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Same-sex infidelity in heterosexual romantic relationships: Investigating emotional, relational, and communicative responses

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Same-sex infidelity in heterosexual romantic relationships: Investigating emotional, relational, and communicative responses

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Abstract

The present study explores emotional, relational, and communicative responses to different-sex and same-sex infidelity in heterosexual romantic relationships. Two-hundred and eighty-five men and women completed an online survey. Individuals were asked to read a scenario in which an imagined heterosexual partner engages in infidelity with a different-sex or same-sex person. Individuals were randomly assigned to one of these two conditions and then asked to complete several measures assessing their imagined emotions, communicative responses, and relational outcomes. Results revealed that both men and women experienced more negative emotional responses to different-sex infidelity versus same-sex infidelity. Additionally, men reported more sexual arousal in response to a woman's same-sex infidelity versus different-sex infidelity, while women's sexual arousal did not vary across conditions. Lastly, men's communicative responses to jealousy (CRJs) for same-sex and different-sex infidelity did not vary, though women reported that they were more likely to respond to same-sex infidelity than different-sex infidelity with denial, and more likely to respond to different-sex than same-sex infidelity with signs of possession. Several emotional responses to same-sex infidelity were also found to predict various CRJs. These findings and the implications of the study are discussed.

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... Some studies have indicated that women are more upset by the thought of homosexual infidelity (Brewer, 2014;Confer & Cloud, 2011;Franks, 2015). Others have indicated the contrary, with women reporting either equal (Hughes et al., 2004) or greater upset over infidelities that are heterosexual (Denes et al., 2015;Sagarin et al., 2003). ...
... While political conservatism seems to moderate women's distress over homosexual infidelity (Franks, 2015), factors such as negative attitudes toward homosexuality do not (e.g., Brewer, 2014). The strength of women's reaction to homosexual infidelities may be moderated by their beliefs about what homosexual infidelities mean (Denes et al., 2015), in particular the attributions women make about what such behavior indicates about their partner's sexual preferences. ...
... Here, we examine women's reactions to heterosexual and homosexual infidelity in three distinct cultures-Canada, Samoa, and the Istmo Zapotec. In line with the RTBM, we predicted that Canadian women would report more emotional upset in response to their male partners' infidelity with another male than with a female (see also Denes et al., 2015). Although homosexual infidelity does not represent a conception risk, male bisexual identity and attraction are relatively rare (i.e., ~1%) relative to exclusively homosexual identity and attraction (i.e., ~2-4%) in Euro-American cultures (Copen et al., 2016;Gates, 2011;Geary et al., 2018). ...
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Previous research indicates that Euro-American women are more upset by imagining their male partners committing homosexual infidelities than heterosexual ones. The present studies sought to replicate these findings and extend them to two non-Western cultures wherein masculine men frequently engage in sexual interactions with feminine third-gender males. Across six studies in three cultural locales (Canada, Samoa, and the Istmo Zapotec), women were asked to rate their degree of upset when imagining that their partner committed infidelity that was heterosexual in nature, as well as infidelity that was homosexual. In two Canadian undergraduate samples, women reported greater upset at imagining partner infidelity with a female, whereas a community sample of middle-aged women reported equal upset across infidelity types. Samoan women reported substantially less upset at the thought of partner infidelity with a third-gender male (fa'afafine) than with a female. Istmo Zapotec women reported equal upset toward infidelity with a female or a third-gender male (muxe), whereas a second Zapotec sample reported slightly greater upset at the thought of infidelity with a muxe. Results illustrate how cultural contexts moderate the degree to which same-sex infidelity scenarios are upsetting to women.
... Male participants did not indicate more distress than female participants in the case of the homosexual affair. Similarly, Denes, Lannutti, and Bevan (2015) employed an online sample of 285 participants in the USA and assessed four emotional responses, namely anger, hurt, upset, and fear, as well as willingness to terminate a relationship in the scenarios of same-sex and opposite-sex infidelity. They found that men and women experienced similar negative emotions across the two scenarios, but men were less likely to terminate the relationship in the case of same-sex infidelity. ...
... Note that, a different study found that women indicated more upset for same-than for opposite-sex infidelity (Wiederman & LaMar, 1998). One possible explanation for these findings is that, in the case of same-sex infidelity, women would assume that their partner was homosexual (Denes et al., 2015), and thus, even if they were to forgive his infidelity, the continuation of the relationship would be unlikely. In this respect, women would prefer that their partner would cheat with a woman than with a man because, as opposed to the latter, in the former scenario the continuation of the relationship would be possible. ...
