Testing the sexual imagination hypothesis for gender differences in response to infidelity.BMC Res Notes. 2014 Nov 29; 7:860.BR
Evolutionary psychologists hypothesized that men are more upset by sexual infidelity than women are, whereas women are more upset by emotional infidelity than men are. On the other hand, the sexual imagination hypothesis states that gender differences in infidelity responses are derived from explicit men's sexual imagery. Based on the latter hypothesis, we hypothesized that although men would report being more distressed by sexual infidelity than women who were not in a committed relationship (NCR), no gender difference would be reported in a committed relationship (CR).
These two hypotheses were tested with 598 participants in a CR and 1,643 participants in a NCR. No significant gender difference was found sexual infidelity response in the CR group (d=0.008, a power of .956), whereas men were more upset than women about sexual infidelity in the NCR group. Moreover, a significant interaction between gender and infidelity type was found in the NCR, whereas no significant interaction between gender and infidelity type was observed in the CR group (partial η2=0.005, a power of .943).
Our findings supported the sexual imagination hypothesis but were inconsistent with the EJM hypothesis.