Are heterosexual women more upset by emotional cheating than physical cheating? Are heterosexual men more enraged by the latter? And are those who identify as gay, lesbian or bi equally as upset by both deviances? Science certainly seems to think so.
According to a study published last month in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, both your gender and sexual orientation could play a major role in how you react when it comes to cheating. As a whole, the study sought to uncover the reasons why we suffer jealously in relationships.
In their attempt to delve deeper into their hypothesis, the researchers gathered data from roughly 64,000 people on their relationship experiences, both past and present. According to Refinery 29, those surveyed were also asked how they would react to learn that their partners had feelings for someone else but didn’t physically cross a line, and if their partners didn’t have feelings for someone else but DID cross that physical boundary.
Among their results, researchers discovered that straight men were twice as upset by physical infidelity, later suggesting that this has strong connections to our evolutionary development. As per the study’s abstract –
The proposed explanation is that men, in contrast to women, face the risk of unwittingly investing in genetically unrelated offspring. Most studies, however, have relied on small college or community samples of heterosexual participants.
Their conclusion? Their research supported evolutionary studies, but only in relation to heterosexual men and women. It is also suggested that cultural influences are also heavily at play:
This gender difference emerged across age groups, income levels, history of being cheated on, history of being unfaithful, relationship type, and length. The gender difference, however, was limited to heterosexual participants. Bisexual men and women did not differ significantly from each other in upset over sexual infidelity (30 vs. 27 %), regardless of whether they were currently dating a man (35 vs. 29 %) or woman (28 vs. 20 %). Gay men and lesbian women also did not differ (32 vs. 34 %). The findings present strong evidence that a gender difference exists in a broad sample of U.S. adults, but only among heterosexuals.
How would you feel?