The Effects of Sample Characteristics and Experience with Infidelity on Romantic Jealousy

The Effects of Sample Characteristics and Experience with Infidelity on Romantic Jealousy Past research has suggested that men are more upset by imagined sexual than emotional infidelity, and women are more upset by imagined emotional infidelity than sexual infidelity. However, experience with infidelity, methodology, and age and gender of the sample may help to explain inconsistent results. Two hundred ninety-four English-speaking undergraduate students and 325 non-college adults in a large mid-Atlantic urban area of the U.S. completed forced-choice or continuous-scale anonymous questionnaires regarding jealousy over a mate’s hypothetical infidelity. Chi-square and MANOVA analyses replicated previous findings of the expected gender difference in all hypothetical forced-choice scenarios. However, results for those participants who reported experience with actual infidelity demonstrated little support for the traditional evolutionary model, as there were no gender differences in which aspect of hypothetical infidelity was reported to be more distressing, and no gender differences at the college level in terms of which aspect of infidelity received the greatest focus. These findings, extrapolated from both undergraduates and adults and accounting for the impact of actual, primed memory of experience of infidelity on hypothetical jealousy scenarios, raise important questions about the validity of hypothetical scenarios of jealousy as proxies for real reactions to actual infidelity. The results of the present study suggest that the lack of a consistent, replicable gender difference across the lifespan may be explained by two related factors: age and actual experience with infidelity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

The Effects of Sample Characteristics and Experience with Infidelity on Romantic Jealousy

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Medicine/Public Health, general; Sociology, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-011-0048-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Past research has suggested that men are more upset by imagined sexual than emotional infidelity, and women are more upset by imagined emotional infidelity than sexual infidelity. However, experience with infidelity, methodology, and age and gender of the sample may help to explain inconsistent results. Two hundred ninety-four English-speaking undergraduate students and 325 non-college adults in a large mid-Atlantic urban area of the U.S. completed forced-choice or continuous-scale anonymous questionnaires regarding jealousy over a mate’s hypothetical infidelity. Chi-square and MANOVA analyses replicated previous findings of the expected gender difference in all hypothetical forced-choice scenarios. However, results for those participants who reported experience with actual infidelity demonstrated little support for the traditional evolutionary model, as there were no gender differences in which aspect of hypothetical infidelity was reported to be more distressing, and no gender differences at the college level in terms of which aspect of infidelity received the greatest focus. These findings, extrapolated from both undergraduates and adults and accounting for the impact of actual, primed memory of experience of infidelity on hypothetical jealousy scenarios, raise important questions about the validity of hypothetical scenarios of jealousy as proxies for real reactions to actual infidelity. The results of the present study suggest that the lack of a consistent, replicable gender difference across the lifespan may be explained by two related factors: age and actual experience with infidelity.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 28, 2011

References

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