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A considerable proportion of the population experiences varying degrees of same-sex attraction. It has been proposed that men exhibit high tolerance to their partner's same-sex infidelity, which allows such predispositions to exist in a relative high frequency in the population. On this basis, the hypothesis was tested that heterosexual men and women would differ in their tolerance level, with men exhibiting higher tolerance to same-sex infidelity than women. Evidence from an online sample of 590 heterosexual Greek-speaking participants provided strong support for this hypothesis. In particular, the vast majority of women exhibited low tolerance, while about one in two men exhibited high tolerance to same-sex infidelity. Furthermore, men and women exhibited higher tolerance to the same-sex infidelity of their long-term than of their short-term partners, with men exhibiting higher tolerance in the latter case. In addition, women exhibited low tolerance to opposite-sex and same-sex infidelity, but men exhibited low tolerance to opposite-sex infidelity, but much higher tolerance to same-sex infidelity. A considerable proportion of the population, currently estimated to be around 20% in women and 10% in men, experiences varying degrees of attraction toward same-sex individuals (LeVay, 2010). As same-sex attraction diverts mating effort toward relationships that cannot lead to procreation , the evolutionary origins of such attraction appear obscure. It has been recently proposed that the relatively high prevalence of this trait in women constitutes the outcome of weak negative selection on same-sex attraction in ancestral human societies (Apostolou, 2016b). The current paper attempts to contribute to this theoretical framework by demonstrating that men exhibit high tolerance to their partners' same-sex infidelity, which weakens the negative selection pressures exercised on same-sex attraction in women.
... Heterosexism can extend even to hypothetical instances of infidelity: heterosexual men and women report more negative emotional responses to imagined instances of mixed-sex compared to same-sex infidelity (Denes et al., 2015), suggesting that they view cheating with a same-sex partner as less of a threat to their romantic relationships and, by extension, may view same-sex sexual experiences, or even relationships, as less valid or genuine. ...
Article
The field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) relationship science has grown significantly over the past two decades, coinciding with rapid changes in the social acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. However, it is unclear to what extent the top two journals in relationship science, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and Personal Relationships, have contributed to the field. In this critical review, we analyzed the 2181 manuscripts published in the journals between 2002 and 2021 for whether they included or excluded LGBTQ+ participants, the methodologies used to analyze their data, and their conclusions about LGBTQ+ lives and relationships. The overwhelming majority (85.8%) of manuscripts did not acknowledge LGBTQ+ relationships; however, there have been improvements compared to past research in retaining LGBTQ+ participants within a data set when they were present. We identified 92 manuscripts that contributed to knowledge about LGBTQ+ lives or relationships. We discuss the lack of intersectional analyses and methodological challenges of incorporating multiple forms of diversity within quantitative research. Overarching themes across manuscript content included minority stress, relationship formation, social support, and commitment. Overall, though the research in the two journals has contributed to the literature on LGBTQ+ relationships, our review suggests that scholars do not consider these two journals as a first choice for finding or publishing LGBTQ+ relationship science.
... Evolutionary psychologists have overwhelmingly examined human mating psychology as if interactions between reproductively viable partners (i.e., heterosexual interactions) were cordoned off entirely from same-sex interactions where no reproductive potential exists (e.g., Buss 2013;Davies & Shackelford, 2015;Fisher & Cox, 2011;Stockley & Campbell, 2013;Walters & Crawford, 1994), although some notable exceptions are documented (Bailey & Zuk, 2009;Denes et al., 2015;Sagarin et al., 2012;Scherer et al., 2013). This approach is understandable given that the vast majority of males and females are opposite-sex attracted, and thus most human sexual behavior is heterosexual (Bailey et al., 2016). ...
