Defining and Distinguishing Sexual and Emotional Infidelity

Defining and Distinguishing Sexual and Emotional Infidelity Researchers studying interpersonal relationships often distinguish between “sexual infidelity” and “emotional infidelity.” Yet, it remains largely unclear whether and how individuals actually conceptualize these constructs in their own lives, and how men and women vary, if at all, in their definitions and understanding of different types of infidelity. The current research used a mixed-methodology approach to explore the epistemological nature of sexual infidelity and emotional infidelity. In Study 1, 379 participants provided open-ended definitions of what they believe constitutes sexual infidelity and emotional infidelity. In Study 2, responses were then coded by a different group of outside raters to examine overall themes in the definitions provided and how prototypical these definitions were for each type of infidelity. Results identified and examined the definitions with the highest mean ratings in terms of how well they represented emotional infidelity or sexual infidelity. Overall, both men and women had more consistency in their definitions of what constituted sexual infidelity than on what constituted emotional infidelity, suggesting that emotional infidelity is a more vague and complex concept than sexual infidelity. Additionally, when asked to define sexual and emotional infidelity, many participants focused on specific behaviors (including deception), but when asked to consider the types of infidelity as distinct from each other, participants focused on feelings. By exploring how individuals actually define these constructs, these data provide a more accurate and rich depiction of how individuals define acts of infidelity than currently exists in the relationship literature. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Current Psychology Springer Journals

Defining and Distinguishing Sexual and Emotional Infidelity

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/defining-and-distinguishing-sexual-and-emotional-infidelity-zMlH77lepY
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Psychology, general; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
1046-1310
eISSN
1936-4733
D.O.I.
10.1007/s12144-016-9432-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Researchers studying interpersonal relationships often distinguish between “sexual infidelity” and “emotional infidelity.” Yet, it remains largely unclear whether and how individuals actually conceptualize these constructs in their own lives, and how men and women vary, if at all, in their definitions and understanding of different types of infidelity. The current research used a mixed-methodology approach to explore the epistemological nature of sexual infidelity and emotional infidelity. In Study 1, 379 participants provided open-ended definitions of what they believe constitutes sexual infidelity and emotional infidelity. In Study 2, responses were then coded by a different group of outside raters to examine overall themes in the definitions provided and how prototypical these definitions were for each type of infidelity. Results identified and examined the definitions with the highest mean ratings in terms of how well they represented emotional infidelity or sexual infidelity. Overall, both men and women had more consistency in their definitions of what constituted sexual infidelity than on what constituted emotional infidelity, suggesting that emotional infidelity is a more vague and complex concept than sexual infidelity. Additionally, when asked to define sexual and emotional infidelity, many participants focused on specific behaviors (including deception), but when asked to consider the types of infidelity as distinct from each other, participants focused on feelings. By exploring how individuals actually define these constructs, these data provide a more accurate and rich depiction of how individuals define acts of infidelity than currently exists in the relationship literature.

Journal

Current PsychologySpringer Journals

Published: Mar 10, 2016

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed
Create lists to
organize your research
Export lists, citations
Read DeepDyve articles
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off