Scientists conducted three studies, in which they tested the hypothesis regarding sex differences and jealousy. According to the scientists hypothesis, these things emerged in people as solutions to the appropriate adaptive problems, which both sexes faced. Thus, the first study was to show mens and womens upset caused by a partners sexual or emotional infidelity. The second study fixed physiological responses as electro dermal response, heart rate etc. while both subjects separately imagined these two types of partners infidelity. The third study tested the influence of sexual relationship on the jealousy activation.
In the first study, both men and women were presented with a special dilemma.After the subjects were reported age and sex, they were to think about a serious committed relationship that they have had earlier, that they have now or would like to have. They were asked to imagine that their partner became suddenly interested in someone else. The main question was to find out what would upset them more: imagining that their partner is showing a deep emotional attachment to that person or imagining him enjoying passionate sexual connection with the other person. After completing these questions subjects were to encounter the next dilemma, with the same instructions, but followed by a different parallel choice: imagining the partner trying different sexual poses with the other person, and imagining his falling in love with that person.
In the second study, each subject was engaged in three separated images. First of these images was emotionally neutral: they were asked to imagine their usual walking to class, feeling neither bad nor good i.e. neutral. The subjects kept this image in their minds for 20 seconds to collect the necessary data. The next two images were the images of sexual and emotional infidelityfor counterbalancing the situation. For sexual jealousy,the instructions were to imagine a serious romantic relationship in the past, present and future. Then, imagining that the partner is interested in someone else and had a sexual connection with the other person.
The goal of the third study was to copy and extend the results of the first studies using same instructions, but a larger sample. Following the responses of the subjects, they were asked: have you ever been in such type of romantic relationship (yes/no), and If yes, was it a serious sexual relationship (yes/no).
The first empirical probe, which contrasted the upset over a sexual involvement of the partner with distress caused by a deep emotional attachment of the partner showed a huge and the most significant sex difference. 60% of the male samples confessed that namely sexual infidelity caused their distress and only 17% of the female samples shared their choice. 83% of women reported that they would feel greater upset over their partners emotional attachment to an opponent.
In the second test, physiological response differences to the two jealous images were found through paired-comparison tests for each sex for EDA, PR and EMG separately. The men showed large increases in EDA for the sexual imagery in contrast to emotional imagery. Women showed greater EDA regarding the emotional infidelity image than to the sexual. PR showed a very similar pattern. As for EMG, men showed greater reaction to the sexual infidelity image too.
The results of the last sample almost copied the results of the first study: the ultimate prevailing of the upset caused by a partners sexual involvement for men, and the similar situation with women. Women stated that they would feel more upset if their partner was involved in emotional infidelity.Hence, all of the studies showed huge sex differences and confirmed the hypothesis of sex connections in the jealousy activation.
The results of the three abovementioned empirical studies surely support the hypothesis of the sexual connections in the activators of jealousy. Study 1 clearly showed large sex differences in reports of the subjective upset. Study 2 showed a sex connection autonomic arousal to sexual infidelity vs emotional infidelity. Study 3 confirmed the huge sex differences in reported upset to sexual vs emotional infidelity. The findings of these studies emphasize the fact that men and women have different features of psychology which are often reflected in their behaviours. Such studies may help people to understand each other and prevent further troubles in their future life.
These studies need additional data researches. Firstly, they belong to a single age group and culture. Secondly, there have to be the studies that are able to test the alternative hypotheses in which the current findings show more domain-specific psychological features and mechanisms. Thirdly, future researches have to profitably explore the correlation of these forms of infidelity. After all, there is one interesting finding. The men who experienced a sexual relationship dramatically differ from individuals who have not experienced it. For women, this type of experience is irrelevant to their selection of emotional infidelity as more upsetting event. Such things surely should be explored. One more interesting question stayed why does this type of experience usually matter for men, and why is it irrelevant for women? Limitations of such studies may be corrected, but it also may cause a big impact on the results. For instance, if an elder group of people will be added to this research, there will appear much more intriguing and paradoxical results since psychology of the elderly people may differ a lot.
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