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The present study examined women’s mate competition tactics in response to female and feminine-male rivals in two cultures in which competition against both occurs. In Samoa and the Istmo Zapotec (Southern Mexico), women not only compete with other women (intrasexually) but also compete with rival feminine males (intersexually) in order to access/retain the same masculine men as sexual/romantic partners. Using a mixed-method paradigm, women were asked about their experiences of intra- and intersexual mate competition, and these narratives were recorded. The tactics reportedly employed by participants, and those attributed to mate competitors, were categorized according to established taxonomies of mate competition tactics, and their frequencies compared. Within-culture, the likelihood that participant women had ever experienced intra- and intersexual mate competition did not differ. Furthermore, participants reported a similar pattern of behavioral tactics whether their rival was another woman or a feminine male. These included benefit provisioning tactics during mate acquisition and cost-inflicting tactics during mate retention. Similarly, the mate competition tactics attributed to rival women and rival feminine males bore a striking resemblance, focused on enticing target men. Results highlight the mate competition tactics employed by women outside of a Euro-American context, and the way cultural factors impact mating landscapes presumed to be exclusively heterosexual. The presence of feminine males, alongside masculine men’s willingness to engage in sexual activity with them, induces women in such cultures to compete intersexually in comparable ways to intrasexual competition with rival women.
... As people with different sexual orientations have been denied access to civil marriage for a long part of history (Eskridge 1999), the entire literature on marital infidelity is dedicated to heterosexual relationships in terms of attitudes, causes or consequences. Moreover, the research on people' reactions to their partner's infidelity that involves same-sex relationships has only focused on heterosexual couples (Brewer 2014;Confer and Cloud 2011;Denes et al. 2020;Denes et al. 2015). ...
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Most of the previously developed scales addressing infidelity were developed on young samples in dating relationships and with limited couple experience. The present study proposes an instrument to measure the proneness for infidelity among married people with substantial experience as a couple. Specific contexts described by the items, in which unfaithful behavior might occur, were selected from those revealed by previous research on people’s motives of past infidelity. Across two studies (N = 618) we examined the factorial structure and the psychometric characteristics of the Propensity towards Infidelity Scale (PTIS). Results revealed a one-dimensional structure of the PTIS and supported its reliability, its construct, criterion and incremental validity. PTIS emerged as negatively associated with two measures of adherence to moral standards, and positively related to past unfaithful behavior. Furthermore, the new instrument was found to bring a significant contribution in explaining these behaviors beyond two other scales of infidelity intentions.
... Why would Samoan women be concerned about female rivals, but relatively less concerned about fa'afafine rivals, when both are known to compete for, and sometimes successfully poach (Semenyna et al., 2020), women's boyfriends/husbands? The reproductive threatbased model of reaction to infidelity (Sagarin et al., 2012) posits that women are most concerned about infidelity with a reproductive partner, so long as infidelity with a same-sex (i.e., non-reproductive) partner does not impugn the assumed gynephilia of her boyfriend/husband (Denes et al., 2015). It is fairly common for Samoan men to engage in fleeting sexual activity with fa'afafine (Petterson et al., 2015(Petterson et al., , 2016(Petterson et al., , 2020, but to then return to their girlfriends/wives. ...
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Heterosexual women trust mating-relevant advice received from gay men more than that received from heterosexual women. This trust is predicated on women's perception that gay men lack ulterior sexual motives and romantically pursue other gay men. However, this trust may not hold in all cultures. For example, in both Samoa and the Istmo Zapotec of Southern Mexico, women take part in mate competition against feminine same-sex attracted males-referred to as fa'afafine and muxe, respectively-who regularly engage in sexual activity with masculine men. The present studies sought to replicate and extend research on women's trust in males who are same-sex attracted. Experiments were conducted in Canada, Samoa, and the Istmo Zapotec, with women randomly assigned to consider the likelihood of various mate-poaching behaviors performed by either a rival woman or a same-sex attracted male. In Canada, women were more trusting of cisgender gay men than other women. Similarly, Samoan women were more trusting of fa'afafine than other women. In the Istmo Zapotec, women were equally distrustful of women and feminine muxe gunaa, whereas more masculine muxe nguiiu were rated as more trustworthy than women and muxe gunaa. These results illustrate that women's trust in same-sex attracted males varies both between and within cultural contexts, perhaps impacted by the relative femininity of the male in question.
... Individuals who identify as LGTBQIA+ may find it challenging to disclose their sexual identity and/or sexual orientation in the workplace (Chory et al., under review;Ozeren, 2013). Further complicating matters related to (non)disclosure is that sexual orientation and sexual behavior do not always align (e.g., Denes et al., 2015;Diamond, 2018;Horan, 2016). Many of the factors complicating disclosure of sexual orientation and identity rest on the relationships among organizational members. ...
