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Sexual and Romantic Jealousy in Heterosexual and Homosexual Adults

Christine R. Harris
Psychological Science
Vol. 13, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 7-12
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40063688
Page Count: 6
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Sexual and Romantic Jealousy in Heterosexual and Homosexual Adults
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Abstract

Several theorists have claimed that men are innately more upset by a mate's sexual infidelity and women are more upset by a mate's emotional infidelity because the sexes faced different adaptive problems (for men, cuckoldry; for women, losing a mate's resources). The present work examined this theory of jealousy as a specific innate module in 196 adult men and women of homosexual and heterosexual orientations. As in previous work, heterosexuals' responses to a forced-choice question about hypothetical infidelity yielded a gender difference. However, no gender differences were found when participants recalled personal experiences with a mate's actual infidelity. Men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, on average focused more on a mate 's emotional infidelity than on a mate's sexual infidelity. Responses to hypothetical infidelity were uncorrelated with reactions to actual infidelity. This finding casts doubt on the validity of the hypothetical measures used in previous research.

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