, the elements subjects take into consideration when they respond to a global equity measure was assessed. These issues were examined in a sample of 736 primarily married subjects, including 259 couples who had been married for varying lengths of time. The results provide some evidence that equity has an effect upon satisfaction and not vice versa. The assumption that global assessments are based upon a weighted summing up of a representative set of inputs and outcomes was not supported. Instead, it was found that the global measure particularly reflects exchange elements such as ‘commitment to the relationship’, ‘sociability’ and ‘attentiveness’.