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Given the vast amount of time people spend communicating at work, relationships naturally develop. In addition, friends or romantic partners sometimes become coworkers. These interpersonal relationships involve work and life dimensions. We refer to them as personal workplace relationships: voluntary, informal, mutual, and consensual relationships between two members of the same organization that are marked by a strong emotional component and the partners’ knowing and communicating with each other as whole, unique persons. In this review, we summarize research examining these relationships. Specifically, studies of workplace peers, workplace friendships, and workplace romances are reviewed. In doing so, we highlight key research and theoretical perspectives from various disciplines. The review concludes with a discussion and recommendations for future research.
... Some authors have suggested that because those mechanisms had been designed by natural selection to promote reproductive fitness, none of these differences should be evident in non-reproducing groups of individuals (Sheets & Wolfe 2001). Indeed, the responses of heterosexual participants vary depending on the type of infidelity (different-sex vs. same-sex infidelity) being involved (e.g., Denes, Lannutti, & Bevan 2015;Mellgren et al. 2010). ...
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Although studies consistently show gender differences in emotional vs. sexual jealousy, a substantial part of variance in jealousy is left unexplained. Here, we present two studies with aim to explore other correlates of jealousy, aside from gender. In the first online study ( n = 2970), we found that participants who reported being more upset by the emotional infidelity scenario were older and more educated and had a higher income than those who reported being more upset by the sexual infidelity scenario. Those who expressed greater sexual jealousy gave higher ratings of importance of potential partner's mate value. Heterosexual women were more likely to report emotional jealousy than non-heterosexual women. Among men, sexual orientation did not predict type of jealousy. As the role of reproductive status was largely neglected in previous research, in the second study, we used a continuous measure to explore jealousy as a function of age (reproductive vs. post-reproductive; n = 199). We found that the older participants were less jealous overall, and that the previously reported gender differences disappeared in the post-reproductive group. These results provide further support for the notion that jealousy is a context-specific, adaptive response, which diminishes in both intensity and specificity as the threat that it was designed for wanes.
... More specifically, Brewer (2014) presented participants with vignettes describing a hypothetical situation where their partner had a heterosexual or homosexual affair and found that male participants did not indicate less distress than female participants in the case of the homosexual affair. Denes, Lannutti, and Bevan (2015) used an online sample of 285 participants in the United States and assessed four emotional responses, namely, anger, hurt, upset, and fear, as well as willingness to terminate a relationship in the scenario involving same-sex and opposite-sex infidelity, respectively. They found that men and women experienced similar negative emotions across the two scenarios, but men were less likely to terminate the relationship in the case of same-sex infidelity. ...
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There is accumulating evidence that heterosexual men exhibit tolerance to their partners’ same-sex infidelity. The current study examined such tolerance in the Chinese (N = 949) and the British (N = 305) cultural contexts. Consistent with the predictions derived from an evolutionary framework, across different cultural settings, men exhibited higher tolerance than women to their partners’ same-sex infidelity. In addition, if they had to choose, men were considerably more likely than women to prefer their partners to cheat with an individual of the same than of the opposite sex. Participants were also more tolerant of infidelity involving their short-term than their long-term partners. Moreover, men who preferred same-sex attraction in women were more tolerant to the same-sex infidelity of their female partners than men who did not share these preferences. Finally, men and women who experienced same-sex attractions indicated higher tolerance to infidelity. The implications of these finding for the evolution of same-sex attraction in women were further discussed.
... | 1981-6472 no threat of reproduction, there is less jealousy and sex differences are negligible. Similarly, Denes et al. (2015) asked participants about their reactions to imagined same-sex versus opposite-sex infidelity, which indicated less negative response to same-sex infidelity (see also Leeker & Carlozzi, 2014). Here, our first goal is to extend this model back to heterosexual relationships to examine how an interloper's known fertility versus infertility, a novel way to examine reproductive threat, influences jealousy. ...
