How Your Mate Value Affects Your Responses to Infidelity
I am top dog on the mating market: Don’t cheat on me!
Posted Apr 19, 2014
Ninety-eight students (55 women; 43 men; sex breakdown was emailed to me by John E. Edlund) who had been cheated on by a partner were asked to respond to the following question: “To what degree did you experience jealousy over the emotional (sexual) aspects of your partner’s infidelity?” The dependent measure was a seven-point scale with the endpoints “Not at all” and “Completely”. The question referred to the most recent case of infidelity (assuming that an individual might have experienced this reality on multiple occasions). The participants also filled out the mate value scale along with several other demographic questions.
The results were consistent with the authors’ hypothesis. Specifically, the sex-specificity of the jealousy effect (i.e., that sexual infidelity triggers greater jealousy in men while emotional infidelity yields greater jealousy in women) was amplified for individuals of high mate value. Bottom line: Individuals’ mate values in part shape how they will respond to perceived threats to their romantic relationships.
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