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Sex differences in response to actual infidelity. (How men and women react differently towards infidelity and why) - Research Paper Example

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How men and women react differently towards infidelity and why? Infidelity is the breaking of accepted rules between people especially in an intimate relationship. In simple words, it is called cheating or being unfaithful. This breach in faithfulness can exist between spouses, friends, colleagues, religious groups, politicians, and businessmen…
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Sex differences in response to actual infidelity. (How men and women react differently towards infidelity and why)
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"Sex differences in response to actual infidelity. (How men and women react differently towards infidelity and why)"

Download file to see previous pages The point of discussion here is how men and women behave differently when they discover that they are being cheated or their friend or spouse is being unfaithful to them. Men and women show dissimilar emotional responses to events. Their psychological differences help us understand why their responses are different. Nannini and Meyers (2000) studied the male and female response to social and emotional infidelity. They conducted their experiment on 165 women and 152 men, and examined their responses “using both Smith and Elsworth’s six cognitive dimensions of emotion and a measure of emotional upset.” They found that the gender of the victim was as important as the nature of the scenario itself, and concluded that women were more emotionally distressed when they faced infidelity than men. They state in their research that evolutionary psychologists have agreed upon another fact that there is also a big difference in the jealousy content of male and female reactions in that men are more jealous if their mates are cheating upon them. Men fear sexual infidelity and women fear emotional infidelity, and their reactions are also more limited to their areas of jealousy. Bjorklund and Shackelford (1999) had also supported this previously by stating in his research that the psychological differences and the gender roles assigned to women by the society, like caring more for children and looking after the spouse, maker her react more to emotional infidelity rather than sexual infidelity. Women tend to be more emotionally insecure than men and so they are hurt more when they fall prey to emotional infidelity by another person may he be a spouse, friend or a colleague. Men are, on the other hand, emotionally strong in nature so they are not easily moved when they undergo an emotional situation; however, they show more distress than women when they encounter sexual infidelity (Sagarin et al., 2003; Harris, 2000; Pietrzak et al., 2002). DeKay and Buss (1992, p.184) state that evolutionary psychology shapes human psychological mechanisms and this is the difference in the functioning of these mechanisms in both sexes that makes them react differently to different situations. More of the research and literature is based on spousal infidelity. Duncombe (2004, p.106) talks about the double standards put forward by men in which they engage more often in extradyad sex than women and also do not forgive women to engage in extradyad sex. Research states that men like to and do engage in extramarital short span relationships, and also fall prey to vehement jealousy if their female counterparts do the same, and this jealousy often results in murders or murder attempts. However, there are researchers like Mead (1975) who agreed that women are the more jealous sex because they are jealous even when they are not in love while men are only jealous when they are in love. Mead states that the reason for this is the women are generally dependent on men and they do not want to lose them for the sake of their social stability and financial resources. Researchers agree that men possess low levels of anxiety and stress within them due to which their reactions to infidelity other than sexual one is not that stronger as women whose stress levels are much higher. But the case is opposite in sexual infidelity. Cann, Mangum and Wells (2001, p.185) suggest that besides evolutionary aspects of human psychology, there are also ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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