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Two studies are utilized to test a revised version of Guerrero, Andersen, Eloy, Spitzberg, and Jorgensen's (199525. Guerrero , L. K. , Andersen , P. A. , Jorgensen , P. F. , Spitzberg , B. H. and Eloy , S. V. 1995. Coping with the green-eyed monster: Conceptualizing and measuring communicative responses to romantic jealousy. Western Journal of Communication, 59: 270–304. [Taylor & Francis Online]View all references) communicative responses to jealousy (CRJ) scale and examine how measures from the CRJ associate with relational satisfaction. Study 1 uses exploratory factor analysis to identify a preliminary factor structure. Study 2 uses confirmatory factor analysis to determine whether this factor structure holds across a second sample, as well as structural equation modeling to test hypotheses regarding the associations between communicative responses to jealousy and relational satisfaction. These studies suggest that there are 11 specific communicative responses to jealousy that fall under four superordinate categories: (a) destructive communication, which consists of negative communication, counter-jealousy induction, and violence; (b) constructive communication, which includes integrative communication and compensatory restoration; (c) avoidance, which comprises silence and denial; and (d) rival-focused communication, which includes signs of possession, surveillance, rival contacts, and derogation of the rival. Destructive communication and, to a lesser extent, rival-focused communication associated negatively with relational satisfaction, whereas constructive communication associated positively. Recommendations for using the CRJ scale in future studies are provided.
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Although heterosexual women and men consistently demonstrate sex differences in jealousy, these differences disappear among lesbians and gay men as well as among heterosexual women and men contemplating same-sex infidelities (infidelities in which the partner and rival are the same sex). Synthesizing these past findings, the present paper offers a reproductive threat-based model of evolved sex differences in jealousy that predicts that the sexes will differ only when the jealous perceivers' reproductive outcomes are differentially at risk. This model is supported by data from a web-based study in which lesbians, gay men, bisexual women and men, and heterosexual women and men responded to a hypothetical infidelity scenario with the sex of the rival randomly determined. After reading the scenario, participants indicated which type of infidelity (sexual versus emotional) would cause greater distress. Consistent with predictions, heterosexual women and men showed a sex difference when contemplating opposite-sex infidelities but not when contemplating same-sex infidelities, whereas lesbians and gay men showed no sex difference regardless of whether the infidelity was opposite-sex or same-sex.
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Little scientific attention has been paid to bisexuality or to societal attitudes about bisexual people. Often, biphobia has been assumed to be identical to homophobia. In this study, 229 heterosexual undergraduate students rated their degree of agreement to stereotypical statements about bisexuality and provided information on their attitudes about the acceptability of bisexual, gay, and lesbian people. Although there was a high degree of correlation between biphobia and homophobia, negative attitudes about bisexuals, men in particular, were more prevalent than negative attitudes about lesbians or gay men. Biphobia and homophobia should be considered related, but distinct, phenomena.
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This chapter reviews numerous factors that affect the experience and expression of romantic jealousy. Biology, culture, personality, relationships, situations, and strategic (partner-initiated) maneuversprovide a foundation for the study of romantic jealousy. These six factors work together to influence the type and intensity of affective responses, the extent of jealous cognition, and ultimately, the ways that members of the romantic triangle communicate about jealousy. Jealous affect and cognition influence one another, and often determine how one communicates about jealousy. Sometimes, communicative responses to jealousy are automatic responses to arousal or to intense emotions. There are six communicative functions related to jealousy: (1) preserving self-esteem, (2) maintaining the primary relationship, (3) reducing uncertainty about the primary relationship, (4) reducing uncertainty about the rival relationship,(5) restoring relational equity, and (6) reassessing the primary relationship. All of these functions have been shown to correspond with particular types of communicative responses to jealousy, such as negative affect expression, integrative communication, distributive communication, active distancing, surveillance behavior, and compensatory restoration.
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Evolutionary scientists have predicted a universal sex difference in response to different forms of infidelity, with men expected to be more upset than women by a sexual infidelity when both a sexual and an emotional transgression occur. Although this finding has proven to be robust, the vast majority of studies have occurred in industrialized countries and student populations. Here I present the first test of the jealousy hypothesis among a small-scale, natural fertility population, the Himba of Namibia. In this population, the majority of both men and women report greater distress over a sexual infidelity, with men reaching an almost unanimous consensus (96%). Despite the skew for both men and women, there is a significant sex difference in the direction predicted by the evolutionary hypothesis, providing further support for this view. The increased risks of both pregnancy and paternity loss that occur in this natural fertility population may help to explain why these results differ from previously studied populations. More broadly, these data suggest that both the type and the intensity of jealousy expressed may be facultative responses and that further investigation of correlates related to life history trade-offs, forms of investment, and the sexual division of labor can help us to understand the inter-cultural variation in jealous response.
