Annotated Bibliography - Sex Differences in Jealousy

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The evolutionary model of jealousy implies that jealousy responses between men and women evolved to aid them with the different reproductive challenges faced by the two sexes. It states that, when it comes to infidelity, men are concerned with their female partner becoming pregnant by another man and are therefore more likely to feel jealous in response to sexual infidelity cues. Women are more concerned with their male partner diverting emotional and material resources required for raising her children to another woman, making them more likely to feel jealous in response to emotional infidelity cues. Men’s concern with sexual infidelity stems from the fact that a woman’s sexual infidelity can result in their raising and devoting resources to another man’s child instead of investing their efforts in the future of their own offspring for future generations to carry on their genes. Women can be certain of their maternity, which accounts for the decreased concern with sexual infidelity. They are however, threatened by the thought of having their partner direct resources and attention towards another woman and her offspring, this accounts for the increased concern with respect to emotional infidelity.

Burchell, J. L., & Ward, J. (2011). Sex drive, attachment style, relationship status and previous infidelity as predictors of sex differences in romantic jealousy. Personality and Individual Differences, 51, 657-661. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2011.06.002

Men and women have very different views when it comes to infidelity. Men typically rate sexual infidelity as more distressing while women rate emotional infidelity as more distressing. The level of distress varies depending on level of sex drive, attachment status and previous exposure to sexual infidelity. This study not only demonstrated that men are more concerned with sexual infidelity and women are more concerned with emotional infidelity, it also showed that relationship status is related to higher emotional...
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