Women more upset at partner’s emotional infidelity, men at sexual: Study | sex and relationships | Hindustan Times
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Women more upset at partner’s emotional infidelity, men at sexual: Study

A research, which looked into how jealousy plays out in the digital age, found that for women it was more distressing if their partner received infidelity-related messages from a potential rival. For men, it was more hurtful if their partner sent such texts.

sex and relationships Updated: Jul 09, 2017 15:51 IST
Researchers said real or suspected partner infidelity that causes sexual or emotional jealousy is often given as the reason for domestic abuse and violence.
Researchers said real or suspected partner infidelity that causes sexual or emotional jealousy is often given as the reason for domestic abuse and violence.(iStock.com)

Women tend to get more upset than men on discovering an emotional infidelity-related message about their partner on the social media, says a study.

Men felt more distressed at their partners’ sexual rather than emotional infidelity, the findings, led by researchers from the Cardiff Metropolitan University in Britain, revealed.

Women, however, were more upset than men in response to emotional messages. Women were also significantly more upset when a potential rival had written the message, compared to when it was composed by their own partners.

The study looked into the mechanisms underlying jealousy, and how it plays out in the digital age. (Shutterstock)

For men, the opposite seemed to be true and they appeared to be more upset by imagining that their partner sending rather than receiving an infidelity-revealing message. But, irrespective of the contents, women were overall more upset than men when they discovered an infidelity-related message, the researchers said.

The study, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science, emphasised the importance of understanding the mechanisms underlying jealousy, and how it plays out in the digital age.

Real or suspected partner infidelity that causes sexual or emotional jealousy is often given as the reason for domestic abuse and violence, the researchers noted.

“Applying an evolutionary perspective to understanding the manifestation of jealous behaviour and how infidelity-related anger can trigger partner dissolution and domestic abuse may help counteract inevitable rises in such behaviours in an age where clandestine extra-marital relationships are facilitated by modern forms of media technology,” said Michael Dunn from Cardiff Metropolitan University.

For the study, the team included 21 males and 23 female undergraduate students who were shown imaginary Facebook messages, revealing that their partners had been either emotionally or sexually unfaithful.

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