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Past demonstrations of sex differences in jealousy have generally employed Buss et al.'s [Psychol. Sci. 3 (1992) 251] forced-choice methodology, a limitation criticized by DeSteno and Salovey [Psychol. Sci. 7 (1996) 367]. The present studies address this criticism by demonstrating the sex difference using both forced-choice and continuous measures of jealousy. In addition, the results distinguish two important moderators of the sex difference: infidelity experience, in which male victims and female perpetrators of infidelity reported greater distress in response to a sexual infidelity, and sexual orientation of the infidelity, in which the sex difference disappears completely when an infidelity carries no risk of conception because an opposite-sex partner has become involved with a same-sex lover.
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We used national panel data collected between 1980 and 1997 to classify 208 people's open-ended responses to a question on why their marriages ended in divorce. Infidelity was the most commonly reported cause, followed by incompatibility, drinking or drug use, and growing apart. People's specific reasons for divorcing varied with gender, social class, and life course variables. Former husbands and wives were more likely to blame their ex-spouses than themselves for the problems that led to the divorce. Former husbands and wives claimed, however, that women were more likely to have initiated the divorce. People who attributed the cause of the divorce to the relationship itself, rather than to internal (self) or external factors, tended to have the best postdivorce adjustment.
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Because a relationship between jealousy expression and the experience of uncertainty has been consistently demonstrated, the current project proposes that general partner and relational uncertainty arise in one individual as a reaction to jealousy expression from that individual's partner. Specifically, the amount of uncertainty present after another person expresses jealousy is predicted to differ according to relational type and the way in which the jealousy is expressed. Hypothetical jealousy scenarios involving cross‐sex friends, siblings, dating partners, and negative, neutral, and positive jealousy expression are utilized to test these predictions. Findings reveal that cross‐sex friends are more uncertain than either siblings or daters after another person expresses jealousy. In addition, another person's use of negative affect expression (neutral jealousy expression) is related to greater uncertainty compared with another's use of integrative communication (positive jealousy expression). The importance of considering reactions to another person's jealousy expression is described. Further, implications for uncertainty research are discussed.
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Presents a summary and synthesis of the author's work on attribution theory concerning the mechanisms involved in the process of causal explanations. The attribution theory is related to studies of social perception, self-perception, and psychological epistemology. Two systematic statements of attribution theory are described, discussed, and illustrated with empirical data: the covariation and the configuration concepts. Some problems for attribution theory are considered, including the interplay between preconceptions and new information, simple vs. complex schemata, attribution of covariation among causes, and illusions in attributions. The role of attribution in decision making and behavior is discussed. (56 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This study offers an introduction to the Down Low lifestyle and an examination of possible attitude differences towards the related topics of male homosexuality and bisexuality. The Down Low is a lifestyle predominately practiced by young, urban African American men who have sex with other men and women, yet do not identify as gay or bisexual. Participants' (n = 146) attitudes were measured using subscales of the Components of Attitudes Towards Homosexuality scale and an original measure created specifically for measuring attitudes towards male bisexuality and the Down Low. Results suggests that age, ethnicity, and gender greatly influence attitudes towards homosexuality, bisexuality, and the Down Low, with younger, female, and Caucasian individuals having more positive attitudes towards these lifestyles.
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Providing an important advance, this groundbreaking volume is the first to offer a comprehensive review of modern research on romantic jealousy. It offers a conceptual framework for ordering past research, an up-to-date review of the literature from diverse sources and fields, and useful clinical strategies for practitioners and clinicians in training. This volume concentrates on romantic jealousy, which the authors define as neither an emotion, a state of mind, nor a way of behaving, but rather as a multisystem phenomenon involving personality, relationships, culture, and perhaps biology. The book opens by presenting a model of romantic jealousy that integrates research and clinical phenomena. It then offers analyses of several different perspectives including: sociobiological and personality approaches; ways in which relationship characteristics and dynamics contribute to jealousy; gender differences; and cultural and social factors that affect jealousy. Chapters on clinical concerns focus on violence, psychopathology, and the assessment and treatment of normal, reactive, and symptomatic jealousies. Specific strategies are provided with clinical, real-life, and cross-cultural case examples used throughout. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This paper seeks to clarify the association between the intimacy and the magnitude of relational uncertainty generated by specific events within romantic relationships. More specifically, we suggest that episodic relational uncertainty peaks at moderate levels of intimacy. We conducted a cross–sectional study in which 328 romantic relationship participants reported their reactions to a hypothetical relational uncertainty increasing event. Although the effect size was small, findings documented a curvilinear association between intimacy and episodic relational uncertainty. Further, hierarchical regression results supported our predictions about the effects of intimacy and episodic relational uncertainty on people’s reactions to the events. We discuss the implications of our findings for understanding the roles of both intimacy and episodic relational uncertainty within romantic relationships.
