Emotional responses to sexual and emotional infidelity: constants and differences across genders, samples, and methods.Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2004 Nov; 30(11):1375-88.PS
In three studies (total N = 619), the authors tested an evolutionary hypothesis: Men are more bothered by sexual than emotional infidelity, whereas the reverse is true of women. More diverse samples (in age) and measures than is typical were used. In Study 1, the authors found across gender, sample, and method that sexual infidelity was associated with anger and blame, but emotional infidelity was associated with hurt feelings. The evolutionary effect was replicated with undergraduates but not with the nonstudent sample. In Study 2, narrative scenarios were used; it was found that nonstudent men and women were more hurt and upset by emotional infidelity but were made angrier by sexual infidelity. In Study 3, using Likert-type scales, scenarios, and a nonstudent sample, it was found that both genders were more upset, hurt, and angrier about sexual than emotional transgressions when rating one kind without hearing the opposite type. The implications for how emotional responses evolved are discussed.