Which type of cheating is worse, sexual or emotional? It depends who you’re asking — more specifically, what gender you’re asking.
A new study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology set out to determine how people feel about the two types of infidelity.
Researchers from Kansas State University recruited 477 adults — 238 men and 239 women — and asked them to fill out several questionnaires on a variety of topics, including relationships and cheating. One such question was, “Which would distress you more: Imagining your partner enjoying passionate sexual intercourse with another person or imagining your partner forming a deep emotional attachment with another person?”
After analyzing the results, researchers came to a very clear conclusion: “Males reported that sexual infidelity scenarios were relatively more distressing than emotional infidelity scenarios, and the opposite was true of
females,” they wrote in the study.
Interestingly, the purpose of the study was to determine which factors — be it attachment style, feelings of trust, relationship habits, etc. — would lead someone to feel one way or the other about cheating. But at the end of the study, researches discovered that the only factor that played a role was gender. Men were most upset by physical cheating and women were more upset by emotional cheating — end of story.
What do you think: Can it really be so black and white?