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Based on sexual strategies theory, we predicted that men would be less likely to continue an imagined long-term relationship following a partner’s heterosexual affair compared to homosexual affair. For women, it was expected that both affair types would result in a low willingness to continue the relationship, but especially so for homosexual affairs. We further predicted that the interaction would remain independent of the following moderator variables: number of affair partners, number of instances of infidelity, and real infidelity experience. Participants (N = 718) were randomly assigned to read one of eight infidelity scenarios and estimate the likelihood that they would continue the relationship. Results confirmed all three predictions. A separate analysis of relationship outcomes following real infidelity experiences provided additional corroboration. These results support the conclusion that threats to paternity and threats of abandonment differentially motivate men and women to terminate relationships in response to a partner’s infidelity.
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African American women are disproportionately affected by HIV. Some research has explored if non-disclosing men who have sex with men and women contribute to women's HIV risk. Popular media discourse tends to refer to these men as 'down low' or 'DL'. Six focus groups were conducted with 36 African American women in Washington, DC, to examine their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours regarding DL men. Three of the focus groups were composed of HIV-positive women and three groups were composed of HIV-negative women. Data analysis reveals six central subcategories related to women's perspectives on the DL: awareness, suspicion, coping with partner infidelity (male versus female), sexual health communication, empathy and religion. No major differences were identified between the HIV-positive and HIV-negative focus groups. Findings from this study provide insight into African American women's perceptions of African American male sexuality and how these perceptions serve to influence interpersonal relationship factors and women's exposure to HIV risk.
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Negative jealousy-related emotion and rumination are examined as consequences of a close relational partner's jealousy expression. Specifically, relationship type (i.e., sibling relationships, cross-sex friendships, and dating partners) and three of Guerrero et al.'s (199526. Guerrero , L. K. , Andersen , P. A. , Jorgensen , P. F. , Spitzberg , B. H. , & Eloy , S. V. ( 1995 ). Coping with the green-eyed monster: Conceptualizing and measuring communicative responses to romantic jealousy . Western Journal of Communication , 59 , 270 – 304 . [CSA] [Taylor & Francis Online]View all references) forms of jealousy expression (i.e., distributive communication, integrative communication, and negative affect expression) are compared according to negative jealousy-related emotion and rumination following a hypothetical partner jealousy expression situation. Siblings and dating partners reported experiencing more intense negative emotion than cross-sex friends after partner jealousy expression. Further, participants reported ruminating more after their partners used distributive communication compared with integrative communication or negative affect expression to express jealousy. Emotional intensity did not vary according to type of jealousy expression and rumination did not vary with regard to relationship type. Practical and theoretical implications for the study of negative emotion, rumination, and partner jealousy expression are discussed.
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Two independently conducted studies investigate the relations between jealousy-related emotions and communicative responses. In Study 1, participants provided open-ended accounts of specific jealousy episodes, from which descriptions of jealous communication were coded. Study 2 examined whether people tend to experience jealousy-related emotion and use communicative responses to jealousy in systematic and related ways. Across both studies, fear and anger were central to the experience of jealousy. Various combinations of emotion predicted the different communicative responses to jealousy. For example, violent communication was predicted by high levels of hostility and low levels of guilt, while communication with the rival was predicted by high levels of passion and hostility. These results suggest that people are likely to express jealousy differently depending on the specific emotions they experience.
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According to attachment theory, the attachment system is activated to manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that stem from potential separation and relational threat. Thus, jealousy provides an important situation in which to examine attachment-style differences. In the present study, 144 individuals currently involved in enduring romantic relationships completed questionnaires regarding their jealousy experience, jealousy expression, and attachment styles. Four major findings emerged. First, those with negative self-models reported experiencing more cognitive jealousy than did those with positive self-models Second, jealous individuals with negative other-models reported feeling fear less intensely, using less relationship-maintaining behavior, and engaging in more avoidance/denial than did those with positive other-models. Third, preoccupieds reported displaying more negative affect and engaging in more surveillance behavior than did those with other attachment styles. Finally, dismissives reported feeling less fear than did secures and preoccupieds, and less sadness than preoccupieds, when experiencing jealousy. Attachment-style dimensions, such as lack of confidence and preoccupation with relationships, were also associated with jealousy experience and expression. These results are interpreted in light of attachment-theory principles.
Book
Patterns in the data on human sexuality support the hypothesis that the bases of sexual emotions are products of natural selection. Most generally, the universal existence of laws, rules, and gossip about sex, the pervasive interest in other people's sex lives, the widespread seeking of privacy for sexual intercourse, and the secrecy that normally permeates sexual conduct imply a history of reproductive competition. More specifically, the typical differences between men and women in sexual feelings can be explained most parsimoniously as resulting from the extraordinarily different reproductive opportunities and constraints males and females normally encountered during the course of evolutionary history. Men are more likely than women to desire multiple mates; to desire a variety of sexual partners; to experience sexual jealousy of a spouse irrespective of specific circumstances; to be sexually aroused by the sight of a member of the other sex; to experience an autonomous desire for sexual intercourse; and to evaluate sexual desirability primarily on the bases of physical appearance and youth. The evolutionary causes of human sexuality have been obscured by attempts to find harmony in natural creative processes and human social life and to view sex differences as complementary. The human female's capacity for orgasm and the loss of estrus, for example, have been persistently interpreted as marriage-maintaining adaptations. Available evidence is more consistent with the view that few sex differences in sexuality are complementary, that many aspects of sexuality undermine marriage, and that sexuality is less a unifying than a divisive force in human affairs.
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Previous research suggests that hurt feelings can have powerful effects on individual and relational outcomes. This study examined a typology of hurtful events in couple relationships, together with integrative models predicting ongoing effects on victims and relationships. Participants were 224 students from introductory and third-year psychology classes, who completed open-ended and structured measures concerning an event in which a partner had hurt their feelings. By tailoring Leary et al.'s (1998) typology to the context of romantic relationships, five categories of hurtful events were proposed: active disassociation, passive disassociation, criticism, infidelity, and deception. Analyses assessing similarities and differences among the categories confirmed the utility of the typology. Structural equation modeling showed that longer-term effects on the victim were predicted by relationship anxiety and by the victim's immediate reactions to the event (negative emotions and self-perceptions; feelings of rejection and powerlessness). In contrast, ongoing effects on the relationship were predicted by avoidance, the victim's attributions and perceptions of offender remorse, and the victim's own behavior. The results highlight the utility of an integrated approach to hurt, incorporating emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses, and dimensions of attachment security.
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The study of jealousy is typically restricted to the examination of a third-party threat to one's romantic relationship. In contrast to this rather narrow view, two studies were undertaken to examine the possibility (a) that individuals experience jealousy over a variety of issues, and (b) that jealousy- of any type-occurs and is expressed in non-romantic relationships such as cross-sex friendship. The goal of Study I was to assess the realism of hypothetical situations representing six different types of jealousy suggested within the literature. ...
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The data suggest that males are more likely to experience the consequences of negative attitudes toward homosexuality than are females. There is some evidence for believing that female homosexual behavior is labeled as erotic while male homosexual behavior is viewed as repugnant. Both men and women were asked whether they thought males and females making love to one another was an erotic act. Female homosexual behavior was much more likely to be labeled erotic (23%) than was male homosexual behavior (7%). One-third of all male respondents labeled two women making love to be erotic, and ten percent of the female respondents agreed with this position.
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Responding to controversies about the balance between nature and culture in determining human sexuality, the author proposes that the female sex drive is more malleable than the male in response to sociocultural and situational factors. A large assortment of evidence supports 3 predictions based on the hypothesis of female erotic plasticity: (a) Individual women will exhibit more variation across time than men in sexual behavior, (b) female sexuality will exhibit larger effects than male in response to most specific sociocultural variables, and (c) sexual attitude-behavior consistency will be lower for women than men. Several possible explanations for female erotic plasticity are reviewed, including adaptation to superior male political and physical power, the centrality of female change (from no to yes) as a prerequisite for intercourse, and the idea that women have a milder sex drive than men.